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Posts Tagged ‘American Citizen Services’

5th September 2016

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Consulate-General in Chiang Mai will be suspending services from September 12, 2016. It may be best to quote directly from the US Consulate’s website:

Except for U.S. citizen emergencies, consular services at the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai will be suspended from September 12, 2016 to November 1, 2016, due to necessary renovations to the Consular Section…All nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applicants who intend to travel during this period should make appointments with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok…The American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit will remain available by email and phone for emergency U.S. citizen services such as death and welfare/whereabouts cases; and we will continue to accept voter registration, absentee ballot requests, and absentee ballots.  Also, please note that the ACS Unit will conduct several U.S. citizen outreach events in and around Chiang Mai during this period…

Those wishing to learn more are well advised to click the link above.

Those seeking non-immigrant visas such as US Tourist visas and US student visas will, at least for the time being, be required to interview for such travel documents in Bangkok. It should be noted that this announcement has no impact upon those seeking immigrant visas such as the IR-1 visa or the CR-1 visa nor does it change the current processing protocols of the K-1 fiancee visa as although such fiance visas are considered non-immigrant visas they are processed in much the same manner as immigrant visas. As dual intent visas, holders of the K-1 visa may enter the United States in non-immigrant status with the intention of remaining and thereby use the adjustment of status process in order to convert into lawful permanent resident status (aka Green Card holder status) once in the USA. All of the aforementioned visa categories are initially adjudicated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), a division of the Department of Homeland Security; before undergoing further Consular Processing at the United States Embassy in Bangkok, under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of State.

Notwithstanding the continuation of regular immigration services for those wishing to permanently move to the USA. It would appear that this situation may cause inconvenience for those in the North of Thailand seeking American Citizen Services such as passport renewal, notarization, and issuance of Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA). Other than occasional Consular outreach, many of these services will apparently need to be obtained from the Post in Bangkok during this renovation period.

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7th August 2013

The administration of this blog routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of the various US Embassies and US Consulates in the Southeast Asia region to provide a single source for such information to Americans who frequently travel in the region as well as foreign nationals who may be seeking services at such posts. The following is quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Vientiane, Laos:


Date Day Holiday
January 1 Tuesday New Year’s Day
January 21 Monday Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday
February 18 Monday Presidents’ Day
March 8 Friday International Women’s Day
April 15-17 Monday – Wednesday Lao New Year
May 1 Wednesday Lao Labor Day
May 27 Monday Memorial Day
July 4 Thursday Independence Day
September 2 Monday Labor Day
October 14 Monday Columbus Day
October 21 Monday Boat Racing Festival
November 11 Monday Veteran’s Day
November 18 Monday That Luang Festival
November 28 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
December 2 Monday Lao National Day
December 25 Wednesday Christmas Day

Substitution days. Please note: According to the prevailing practice in Laos, official holidays which fall on Saturday will be observed on the preceding Friday and Sunday on the following Monday.

Each year, a significant number of Americans travel to a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad in order to request services such as Passport renewal, additional visa pages, notarization, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), and much more. Those wishing to avail themselves of these services are encouraged to contact American Citizen Services at the US Embassy or US Consulate concerned. In most cases, Americans are well-advised to make an appointment prior to traveling to the post as some Embassies and Consulates require a prior appointment while others can process a request much more quickly if an appointment has been made before arrival at the post.

Foreign nationals, especially those wishing to apply for a US visa, are also occasionally in need of access to a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. In circumstances where a US visa is being sought it is generally a requirement that the foreign national schedule an appointment for visa interview prior to traveling to the post. Applicants for a US Tourist Visa (B-2 visa), US Business Visa (B-1 visa), US Student Visa (F-1 visa), or an Exchange Worker Visa (J-1 visa) are usually interviewed by a Consular Officer with a Non-immigrant visa unit. Meanwhile, those seeking an IR-1 visa (immigrant relative visa), CR-1 visa (conditional immigrant visa for an immigrant relative), K-3 visa (non-immigrant spouse visa), or a K-1 visa (US fiance visa for the fiance or fiancee of an American Citizen) are usually required to undergo an interview before a Consular Officer under the Immigrant Visa Section of the Consular Post.

