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Posts Tagged ‘US Embassy China’

10th January 2011

The following is the holiday closing schedule of the United States Consulate in Shanghai, China as quoted directly from the Post’s official website:

The Consulate, including the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit, is scheduled to be closed on the following dates in observance of year 2011 official American and Chinese holidays.

**        January 3          Monday          New Year’s Day
*          January 17        Monday          Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday
**        February 2-6     Wed-Sun        Chinese (Lunar) New Year
*          February 21       Monday          President’s Day
**        April 5                Tuesday         Tomb Sweeping Day
**        May 1-2             Sun-Mon         International Labor Day
*          May 30               Monday          Memorial Day
**        June 6                Monday          Dragon Boat Festival
*          July 4                 Monday          Independence Day
*          September 5      Monday          Labor Day
**        September 12    Monday          Mid-Autumn Festival
**        October 1-5       Sat-Wed         Chinese National Day
*          October 10        Monday          Columbus Day
*          November 11     Friday             Veteran’s Day
*          November 24     Thursday        Thanksgiving Day
*          December 26     Monday          Christmas Day

*          Americans Holidays
**        Chinese Holidays
***      Chinese and American Holidays

Those who have read through this blog with any frequency may have already noted that the author routinely posts holiday closing schedules of US Posts as a courtesy to travelers abroad. Although the various websites of many US Missions post this information themselves, it can sometimes prove difficult to find for those who are in a rush or for those who have not previously used a US Embassy website. Furthermore, the administration hopes that by gathering many of these schedules together in one place it will prove beneficial for those American travelers and expatriates who routinely travel throughout Asia.

To visit the official homepage of the US Consulate in Shanghai please click HERE.

Those seeking services such as issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or new visa pages for a previously issued US Passport are well advised to contact the American Citizen Services Section of the nearest US Consulate. Please note that some US Consulates abroad allow individuals to make an appointment with the Post to process their request. Making an appointment in advance can greatly streamline the processing of requests since Consular Officers can anticipate some of the needs of the customer prior to their arrival at the Post.

Those seeking visas such as the B-2 tourist visa, F-1 student visa, J-1 exchange visitor visa, or the B-1 business visa are likely to process their application through a Non-Immigrant Visa Unit abroad. Meanwhile, those seeking United States Lawful Permanent Residence for Chinese family members are likely to process their application through an Immigrant Visa Unit at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. For processing purposes, the K-1 visa, a non-immigrant US fiance visa, is generally treated as if it were an immigrant visa since the applicant is entitled to file for adjustment of status within 90 days of entering the USA and after legally marrying the petitioner.

Employment based visa categories such as the L-1 visa or Investor visa categories such as the EB-5 visa generally require the filing and approval of a US immigration petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) before a visa application can be processed abroad.

For related information please see: US Visa China.

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10th January 2011

As this blogger has personally found himself at United States Embassies and Consulates overseas that were, previously unbeknown to him, closed due to observance of either an American or foreign holiday. In order to try to forestall this from happening to other travelers in the future, this blog routinely posts holiday closing schedules of various US Missions in Asia. The following is the holiday closing schedule of the United States Consulate in Shenyang, China:

The Consulate is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. We are CLOSED on the following American and Chinese holidays:

Date

Weekday

Holiday

Nation

January 3 Monday New Year’s Day US & China
January 17 Monday Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday US
February 2 - 6 Wednesday – Sunday Chinese (Lunar) New Year China
February 21 Monday President’s Day US
April 5 Tuesday Tomb Sweeping Day China
May 1 – 2 Sunday – Monday International Labor Day China
May 30 Monday Memorial Day US
June 6 Monday Dragon Boat Festival China
July 4 Monday Independence Day US
September 5 Monday Labor Day US
September 12 Monday Mid-Autumn Festival China

October 1 – 5

Saturday – Wednesday

Chinese National Day

China
October 10 Monday Columbus Day US
November 11 Friday Veterans’ Day US
November 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day US
December 26 Monday Christmas Day US

To visit the official homepage of the United States Consulate in Shenyang’s website please click HERE.

