The Department of State is dedicated to the protection of our borders, and has no higher priority than the safety of our citizens. The Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs is responsible for issuing visas to those international visitors to the United States who require them. Around the world at 222 visa-issuing embassies and consulates, a highly trained corps of consular officers and support staff adjudicate millions of visa applications each year.
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. Focusing on these benefits, the Department of State is taking steps to keep pace with growing demand for U.S. visas.
Our primary mission is to uphold border security while facilitating legitimate travel. We have an intensive visa screening process incorporating personal interviews with multiple biographic and biometric checks, all supported by a sophisticated global information technology network. The Department prioritizes efficiency and customer service, and at our busiest posts, consular officers may interview more than 100 visa applicants a day.