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The Foreign Missions Act authorizes the Secretary of State to impose restrictions or conditions on the travel within the United States of certain members of foreign missions.  For example, certain members of foreign missions are required to notify the Office of Foreign Missions prior to traveling beyond a 25-mile radius of the White House.  Similarly, certain members of foreign missions are required to obtain OFM’s approval prior to traveling beyond a 25-mile radius of New York’s Columbus Circle.

In order to impose such restrictions or conditions, the Secretary or his/her designee must determine that the restriction is reasonably necessary to achieve one or more of the purposes set forth in 22 U.S.C. 4304(b), which include protecting the interests of the United States and facilitating relations between the United States and a sending state.

The imposition of such restrictions is uncommon.

Foreign mission members who are subject to such restrictions include, but are not limited to, those representing:

  • Belarus
  • Cuba
  • The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)
  • the People’s Republic of China (details here)
  • Eritrea
  • Iran
  • Russia
  • Syria
  • Venezuela

Foreign missions with questions concerning this matter may contact OFMTravelServices@state.gov.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future