Some individuals traveling to a US Post abroad are doing so because they are seeking services which can only be obtained from an American Citizen Services section of a US Mission abroad. Services such as this include, but are not limited to, issuance of a US Passport for those who have lost their original passport abroad, issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad for an American child born overseas, or issuance of new visa pages for a previously issued passport.

Those foreign nationals seeking non-immigrant visa benefits are likely to process their application through a Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) Unit of a US Mission abroad. Therefore those seeking a US Tourist Visa in China are likely to process their application through an NIV Unit of their nearest US Mission.

Those seeking US family visa benefits are likely to process their application through an Immigrant Visa Unit of a US Mission abroad. In general, the K-1 visa, although technically a non-immigrant US fiance visa, is treated as if it were an immigrant visa for processing purposes.

Those Chinese Citizens seeking employment based visas such as the L-1 visa or investment based visas such as the EB-5 Visa may be required to process an immigration petition through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) prior to processing their visa application through one of the various US Posts in the Peoples’ Republic of China.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa China.

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10th January 2011

Anyone who reads this blog with any type of regularity may have noted that the administration routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of various United States Missions in Asia, this is done in an effort to provide quick access to this information for those who are traveling outside of the USA. To quote directly from the official website of the United States Consulate in Guangzhou, China:

The Consulate is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. We are CLOSED on the following American and Chinese holidays:

Date

Weekday

Holiday

Nation

January 3 Monday New Year’s Day US & China
January 17 Monday Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday US
February 2 - 6 Wednesday – Sunday Chinese (Lunar) New Year China
February 21 Monday President’s Day US
April 5 Tuesday Tomb Sweeping Day China
May 1 – 2 Sunday – Monday International Labor Day China
May 30 Monday Memorial Day US
June 6 Monday Dragon Boat Festival China
July 4 Monday Independence Day US
September 5 Monday Labor Day US
September 12 Monday Mid-Autumn Festival China
October 1 – 5 Saturday – Wednesday Chinese National Day China
October 10 Monday Columbus Day US
November 11 Friday Veterans’ Day US
November 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day US
December 26 Monday Christmas Day US

Those who wish to visit the homepage of the US Consulate in Guangzhou please click HERE.

Those seeking issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, new US Passport, or new visa pages for a previously issued US passport are well advised to contact the American Citizen Services (ACS) Section of the nearest US Embassy or US Consulate. Those seeking such services may find processing such requests mare efficient after making an appointment online. In many cases, making an appointment with ACS prior to arrival at the Mission provides Consular Officers with an opportunity to make preparations to better facilitate the processing of a specific request.

Those processing non-immigrant visas such as the B-2 visa for tourists, the B-1 visa for temporary business travelers, the J-1 visa for cultural exchange students, and the F-1 visa for foreign students wishing to study in the USA; may be required to process their applicatyion through a Non-Immigrant Visa Unit abroad.

Those attempting to obtain a US Immigrant visa such as a CR-1 visa or an IR-1 visa in order to reunite with family in the USA may be required to process their application through an Immigrant Visa Unit at a United States Mission abroad. For purposes of application processing the K-1 visa (also referred to as a US fiance visa) is effectively treated as an immigrant visa since K-1 visa holders are entitled to apply for adjustment of status after arrival in the USA provided the couple marries within 90 days of the foreign fiancee’s arrival in the US.

For related information please see: American Visa China.

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2nd January 2011

Those who may have seen this blog previously might have taken notice of the fact that the administration routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of US Missions in the Asia-Pacific regions in an effort to provide a courtesy to those with business at an American Mission abroad. The following is quoted directly from the official website of the US Consulate in Hong Kong (Special Autonomous Region of the Peoples’ Republic of China)   with American Consular jurisdiction over the Special Autonomous Region of Macau:

The following list includes all official holidays (both U.S. and Hong Kong) for 2011.

