The Department of State is dedicated to the protection of our borders, and has no higher priority than the safety of our citizens. Facilitating international travel is important to the U.S. economy, a vital national interest. Cultural exchange also promotes security and understanding in a globalized world. There has been a tremendous increase in demand for visas from citizens of some of the world's fastest-growing economies. The Department of State is keeping pace with this growing demand for visas, and continues to dedicate more personnel and resources to visa adjudication, focusing its efforts on embassies and consulates in countries where the demand is the greatest. For more information, visit the State Department Supports Global Travel Growth webpage.
The registration period for the United States Diversity Visa (DV-2013) Program begins Tuesday, October 4, 2011, at noon (EDT), and concludes on Saturday, November 5, 2011, at noon (EDT). For more information, review the Press Release and the DV-2013 Instructions. Entrants for DV-2013 are advised to submit their entries early in the registration period because excessive demand might slow down the system as the deadline nears. There is no charge for submitting an entry in the DV Program. The Department of State strongly encourages entrants to complete and submit their own entries. There is no need to use an agent or intermediary.
Effective February 1, 2011, the Departments of State and Homeland Security introduced an annotated version of the B-1 visa, issued to foreign citizens visiting the United States for business purposes that will make foreign maritime workers eligible to apply for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). The TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric identification card that maritime workers must obtain in order to gain unrestricted access to secure areas of U.S. maritime facilities. Maritime industry workers who will perform services in secure port areas must have their visas annotated “TWIC Letter Received.” Review Visitor Visas – Business and Pleasure for information on how to request an annotated B-1 visa for a maritime industry worker and TSA’s website at http://www.tsa.gov/twic for complete information about the TWIC program.