Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘American Embassy Burma’

31st July 2013

The administration of this blog periodically posts the holiday closing schedules of the various US Embassies and US Consulates in the Southeast Asia region in order to provide a level of convenience to Americans traveling in the area. The following holiday closing schedule was quoted directly from the official website of the US Embassy in Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar):

Date Day U.S.* Burmese**
January 1 Tuesday New Year’s Day
January 4 Friday Independence Day
January 21 Monday Martin Luther King’s Birthday
February 12 Tuesday Union Day
February 18 Monday President’s Day
March 27 Wednesday Armed Forces Day
April 15 Monday THINGYAN (Water Festival)
April 16 Tuesday THINGYAN (Water Festival)
April 17 Wednesday Burmese New Year
May 1 Wednesday Workers’ Day
May 27 Monday Memorial Day
July 4 Thursday Independence Day
July 19 Friday Martyrs’ Day
July 22 Monday Full Moon of Waso
September 2 Monday Labor Day
October 14 Monday Columbus Day
November 11 Monday Veteran’s Day
November 27 Wednesday National Day
November 28 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
December 25 Wednesday Christmas Day Christmas Day

Many Americans traveling abroad find that it is necessary to travel to an American Embassy or Consulate in order to request services such as Passport renewal, adding of visa pages, notarial services, or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA). Many of these requests can be made at an American Citizen Services Section of the US Embassy or US Consulate-General.

Meanwhile, every year many foreign nationals from around the globe travel to American posts abroad to apply for visas and other travel documents granting permission to travel to the United States. Some visa seekers only wish to remain temporarily in the US on non-immigrant visas such as the B-1 visa (Business Visa), the B-2 visa (Tourist Visa), the F-1 visa (Student Visa), or the J-1 visa (Exchange worker visa). Generally, applications for the aforementioned visa categories can be made at a non-immigrant visa unit within the Consular Section of the US Embassy or US Consulate-General. Applicants are usually required to make an appointment in advance to apply for these types of visas.

Some foreign nationals wish to travel to the United States for business purposes. Depending upon the circumstances of the individual applying for admission to the USA, a business traveler may be issued a non-immigrant or an immigrant visa. The L-1 visa, the E-1 visa, the E-2 visa, the EB-5 visa, the EB-4 visa, the EB-3 visa, the EB-2 visa, the EB-1 visa, and the H-1B visa are all business visa categories commonly sought by foreign nationals. Generally, a business travel unit  within the Consular Section of a US Embassy or Consulate-General abroad is responsible for adjudicating such applications.

Some foreign nationals seek visa benefits based upon a relationship to a US Citizen or lawful permanent resident. One of the most commonly sought US family based visas is the immigrant visa based upon marriage to an American Citizen, these types of visas are generally classified as a CR-1 visa or an IR-1 visa. Fiancees of US Citizens may be eligible to apply for a K-1 visa (US fiance visa). Furthermore, those married to Americans sometimes seek a US K-3 visa. K-1 visas and K-3 visas are generally adjudicated by an Immigrant visa unit, notwithstanding the fact that they are non-immigrant visa categories as they are treated as immigrant visas since the applicants have immigrant intent.

For related information please see: US Immigration Asia.

 

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1st February 2011

In recent postings on this web log the administration has posted news and information pertaining to the ongoing situation in the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar (also referred to as Burma). In a recent report, it was noted that the Burmese government was discussing the idea of setting up a stock exchange. Meanwhile, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has informally called for an end to the American (as well as international) sanctions being imposed upon Myanmar. To quote directly from a recent posting on the Voice of America’s official website:

The United States is among a handful of countries that have imposed targeted economic sanctions on those most responsible for denying democracy and disregarding human rights in Burma. As the time approaches for the parliaments to convene, some of Burma’s neighbors have called on the West to lift sanctions. They say U.S. policy hampers important areas of trade, prevents investment and technology from helping to develop Burma’s hard-pressed ethnic regions, and hurts the Burmese people.

The United States is deeply concerned about the plight of ordinary citizens of Burma. But it is the regime that is responsible for the country’s dire economic situation. The record is clear on how the military regime has mismanaged the economy, institutionalized corruption and plundered valuable national resources for private gain.

Our two nations have been in talks about improving relations since 2009 and we will continue to engage the government on our mutual concerns. Until the government undertakes fundamental change in Burma, including releasing the more than 2,100 political prisoners and beginning a meaningful and time-bound dialogue with the democratic opposition and ethnic minorities, U.S. sanctions will remain in place.

The issue of Human Rights in Burma is not intended to be the topic of this posting as this blogger sincerely does not feel qualified to address such issues. Exploitation, murder, and human rights abuses in Burma (Myanmar) are all issues which should concern anyone living in modern times, but there is a rather strong argument in favor of lifting sanctions such as these as there are those who would argue that these sanctions fail in their objective and may actually worsen the plight of the common people who are sometimes more adversely impacted by such measures than are those at whom the sanctions were originally aimed. In a piece written on this issue by Leon T. Hadar entitled U.S. Sanctions Against Burma: A Failure on All Fronts these issues were more eloquently elaborated:

The U.S. policy of imposing unilateral trade and investment sanctions against Burma has proven to be a failure on all fronts. By forcing U.S. firms to disengage from Burma, that policy has harmed American economic interests and done nothing to improve the living conditions or human rights of the people of Burma.

Sanctions have denied Burmese citizens the benefits of increased investment by American multinational companies–investment that brings technoloygy, better working conditions, and Western ideas.[sic]

State and local sanctions against Burma have compounded the problem caused by federal sanctions and raised troubling constitutional questions.

Unilateral sanctions have alienated our allies in the region and strengthened the hand of China but achieved none of the stated foreign policy aims. If Washington had allowed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to take the lead in setting policy toward Burma, the United States could have enjoyed a “win-win” situation–better relations with our allies and more influence over the regime in Rangoon.

As an alternative to the failed policy of sanctions, the United States should allow U.S. companies to freely trade with and investment in Burma. A pro-business approach to engagement would more effectively promote political, civil, and economic freedom around the world. Congress should enact legislation requiring a full accounting of the cost of sanctions and explicit justification on national security grounds before they can be imposed.

It has always been this blogger’s personal opinion that the Burmese sanctions were neither well promulgated nor well executed as the imposition of sanctions has resulted in a situation in which the people at the lowest echelons of Burmese society are not able to enjoy the technological and monetary benefits that come with increased investment and the increased economic activity springing therefrom. The policy reasons underlying the sanctions against Burma would seem to originate in a belief that such sanctions will result in better conditions for the dispossessed currently living in Burma. Although this is pure speculation, it would seem that there is at least some room for reasonable people to disagree about the effects of the Burmese sanctions. Hopefully increased dialogue on this issue will result in new strategies which can be implemented to the benefit of the Burmese people and those seeking investment opportunities in Southeast Asia.

For related information please see: US Visa Myanmar.

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