Saturday, January 1
(observed Friday, December 31)
New Year’s Day A
Monday, January 17 Martin Luther King’s Birthday A
Thursday, February 3 Lunar New Year’s Day L
Friday, February 4 Second day of the Lunar New Year L
Monday, February 21 President’s Day A
Tuesday, April 5 Ching Ming Festival L
Friday, April 22 Good Friday L
Monday, April 25 Easter Monday L
Monday, May 2 The day following Labor Day L
Monday, May 30 Memorial Day A
Monday, June 6 Tuen Ng Festival L
Friday, July 1 Hong Kong SAR Establishment Day L
Monday, July 4 Independence Day A
Monday, September 5 Labor Day A
Tuesday, September 13 The day following Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival L
Wednesday, October 5 Chung Yeung Festival L
Monday, October 10 Columbus Day A
Friday, November 11 Veterans Day A
Thursday, November 24 Thanksgiving Day A
Sunday, December 25
(observed Monday, December 26)
Christmas Day A/L
Tuesday, December 27 Second Week-Day after Christmas Day L

A – American Holiday/L – Local Holiday

Notes:  Three local holidays falling on Saturdays are not included in the 2011 holiday schedule (the third day of the Lunar New Year, February 5, the day following Good Friday, April 23 and National Day, October 1)

Those seeking services such as the issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or addition of new visa pages to a previously issued US passport are well advised to contact the American Citizen Services Section of the nearest US Embassy, Consulate, American Institute, or Mission with Consular jurisdiction over the geographical area in which one is located.

Those seeking the homepage of the official website of the United States Consulate: Hong Kong & Macau please click HERE.

Those interested in retaining advice and counsel regarding United States Immigration matters are well advised to contact a licensed American Attorney in order to be apprised of the practical implications of the application of relevant United States immigration law.

Those seeking family based visas typically process their visa application through an Immigrant Visa Unit of a US Mission abroad, for purposes of visa application processing US fiance visa applications (the K-1 visa category) are treated in essentially the same manner as Immigrant visa categories like the CR-1 visa and the IR-1 visa categories.

Business and Investment visa applications for visa categories such as the L-1 visa and the EB-5 visa are typically processed after the adjudication of an initial immigration petition at the American Department of Homeland Security‘s United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

Those seeking non-immigrant visas to the USA under visa categories such as the B-2 (US Tourist Visa), B-1 (US Business Visa), F-1 (US Student Visa), J-1 (US Cultural Exchange Visitor) categories are generally required to process their visa application through a Non-immigrant Visa Unit of a US Mission in their jurisdiction.

For related information please see: US Visa China.

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28th October 2010

Frequent readers of this blog may have noticed that the administration routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of various United States Missions in Asia in an effort to forestall possibly fruitless trips to a US Embassy or US Consulate overseas. Many American Missions close and do not provide routine services in observance of both United States Federal holidays as well as local holidays in the Host Country. The following information was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Consulate in Hong Kong (this Post also has Consular jurisdiction over Macau):

The following have been designated as official holidays for 2010. The Consulate General will be closed to the public on these days.

Friday, January 1 New Year’s Day A/L
Monday, January 18 Martin Luther King’s Birthday A
Monday, February 15 President’s Day/Second day of the Lunar New Year A/L
Tuesday, February 16 Third day of the Lunar New Year L
Friday, April 2 Good Friday L
Monday, April 5 Easter Monday L
Tuesday, April 6 The day following Ching Ming Festival L
Friday, May 21 The Buddha’s Birthday L
Monday, May 31 Memorial Day A
Wednesday, June 16 Tuen Ng Festival L
Thursday, July 1 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day L
Sunday, July 4
(observed Monday, July 5)
Independence Day A
Monday, September 6 Labor Day A
Thursday, September 23 The day following Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival L
Friday, October 1 National Day L
Monday, October 11 Columbus Day A
Thursday, November 11 Veterans Day A
Thursday, November 25 Thanksgiving Day A
Saturday, December 25
(observed Friday, December 24)
Christmas Day A
Monday, December 27 First Week-Day after Christmas Day L
Saturday, January 1
(observed Friday, December 31)
New Year’s Day A

A – American Holiday/L – Local Holiday

Notes: Four local holidays falling on Saturdays are not included in the 2010 holiday schedule (the day preceding Lunar New Year’s Day, February 13, the day following Good Friday, April 3, Labour Day, May 1, and Chung Yeung Festival, October 16).

