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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Office of Foreign Missions

OFM logoMandated by Congress, the Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) provides the legal foundation to facilitate secure and efficient operations of U.S. missions abroad, and of foreign missions and international organizations in the United States. In doing so, OFM serves the interests of the American public, the American diplomatic community abroad, and the foreign diplomatic community residing in the United States to see that all diplomatic benefits, privileges, and immunities are properly exercised in accordance with federal and international laws.

The Office of Foreign Missions has four missions:

  • Employment of reciprocity to ensure equitable treatment for United States diplomatic and consular missions abroad and their personnel

  • Regulation of the activities of foreign missions in the United States in a manner that will protect the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States

  • Protection of the United States public by ensuring compliance of diplomatic privileges and immunities for foreign diplomats and officials residing in the United States

  • Provision of service and assistance to the foreign mission community in the United States to assure appropriate privileges, benefits, and services on a reciprocal basis

OFM establishes and maintains relationships with U.S. law enforcement and security communities at the national, state, and local levels to educate about diplomatic privilege and immunity issues. OFM personnel conduct outreach and training seminars with these constituencies in conjunction with representatives from other Diplomatic Security offices, the Bureau of Consular Affairs, and the Office of Protocol.

As an advocate for reciprocal agreements, OFM presses for fair treatment of U.S. personnel abroad while assuring foreign diplomats based in the United States receive the same treatment that each respective government provides in return. Additionally, OFM assists foreign missions in dealing with local offices in the United States.

Finally, OFM provides a range of services to the foreign diplomatic community, including the issuance of vehicle titles, registrations, driver's licenses, and license plates; processing tax exemption and duty-free customs requests; and facilitating property acquisitions within local zoning law restrictions. By assisting, advising, and regulating services for foreign diplomats, their dependents, and their staffs while residing in the United States, OFM promotes and strengthens the relationship between governments.

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