Under the Office of the Chief of Protocol’s Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program, qualifying foreign officials can be assigned a Department of State escort officer who is authorized to assist dignitaries with their departure(s) from certain airports in the United States.
Foreign officials who are the functional equivalents of members of the Cabinet of the United States are eligible for the services provided under the Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program, when they are not escorted by United States Secret Service, Department of State Diplomatic Security Service or other recognized USG official protective details. The dignitary’s spouse and children under the age of twelve may also receive services under the Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program when accompanying the dignitary. Members of the delegation accompanying the escorted official will be subject to customary screening.
The Department of State’s escort officer will contact the departing dignitary’s designated point of contact(s) to coordinate the departure from a domestic airport. The escort officer will set up a meeting point at the airport and proceed to escort the VIP through the security screening process. Usually, the escort officer will remain until the VIP is on the plane and it has taken off. It is important to alert the Office of the Chief of Protocol of any changes to travel plans as soon as possible.
The Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program addresses only departures from designated U.S. Airports. The Courtesies of the Port Program is for arriving dignitaries with requests submitted in e-Gov. Both programs are administered by the Office of the Chief of Protocol.
Missions requesting a United States Secret Service or Diplomatic Security Service protective detail for a foreign dignitary through the Courtesies of the Port Program should not also request Airport Escort Screening Courtesies. In these cases, the United States Secret Service or Diplomatic Security Service will provide the same courtesies when the VIP departs.
If the dignitary is traveling with armed security, contact the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Protective Liaison Division at (202)895-3600. Do not submit a request for assistance under the Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program.
For a head of state traveling under the protection of the U.S. Secret Service, do not request assistance under the Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program.
Questions concerning escort screening should be directed to the Office of the Chief of Protocol at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 647-4503.
Following are step-by-step instructions to fill out the Form DS-4138, Request for Escort Screening Courtesies.
- Date of Request (The form contains drop-down boxes for the month, day, and year)
The date the request is submitted to the Office of the Chief of Protocol.
- Passport Nationality
The issuing country on the traveler’s passport.
- Passport Number
The passport number of the traveler’s passport.
- Full Name of Traveler
The full name of the traveler as shown on the passport with the surname or family name in capital letters. (example: John SMITH)
- Official Title
The official title of the traveler requesting Airport Escort Screening Courtesies.
- Date of Birth
The date of birth of the traveler (example: January 30, 1965).
- Country of Birth
The traveler’s country of birth.
- City of Birth
The name of the city in which the traveler was born.
The Point-of-Contact (POC) should be someone who is available to receive calls during business and non-business hours from the assigned escort officer.
The POC’s organization (embassy, mission, etc.).
- Telephone and Fax Numbers
The POC’s business hour telephone and fax numbers.
- After Hours Telephone Number (s)
The POC’s after-hours phone number(s).
- E-Mail Address for Confirmation
The e-mail address where the confirmation and future communications may be sent.
- Airline and Flight No.
The traveler’s airline and flight number (example: Delta Airlines – DL 498).
- Departure Airport
The airport the traveler is leaving.
- Arrival Airport
The airport destination of the traveler.
- Month/Day/Year (This form contains drop down boxes for the month, day, and year)
The departure and arrival dates.
The departure and arrival flight times: Hour: Minute (example 08:23) and check AM or PM.
- Itinerary Continues on Next Page
Check yes or no.
Not every airport in the U.S. participates in the Airport Escort Screening Program. U.S. airports not listed below should still be included in the itinerary shown on the AESC form.
