9 FAM 100
introduction to 9 fam visas

9 FAM 101
overview of 9 fam

9 FAM 101.1

Introduction to 9 FAM

(CT:VISA-1150;   09-14-2020)
(Office of Origin:  CA/VO)

9 FAM 101.1-1  Purpose of 9 FAM

(CT:VISA-274;   01-03-2017)

The Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) contains directives and guidance for Department of State personnel based on statutes, regulations, Executive Orders, Presidential directives, OMB circulars and other sources.  9 FAM deals exclusively with the adjudication of U.S. visas, both nonimmigrant and immigrant, providing consular officers with the guidance needed to make informed decisions based on U.S. immigration law and regulations. 

9 FAM 101.1-2  9 FAM: Relationship to Statutes and Regulations

(CT:VISA-1150;   09-14-2020)

a. The main statute governing immigration law is the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended (INA). The current text of the INA is codified in Title 8 of the U.S. Code, Aliens and Nationality. In addition, some other titles of the U.S. Code contain provisions relating to immigration, including Title 20, Employee Benefits, Title 22, Foreign Relations, and Title 29, Labor.

b. Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Foreign Relations, (CFR) is the administrative law that further interprets and defines, via a set of rules and regulations published by the Office of the Federal Register, the powers and responsibilities given to the Department by Congress.  Chapter I, Subchapter E Visas governs the Department's visa operations.  The 9 FAM provides additional guidance outlining specific policies and procedural information regarding the issuance of visas.  If you have questions about how to interpret the law, contact the Office of the Legal Adviser for Consular Affairs (L/CA).

9 FAM 101.1-3  Plain language

(CT:VISA-732;   02-05-2019)

a. The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-274) calls for writing that is clear, concise, and well-organized.  Plain language is marked by:  active voice; short, succinct sentences; everyday words; second person voice; organized sections; logical flow; correct grammar and punctuation.  For more information on plain language, see the Office of Directives Management's Plain Writing Resource Page.

b. Use of “You” and “We” in 9 FAM:  “You” in 9 FAM refers to consular officers and "we" refers to the Department.  When a U.S. Government employee other than a consular officer is involved, we will specify in the text.