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4th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand is poised to begin exclusively offering routine services at the American Citizen Services section of the Post by appointment only. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand:

Beginning September 1, 2011, all non-emergency consular services will require an appointment. We hope that this will assist us in providing prompt and efficient consular services to American Citizens residing in Thailand.  Please plan accordingly.

For those who are unfamiliar with matters pertaining to United States Missions abroad it should be noted that an American Citizen Services section of a US Embassy, US Consulate, or American Institute provides many services for Americans resident abroad. Such services include, but are not limited to, US Passport issuance, Consular Report of Birth Abroad issuance, Notary Services, and issuance of additional pages to a previously issued US Passport. It has always been this blogger’s personal experience that the ACS unit of the US Embassy in Bangkok handles matters in an efficient and courteous manner. That stated, the unit always seems hectically busy and it would appear that the new policy is aimed at streamlining the processing of pertinent requests.

Those seeking information regarding visas and immigration to the United States should look for information regarding Immigrant Visa Units and/or Non-Immigrant Visa Units at US Posts abroad as those sections are generally tasked with adjudicating applications for visas such as the B-2 visa, the K-1 visa, the CR-1 visa, and the IR-1 visa.

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20th April 2011

A recent email message from the Warden of the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand came to this blogger’s attention. To quote the message directly:

The American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok will be closed for staff in-service training on April 28 and 29. Only emergency services will be available on those days.  Normal operations will resume on May 2. We strongly recommend making an appointment for all services, especially because our waiting room will be under construction from mid-April until June.  Waiting times, especially for those without appointments, will be longer.

For those who are not familiar with matters pertaining to US Missions abroad it should be noted that American Citizen Services is primarily responsible for undertaking duties such as issuance of US Passports, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, and visa page additions.

Those wishing to visit the official ACS webpage on the official website of the US Embassy in Bangkok please click HERE.

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28th March 2011

The following was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan:

Official American and Turkmen holidays for which employees of the Embassy are excused from duty are limited to the following for the calendar year 2011:

Date Day Description Country
December 31 Fri New Year’s Day U.S./Turkmen
January 12 Wed Memorial Day Turkmen
January 17 Mon Martin L. King’s Birthday U.S.
February 21 Mon President’s Day U.S.
March 8 Tue International Women’s Day Turkmen
March 21 Mon National Spring Day Turkmen
May 9 Mon Victory Day Turkmen
May 18 Wed Magtymguly Day Turkmen
May 31 Mon Memorial Day U.S.
July 4 Mon Independence Day U.S.
September 5 Mon Labor Day U.S.
September (TBD)* Oraza Bayramy Turkmen
October 6 Thu National Commemoration Day Turkmen
October 10 Mon Columbus Day U.S.
October 27-28 Thu-Fri Independence Day of
Turkmenistan
Turkmen
November 11 Fri Veterans’ Day U.S.
November 24 Thu Thanksgiving Day U.S.
November (TBD)* Kurban Bayramy Turkmen
December 12 Mon Neutrality Day Turkmen
December 26 Mon Christmas Day U.S.

* The dates of Kurban Bayramy and Oraza Bairamy are determined by the lunar calendar. Therefore, the exact dates for these holidays cannot be announced with any certainty at this time. When notified, an announcement will be sent out to identify the specific dates.
** Turkmen holidays falling on weekends (Sunday) are observed an the subsequent workday.

Those wishing to visit the official homepage of the United States Embassy in Turkmenistan please click HERE.

Those seeking services which can only be provided by an American Citizen Services Section of a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad (such as Consular Report of Birth Abroad issuance, US Passport issuance, or additional visa pages for a previously issued US Passport) are well advised to attempt to set an appointment with the post in advance as doing so can greatly streamline the processing of requests made to the Post.

Those seeking visas such as the US tourist visa (B-2 visa), the US student visa (F-1 visa), the exchange visitor visa (J-1 visa), or the US business visa (B-1 visa) are likely to see their visa application processed at a Non-Immigrant Visa Unit Abroad. It should be noted that such applications are adjudicated pursuant to the provisions of section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those seeking immigrant visas such as the CR-1 visa or the IR-1 visa are likely to see such visa applications processed at an Immigrant Visa Unit of a US Post pursuant to an approved Immigration petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). It should be noted that for purposes of visa application processing the K-1 visa (a US fiance visa technically designed for non-immigrants) is treated in much the same way as the immigrant visas cited above.