- ATL (Atlanta)
- BOS (Boston)
- BWI (Baltimore -Washington)
- DCA (Washington Reagan National)
- DFW (Dallas-Ft. Worth)
- DTW (Detroit)
- EWR (Newark)
- FLL (Ft. Lauderdale)
- HNL (Honolulu)
- IAD (Washington Dulles)
- IAH (Houston George Bush Intercontinental)
- JFK (New York Kennedy)
- LAX (Los Angeles)
- LGA (New York La Guardia)
- MIA (Miami)
- ORD (Chicago O’Hare)
- PBI (West Palm Beach)
- SEA (Seattle)
- SFO (San Francisco)
The following foreign missions are authorized to submit requests for the extension of services under the Airport Escort Screening Courtesies Program:
- Missions to the Organization of American States
- Organization of American States (Secretariat)
- Missions to the United Nations
- United Nations (Secretariat)
Requests are not accepted from consular posts or international organizations not listed above.
To request services, the foreign missions described above are required to submit a completed Form DS-4138, Request for Escort Screening Courtesies, to the Office of the Chief of Protocol.
For detailed instructions on completing Form DS-4138, click on the link to the left.
You should download Form DS-4138 and save it on your mission’s computer, as it is not possible to send it from the website.
Once completed, please print, scan, and send the form as an attachment to email@example.com.
In order to make the necessary logistical arrangements, the Office of the Chief of Protocol must receive a completed Form DS-4138 at least three business days (i.e., Monday through Friday, excluding U.S. holidays and weekends) before the anticipated date of the first departure from an airport in the United States.
To expedite the review of a request, missions should:
- List the surname or family name in capital letters and match the spelling of the name on the individual’s visa;
- Name a Point-of-Contact (POC) who is available at all times prior to the dignitary’s departure and provide accurate contact information.
- Complete and submit a separate request for each person for whom screening courtesies are sought, even if the itinerary is the same as the principle traveler.
- List the names of additional persons who may accompany the dignitary but are not entitled to screening courtesies themselves.
Notes & Notices published before January 20, 2017: https://2009-2017.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/c69870.htm.
Q. Who is eligible to receive Airport Escort Screening Courtesies?
A. Foreign officials who are considered to be the functional equivalents of members of the Cabinet of the United States, their accompanying spouses, and children under the age of twelve are eligible for the services provided under the Airport Escort Screening Courtesies.
Q. How do I apply for Airport Escort Screening Courtesies?
A. Foreign embassies, missions to the Organization of American States (“OAS”), the OAS Secretariat, missions to the United Nations (“UN”), and the UN Secretariat may request Airport Escort Screening Courtesies by submitting a completed form DS-4138, Request for Escort Screening Courtesies, to the Office of the Chief of Protocol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Can I still apply for Escort Screening Courtesies if the first departure is less than three business days away?
A. The Office of the Chief of Protocol requires that all Escort Screening Courtesy requests are submitted three business days prior to the first departure. Late submissions will be considered and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Q. Can immediate and extended family members receive Airport Escort Screening Courtesies?
A. Airport Escort Screening Courtesies are for the approved primary traveler, the accompanying spouse, and their children under the age of twelve. Other family members are not eligible; but the names of any accompanying travelers should still be listed in the mission’s request.
Q. Can I submit a request for Escort Screening Courtesies if a foreign dignitary is visiting our consulate outside of Washington, D.C.?
A. All requests must be made by the dignitary’s embassy no matter the location of the visit. The Office of the Chief of Protocol does not accept requests for Airport Escort Screening Courtesies from a consular post.
Q. Why doesn’t the Office of Foreign Missions handle this program anymore?
A. The Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) managed this program until 2015. Now, the Office of the Chief of Protocol manages both the Airport Escort Screening Courtesies and the Port Courtesies programs. The Department of State made this change to increase efficiency and provide better service to the foreign mission community, by managing both programs within one office. This change streamlines the procedures so now one office in the Department of State—the Office of the Chief of Protocol—will adjudicate requests for certain courtesies associated with the arrival into, departures from, and travel within the United States for certain high-ranking foreign government officials.
Q. Whom do I contact with additional questions?
A. You may contact the Office of the Chief of Protocol at (202-647-4503) or email@example.com.