Both Hong Kong and Macau are special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China and have considerable autonomy under Chinese law. That said, those Americans interested in receiving services such as issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), new US passport, new visa pages, or notary services, etc. are well advised to contact the American Citizen Services (ACS) Section of the nearest US Mission in an effort to schedule an appointment at ACS. Scheduling an appointment is an efficient way of streamlining services at an American Mission abroad as Consular Officers can prepare in advance to service a prospective customer’s needs.

Those interested in matters pertaining to United States Immigration are well advised to research the issue before contacting an American Mission abroad to set up an appointment for visa interview. Many non-immigrant visa categories (ex. F1 visa, B1 visa, B2 visa)  may not require the initial filing of a visa petition in the USA. However, non-immigrant visas such as the K1 visa and the K3 Visa do require the initial approval of a petition at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Also, immigrant visa categories such as the IR1 Visa and the CR1 Visa require the initial filing of a petition with USCIS. Although, some American Consulates and Embassies abroad may allow Direct Consular Filing (DCF) under certain limited circumstances.

For related information please see: US Visa China or EB-5 Visa China.

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26th October 2010

This blog routinely discusses the ramifications of the National Visa Center’s policy regarding so-called administrative closure of K-3 visa applications. In order to understand how the “Administrative closure” policy can have a significant impact upon the US visa process it is best to understand how the K3 visa process works in the context of a foreign, in this blog post; Chinese, spouse.

The traditional method of obtaining a US Visa for a Chinese spouse was through petitioning for an Immigrant visa based upon the Chinese-American couple’s marital relationship. Although, in the later part of the last century, the processing time for immigrant spouse visas was becoming quite high due to a backlog at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). In an effort to deal with the backlog problem the United States Congress, along with President William Jefferson Clinton promulgated legislation commonly referred to as the “Life Act”. The language of this statute created the travel document known now as the K3 visa. It should also be pointed out that the K-4 visa was also created by the legislation. The K-4 visa, like the K-2 visa associated with the K1 visa, is a derivative visa intended for the children of K-3 visa holders. Since the creation of the K-3 visa the backlog of immigrant spousal visa petitions at USCIS has decreased dramatically.Those seeking K3 visa benefits must file a supplemental visa petition subsequent to the filing of the initial immigrant visa petition.

In 2010, the US State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) issued a new policy stating that all K-3 visa applications would be “administratively closed” if the underlying immigrant visa petition arrived at NVC with, or before, the supplemental K-3 petition. There are many who are quick to point out that the purpose of the K-3 visa is effectively negated once the immigrant visa receives adjudication and therefore the administrative closure policy makes sense from an efficiency perspective. Regardless, this policy has likely lead to many bi-national Chinese-American couples to seek immigrant visa benefits where once they may have pursued K-3 visa benefits. Those who submit an application for immigrant visa benefits may receive either a CR-1 visa or an IR-1 visa if their application is approved. Those who enter the United States in CR-1 visa status are considered conditional lawful permanent residents upon lawful admission to the USA while those admitted to the United States in IR-1 status are considered unconditional lawful permanent residents.

Fore related information please see: K3 Visa China or for information pertaining to Consular Processing please see: US Embassy China.

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22nd July 2010

This author recently discovered that the United States Embassy in China has announced that those seeking non-immigrant visas to the United States of America may seek such travel documents at any US Consulate in China. To quote directly from the website of the American Embassy in China:

Residents of China may apply for a non-immigrant visa at any U.S. Consular Section in China, regardless of the province or city of residence.  We have Consular Sections at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulates General in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenyang.