Those seeking visas such as the L-1 visa or the EB-5 visa are prudent to note that such visa applications are only processed pursuant to an approved visa petition at the USCIS.

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2nd March 2011

The following holiday closing schedule was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Port Louis, Mauritius:

New Year

Saturday, January 1

Mauritian/U.S.

New Year (Special)

Monday, January 3

Mauritian

Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 17

U.S.

Thaipoosam Cavadee Thursday, January 30 Mauritian
Abolition of Slavery Tuesday, February 1 Mauritian

Chinese Spring Festival

Thursday, February 3

Mauritian

Washington’s Birthday Mnday, February 21 U.S.

Maha Shivaratree

Wednesday, March 2

Mauritian

National Day

Saturday, March 12

Mauritian

Ougadi

Monday, April 4

Mauritian

Labor Day

Sunday, May 1

Mauritian

Memorial Day

Monday, May 30

U.S.

Independence Day

Monday, July 4

U.S.

Eid-Ul-Fitr**

Wednesday, August 31

Mauritian

Ganesh Chathurthi

Friday, September 2

Mauritian

Labor Day

Monday, September 5

U.S.

Columbus Day Monday, October 10 U.S.

Divali

Wednesday, October 26

Mauritian

All Saints Day

Tuesday, November 1

Mauritian

Arrival of Indentured Laborers Wednesday, November 2 Mauritian

Veterans Day

Friday, November 11

U.S.

Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 24

U.S

Christmas Day***

Monday, December 26

U.S.

**The exact date of this festival will depend on the visibility of the moon.
***December 25, 2011 (the legal public holiday for Christmas Day), falls on a Sunday. For most Federal employees, Monday, December 26, will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes.

Those wishing to visit the official homepage of the United States Embassy in Mauritius please click: HERE.

Those seeking services which can only be provided by a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad (such as issuance of a new US Passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or additional visa pages for a previously issued US Passport) are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services (ACS) Section of the nearest US Consulate with appropriate jurisdiction. In some cases, it may be possible to set an appointment with the post online. Setting an appointment with the post in advance may prove beneficial as foreknowledge of customer requests can greatly streamline the processing of such requests.

Those seeking non-immigrant visas such as the B-2 visa for tourists, the F-1 visa for students, the J-1 visa for exchange visitors, or the B-1 visa for business travelers are likely to see their visa application processed at a Non-immigrant visa (NIV) Unit abroad. Those seeking such travel documents should bear in mind that such applications are scrutinized pursuant to section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those seeking immigrant visas for foreign family members such as the CR-1 visa or the IR-1 visa are likely to see their visa application processed pursuant to an approved immigration petition at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).  For application processing purposes, it should be noted that the K-1 visa, a non-immigrant US fiance visa, is treated in a similar manner to the aforementioned immigrant visas noted above.

Those seeking visas such as the L-1 visa for intra-company transferees or the EB-5 visa for immigrant investors are likely to only see a visa application processed after receiving approval on an immigration petition at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

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28th February 2011

The following holiday closing schedule is quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia:

Date Week Day Holiday Nationality
Dec 31 Friday New Year’s Day American
Jan 17 Monday Martin Luther King’s, Jr. Day American
Feb 3 Thursday Lunar New Year * Mongolian
Feb 4 Friday Lunar New Year * Mongolian
Feb 21 Monday President’s Day American
March 8 Tuesday International Women’s Day Mongolian
May 30 Monday Memorial Day American
June 1 Wednesday Mother and Child Day Mongolian
July 4 Monday Independence Day American
July 11 Monday National Holiday Naadam Mongolian
July 12 Tuesday National Holiday Naadam Mongolian
July 13 Wednesday National Holiday Naadam Mongolian
Sep 5 Monday Labor Day American
Oct 10 Monday Columbus Day American
Nov 11 Friday Veteran’s Day American
Nov 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day American
Nov 25 Friday Constitution Day Mongolian
Dec 26 Monday Christmas Day American
Dec 30 Friday NewsYear’s Day American
& Mongolian

*Lunar New Year date may change according to the local Astrologers’ decision.

Those wishing to go to the official homepage of the United States Embassy in Mongolia please click HERE.

Those seeking services which can only be provided at an American Citizen Services Section of a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad (such as issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or additional visa pages in a previously issued US Passport) are well advised to attempt to make an appointment with the Post online (if possible) in order to streamline the processing of requests lodged with the Consulate.

