Bureau Diplomatic Security (DSS)

If you were charged in a crime involving U.S. Passport or U.S. Visa Fraud you were probably investigated by, and arrested by Special Agents of the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service also known as the DSS.


The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DSS) is the security and law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of State. DSS Special Agents protect the U.S. Secretary of State, Deputy Secretary of State, and official representatives of the U.S. Government, in the United States or abroad; perform international investigations, threat analysis, cyber security, counter-terrorism, security technology, and protection of people, property, and information.

The DSS employs 2000 special agents classified as Federal Law Enforcement officers pursuant to 22 U.S.C. ยง 2709 operating in 31 U.S. cities, along with 160 foreign countries and plays a vital role in protecting 275 U.S. diplomatic missions and their personnel overseas, securing critical information systems, investigating passport and visa fraud, and fighting the war on terror.


The Secretary of State may prescribe special agents of the Department of State to:

  • Conduct investigations concerning illegal passport or visa issuance or use;
  • Obtain and execute search, arrest warrants and serve subpoenas;
  • Carry firearms for the purpose of performing the duties;
  • Make arrests for any felony offense against the U.S. committed in their presence.


  • Protect and monitor threats against the U.S. Secretary of State;
  • Investigate and combat U.S. passport and visa fraud worldwide;
  • Provide a safe and secure environment for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy;
  • Protect high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States;
  • Conduct personnel security investigations and issue security clearances;
  • Assist foreign embassies and consulates in the United States with their security;
  • Coordinate security for the protection of U.S. Embassies and Consultants worldwide;
  • Monitor intelligence threats against Americans and U.S. diplomatic facilities overseas.


Approximately 700 DSS special agents serve in regional security offices at over 250 posts worldwide. The DSS special agents, also called regional security officers (RSOs) when serving abroad, manage security programs and provide the first line defense of personnel, their families, U.S. diplomatic missions, and national security information. RSOs serve as the primary advisor to the COM on all security matters by developing and implementing security programs that shield U.S. missions and residences overseas from physical and technical attack.