Although the basic application process is the same, specific times and application procedures at each visa issuing office can vary.  Before applying for a visa, applicants should check each post’s web site for procedures specific to that post.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China provide the following estimates of the next available non-immigrant visa interview appointment date for your reference.  Please be aware appointments are scheduled continuously, and the next available appointment date can change dramatically on short notice.

All appointments must be booked through the Visa Information Call Center at 4008-872-333, which has the most current information about appointment wait times.  Specific appointment procedures can be found here: http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/niv_appointment.html.

The information below is a rough guide only.  Please note this information was last updated on 21 Jul, 2010.

Business/ tourist visa appointments (B1, B2, and B1/B2 visa classes)

As of the date above, this post is booking… … appointments for the following date:
U.S. Embassy Beijing 3-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Chengdu 19-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou 17-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Shanghai 23-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Shenyang 31-Aug


Student (F, M, J visa classes)

As of the date above, this post is booking… … appointments for the following date:
U.S. Embassy Beijing 28-Jul
U.S. Consulate General Chengdu 6-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou 27-Jul
U.S. Consulate General Shanghai 19-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Shenyang 4-Aug

Appointment wait times for particular groups such as petition-based employment applicants, group leisure tours, Amcham applicants, and public affairs passport holders may be different.  Please contact the Visa Information Call Center at 4008-872-333 for more information.

If you require an earlier visa appointment for immediate travel for urgent medical treatment, to meet the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019 form, or for another emergency reason, please see our information about expedited appointments http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/niv_expedite.html.

The information on how to apply can be found below:

The U.S. Consulate in Chengdu:
http://chengdu.usembassy-china.org.cn/appointment.html

The U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou:
http://guangzhou.usembassy-china.org.cn/niv-how-to-apply.html

The U.S. Consulate in Shanghai:
http://shanghai.usembassy-china.org.cn/how_to_apply.html

The U.S. Consulate in Shenyang:
http://shenyang.usembassy-china.org.cn/consular5.html

The U.S. Consulate in Hongkong:
http://hongkong.usconsulate.gov/niv_apply.html

It is interesting to note this recent policy shift as most US Diplomatic and Consular missions in other countries require the applicant to apply for their non-immigrant visa at the Consulate with jurisdiction over the place of residence of the applicant. However, these jurisdictional rules may be altered by officials of the Department of State depending upon the prevailing circumstances in the host country. That said, China is a unique country insofar as it has a large landmass as well as a massive population. As a result, special considerations probably ought to be taken into account when discussing those issues associated with optimally serving those Chinese nationals wishing to travel to the USA.

As the economic and diplomatic relationships between the USA and China become increasingly close, Immigration matters will become more important for those conducting Sino-American business or for those from China who simply wish to visit the United States for recreational purposes.

It should be noted that the above announcement would seem to only apply to those seeking non-immigrant visas such as the B2 visa or the F1 visa. Therefore, the above information does not appear, at the time of this writing, to be applicable to those seeking an Immigrant visa such as a CR1 Visa or an IR1 Visa. Furthermore, it would also seem as though those seeking visa benefits under the K visa category (K1 visa, K2 visa, K3 Visa, K4 visa, etc.) will not be able to “forum shop” for the Post of their choice for the ultimate visa interview.

For more information about US Immigration from China please see: US Visa China.