Those seeking non-immigrant visas such as the B-2 visa for foreign tourists, the B-1 visa for foreign business travelers, the J-1 visa for exchange visitors, or the F-1 visa for foreign students are likely to see their applications processed at a non-immigrant visa unit abroad. It should be noted that such applications are scrutinized pursuant to the provisions of section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those seeking immigrant visas for foreign loved ones (such as the CR-1 visa or the IR-1 visa) are likely to see their visa application processed at an immigrant visa unit abroad following the approval of an underlying immigration petition at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). For processing purposes, the K-1 visa is treated in much the same way as the immigrant visa categories notwithstanding the fact that it is technically a non-immigrant US fiance visa.

Those seeking an L-1 visa or EB-5 visa for business travel purposes are likely to only see their visa application processed following a successful adjudication of an underlying immigrant visa petition at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

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26th January 2011

Frequent readers of this blog may have noticed that the administration routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of the various US Missions in the Asia-Pacific region. The following was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy with Consular jurisdiction for Suva, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu:

Listed below are Fiji and U.S. National holidays on which the Embassy is closed.

Holiday Date Observed
New Year’s Day Mon, Jan 3, 2011
Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday Mon, Jan 17, 2011
Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday Mon, Feb 14, 2011
Washington’s Birthday Mon Feb 21, 2011
Good Friday Friday, Apr 22, 2011
Easter Saturday Sat, Apr 23, 2011
Easter Monday Mon, Apr 25, 2011
Memorial Day Mon, May 30, 2011
Queen’s Birthday Mon, Jun 13, 2011
Independence Day Mon, July 4, 2011
Labor Day Mon, Sep 5, 2011
Fiji Day/Columbus Day Mon, Oct 10, 2011
Diwali Wed, Oct 26, 2011
Veterans Day Fri, Nov 11, 2011
Thanksgiving Day Thu, Nov 24, 2011
Christmas Day Mon, Dec 26, 2011
Boxing Day Tue, Dec 27, 2011

For the official homepage of the US Embassy with jurisdiction over Suva, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu please click HERE.

Those seeking services such as the issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or additional visa pages for a previously issued US Passport are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services Section at a US Embassy or US Consulate with Consular jurisdiction over one’s place of residence. Requests for service can often be streamlined by making an appointment in advance through a US Mission’s website.

Those seeking a temporary visa such as a B-2 visa (Tourist), B-1 visa (Business visa), J-1 visa (Exchange visitor visa), or F-1 (US student visa) are likely to see their visa application processed through a non-immigrant visa (NIV) Unit abroad. Those applying for a non-immigrant visa are likely to have their application scrutinized pursuant to section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those Americans seeking family based visas for a foreign spouse (CR-1 visa, IR-1 visa) or loved one are likely to see an application processed through an Immigrant Visa (IV) Unit abroad. for purposes of Consular Processing the K-1 visa, although a non-immigrant US fiance visa, is processed in much the same way as the immigrant visa categories. At one time, US Missions abroad were processing a relatively large number of K3 visa applications. However, since the promulgation of the National Visa Center’s “administrative closure” policy relatively few K-3 visa applications are currently being adjudicated abroad. Immigrant Visa applications are generally processed only after initial immigration petition approval by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

Those seeking investment or employment visas such as the EB-5 visa or the L-1 visa are likely to only see their visa application processed after a successful adjudication at USCIS in the United States.

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17th January 2011

Those who read this web log with any degree of frequency may have noticed that the administration routinely posts the closing schedules of the various US Missions in Asia in an effort to provide wide access to such information for Americans traveling abroad seeking Consular services. Hopefully, postings such as these will help to forestall fruitless trips to US Posts abroad made by Americans unaware of local holiday observance. The following is quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Vientiane, Laos:

Date Day Holiday Lao/U.S.
December 31, 2010 Friday Substitute for New  Year’s Day U.S./Lao
January 17 Monday Martin Luther King’s Birthday U.S.
February 21 Monday Presidents’ Day U.S.
March 8 Tuesday International Women’s Day Lao
April 13-15 Wed.-Friday Lao New Year Lao
May 2 Monday Lao Labor Day Lao
May 30 Monday Memorial Day U.S.
July 4 Monday Independence Day U.S.
September 5 Monday Labor Day U.S.
October 10 Monday Boat Racing Festival Lao
October 22 Monday Columbus Day U.S.
November 10 Thursday That Luang Festival Lao
November 11 Friday Veteran’s Day U.S.
November 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day U.S.
December 2 Friday Lao National Day Lao
December 26 Monday Christmas Day U.S.