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27th June 2010

On this blog, we try to provide information for those individuals (be they American Citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or prospective immigrants) who may have business with US Embassies and Consulates overseas. That said, the following information is quoted from the website of the United States Embassy in Beijing, China:

The Embassy is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. We are closed on the following American and Chinese holidays:

Embassy Holidays for 2010

***    January 1          Friday                  New Year’s Day
*       January 18         Monday                Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday
**     February 13-17   Sat-Wed               Chinese (Lunar) New Year
*       February 15        Monday                President’s Day
**     April 5                Monday                Tomb Sweeping Day
**     May 1-3             Sat-Mon               International Labor Day
*       May 31              Monday                 Memorial Day
**     June 16              Wednesday           Dragon Boat Festival
*      July 5                 Monday                 Independence Day
*      September 6        Monday                 Labor Day
**    September 22       Wednesday           Mid-Autumn Festival
**    October 1-5         Fri-Tuesday           Chinese National Day
*      October 11          Monday                Columbus Day
*      November 11       Thursday               Veterans’ Day
*      November 25       Thursday               Thanksgiving Day
*      December 24       Friday                   Christmas Day

Those who may be traveling to any US Embassy or US Consulate abroad are generally wise to at least attempt to make an appointment to visit the Embassy in advance. This is particularly true for those seeking assistance from the American Citizen Services Section of US Missions abroad. In many cases, an appointment can be made in advance and this allows the Consular Officers to better anticipate customer needs thereby streamlining the overall process. Those seeking an appointment should first find the official website of the US Embassy in their country of residence and make scheduling decisions accordingly.

In the case of those seeking visas to the USA, American Consulates generally make visa interview appointment on a “first come, first serve” basis. As each post has different administrative protocols it may be wise to contact an Embassy directly if one is seeking a non-immigrant visa to the USA. In the case of Immigrant visas (or pseudo-immigrant visas such as the K1 visa or the K3 Visa) an appointment for interview is generally made after the Embassy or Consulate receives the prospective immigrant’s application package from the National Visa Center. In some cases, a Direct Consular Filing may be available to those prospective immigrants with an American Citizen spouse residing in the Consular District. In any case, many opt to consult an American lawyer prior to submitting an application or petition for a US Marriage Visa or a US fiance visa.

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24th June 2010

This blog routinely discusses interesting issues associated with American Immigration and US Embassies and Consulates overseas. That being said, in a recent press release from the American State Department it was noted that Officers at the US Embassy in China are opening their facilities in order to assist in processing the extremely large number of visa applications made by Chinese nationals who are seeking admission to the United States. The following is a direct quote from the aforementioned press release:

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing, along with four U.S. consulates general across China, is opening on Saturdays over the next few weeks to accommodate thousands of Chinese travelers seeking visas to visit the United States.

Trade, commerce, people-to-people exchanges, and tourism between China and the United States have grown dramatically over the past couple years. In 2009, U.S. consulates in China issued more than 487,000 visas to Chinese travelers. Sixty-six percent of these visas were for business and tourism. Growth in 2010 has been even more dramatic. China’s 2010 visa load is up 28 percent over the same period last year.


“We’re excited about the extraordinary growth in visa demand in China and what it means for our countries’ deepening economic and interpersonal relationship,” said Janice Jacobs, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs. “We expect this trend to continue and are actively increasing staffing in our Embassy and consulates. We also introduced new technologies to improve our efficiency while providing more convenient procedures for applicants.”


“While we’re pleased about increased Chinese interest in traveling to the United States, we are not pleased by the increased wait times for a visa appointment,” observed U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr. “We applaud the efforts of our Consular staff and the Bureau of Consular Affairs to think creatively and boost resources to help clear the backlog. I witnessed our team’s dedication when I visited the Consular Section last week.”

This author applauds the efforts of the US Embassies and Consulates in China. The attitude taken toward the backlog of pending applications in China is similar to the attitude taken by the US Embassy in Bangkok regarding the backlog arising from recent unrest in the city. In Thailand, this author is pleased to have been witness to the exceptionally diligent efforts of the Consular Officers and support staff at the US Consulate in Bangkok as they cleared a rather large caseload which arose as a result of the extended closure of the Post due to the protests that broke out in the district in which the Post is located.

Although the US Immigration process can be rather cumbersome, it is nice to see that officers in the Department of State are taking active measures to creatively and efficiently deal with what could be viewed by others as an overwhelming work load.

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