Substitution days. Please note: According to the prevailing practice in Laos, official holidays which fall on Saturday will be observed on the preceding Friday and Sunday on the following Monday.

Note: Administrative Days: In addition to the dates above, the Consular Section will be closed on the following Fridays for administrative days – February 18, April 8, June 3, September 2, November 25, and December 9.

Those seeking the official homepage of the United States Embassy in Vientiane, Laos please click HERE.

Those seeking services such as issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or additional visa pages for a previously issued US Passport are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services Section of the nearest US Embassy or US Consulate with appropriate jurisdiction.

Those seeking temporary US visas such as the B-2 visa (US Tourist Visa), B-1 visa (US Business Visa), F-1 visa (US Student Visa), or J-1 visa (US Exchange Visitor Visa) are likely to have their visa applications processed through a Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) Unit abroad. It should be noted that those applying for most non-immigrant visa categories are scrutinized pursuant to section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those who are seeking US family visa benefits in the form of travel documents such as the CR-1 visa or the IR-1 visa are generally required to process an immigration petition through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) prior to applying for a US visa abroad. The K-1 visa, although technically a non-immigrant US fiance visa, is generally treated much the same way as an immigrant visa for application processing purposes. L-1 visa seekers and EB-5 visa seekers should take notice of the fact that applying for such a travel document may entail the processing of an immigration petition prior to visa application at a US Post abroad.

For related information please see: US Visa Laos or K1 Visa Laos.

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14th January 2011

Those who may have had the opportunity to read this blog in the past may have noticed that the administration routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of some of the various US Missions in Asia. This is done in an effort to forestall needless trips to a US Embassy or US consulate abroad only to find them closed in observance of either an American or foreign holiday. The following is quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Sri Lanka (with jurisdiction over the Maldives):

The American Embassy will observe the following American and local holidays in 2011.

Date Event Type
January  14 (Friday) In Lieu of Tamil Thai Pongal Day Local
January 17 (Monday) Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. American
February 04 (Friday) National Day Local
February 16 (Wednesday) Holy Prophet’s Birthday Local
February 21 (Monday) Washington’s Birthday American
April 13 (Wednesday) Day Prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day Local
April 14 (Thursday) Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day Local
May 2 (Monday) In Lieu of May Day Local
May 17 (Tuesday) Wesak Full Moon Poya Day Local
May 30 (Monday) Memorial Day American
June 15 (Wednesday) Poson Full Moon Poya Day American
July 4 (Monday) Independence Day American
July 14 (Thursday) Esala Full Moon Poya Day Local
September 05 (Monday) Labor Day American
October 10 (Monday) Columbus Day American
October 11 (Tuesday) Vap Full Moon Poya Day Local
November 11 (Friday) Veteran’s Day American
November 24 (Thursday) Thanksgiving Day American
December 20 (Monday) Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day Local
December 26 (Monday) In Lieu of Christmas Day American

Those seeking services which can only be provided by an American Citizen Services Section of a US Post abroad (such as: US Passport issuance, Consular Report of Birth Abroad issuance, etc) are well advised to attempt, if possible, to make an appointment online with the Post prior to arrival as doing so can greatly streamline the processing of requests.

To visit the official homepage of the United States Embassy in Sri Lanka please click HERE.

Those seeking visas such as the US B-2 Tourist Visa or the US F-1 Student Visa are likely to process their application through a Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) Unit at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. Those seeking non-immigrant visa benefits are likely to have their application scrutinized pursuant to section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those seeking travel documents such as a CR-1 visa or an IR-1 visa for a foreign family member who wishes to travel to the USA to take up Lawful Permanent Residence are likely to process their application through an Immigrant Visa (IV) Unit abroad. For processing purposes the K-1 visa, a non-immigrant US fiance visa category, is treated in much the same way as the immigrant visa categories.

Those seeking travel documents such as the EB-5 Visa or the L-1 visa which pertain to business or investment are likely to only see their visa application processed after the adjudication of an immigration petition in the USA.

For related information please see: US Visa Sri Lanka.

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