Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘US Embassy Thailand Closed’

1st January 2011

For those who read this blog with any frequency it has no doubt been noted that the administration often attempts to post the holiday closing schedules of the various US Embassies and Missions outside of the United States of America as a convenience to travelers who may be in need of services abroad. Below is the is the holiday closing schedule for the United States Embassy in the Kingdom of Thailand as quoted from the official website of the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand:

MONTH DATE DAY OCCASION
January 17 Monday Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday
February 21 Monday Presidents’ Day
April 6 Wednesday King Rama I Memorial
and Chakri Day
April 13 Wednesday Songkran Day
April 14 Thursday Songkran Day
April 15 Friday Songkran Day
May 5 Thursday Coronation Day
May 17 Tuesday Visakha Bucha Day
May 30 Monday Memorial Day
July 4 Monday Independence Day
August 12 Friday Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday
September 5 Monday Labor Day
October 10 Monday Columbus Day
October 24 Monday Substitute for
Chulalongkorn Day
November 11 Friday Veterans Day
November 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
December 5 Monday His Majesty the King’s Birthday
December 12 Monday Substitute for Constitution Day
December 26 Monday Substitute for Christmas Day

Those interested in receiving Consular services such as notary services and/or issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or additional visa pages are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services Section of the nearest US Mission with Consular jurisdiction over the area in which one is located.

Those wishing to find the US Embassy in Bangkok’s official website homepage please click Here.

Each year, many Thai-American couples opt to seek US immigration benefits in the form of travel documents such as the K-1 visa or the CR-1 Visa. Meanwhile, many multi-national companies or individual immigrant investors seek investment or business based visas such as the L-1 visa for intra-company transferees, the E-2 visa for Treaty Investors traveling to the USA, or the EB-5 visa for Immigrant Investors making a minimum $500,000 investment in an eligible program in the United States. In most cases, Thai applicants for the visas noted above will be required to process their visa application with the Immigrant Visa Unit or Business Travel Unit of the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.

Those Thai nationals seeking Non-immigrant visas such as the J-1 visa (Exchange Visitor Visa), F-1 visa (Student Visa), B-2 visa (Tourist Visa), or the B-1 Visa (Business Visa) must process their application through the Non-immigrant Visa Unit in Bangkok if the Thai applicant resides within the Consular jurisdiction of the US Embassy in Bangkok as opposed to the Consular jurisdiction of the US Consulate-General in Chiang Mai Thailand.

Those interested in learning further information about the process of obtaining a United States visa from the Kingdom of Thailand please see: US Immigration.

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20th May 2010

The following was posted on the official website of the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand:

U.S. Depatment of State
Department Spokesman
Daily Press Briefing, Washington, DC May 19, 2010

Statement: Situation in Thailand

I would like to say that the United States deeply deplores the violence and loss of life that has resulted from clashes between security forces and protests from the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD).  We call on both sides to show restraint and to work to resolve differences through Thailand’s democratic institutions.

We are encouraged by the actions of the Red Shirt leaders who have surrendered to law enforcement agencies and support their call to supporters to return home peacefully.  However, we are deeply concerned that Red Shirt supporters have engaged in arson targeting the electricity infrastructure and media outlets and have attacked individual journalists.

We condemn such behavior and call on UDD leaders and affiliated opposition politicians to urge their supporters to stop such acts.  We remain very concerned about the situation in Thailand and we will continue to monitor those events closely.

At the time of this writing, the US Embassy in Bangkok is closed to those seeking routine services due to the unrest in the areas near the Embassy compound. In Bangkok, the situation seems to have stabilized. However, the city remains tense as most Bangkok residents seem to be hoping for an end to the unpleasantness and a return to relative normality.

On a related note, the Thai Tourism Industry is preparing for a major downturn moving forward. To quote the website ThaiVisa.com:

Thailand’s violent political turmoil has had a “disastrous” effect on the vital tourism sector, the country’s finance minister said Friday, stressing that the overall economy remained sound. “Tourism in value terms accounts for six percent of our GDP,” Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij told a Tokyo conference, adding that the sector also accounts for “as much as 15 to 20 percent of the total employment.” “And clearly, with the events that took place over the past several weeks, and the pictures of these events flashing across TV screens across the world, it is going to have a very disastrous impact on tourism.” Thai security forces on Wednesday crushed a six-week protest by anti-government protesters in street battles that left 15 people dead and saw arsonists torch some 36 key buildings across the capital Bangkok. The stock exchange and the nation’s biggest shopping mall were among locations torched in the chaotic aftermath of the campaign to end the “Red Shirt” protesters’ occupation of Bangkok’s top retail district. Korn said that “we anticipate that the impact on the GDP of the protest so far is probably between 0.3 and 0.5 percent of GDP.” However, he stressed that the wider economic picture was sound in the kingdom, telling the conference that “we expect the formal Q1 (first quarter) figure to be in two digits” this year.

As we have previously discussed on this blog, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has waived fees for Thai Tourist Visas. However, the fees associated with applications for the Thai business visa and the Thai O visa remain the same.

For further information about attorney assistance with Consular Processing of US visa applications please see: US Embassy. For further information about closure of the US Embassy in Thailand please see: US Embassy Bangkok. Finally, to learn more about Thai Immigration please see: Thai Visa.

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19th May 2010

The following has been posted on the website of the US Embassy in Bangkok:

Emergency American Citizen Services – New Temporary Location

The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok has set up a temporary location to provide emergency and very limited routine Consular Services to U.S. Citizens.  If you do not need your service right now, please wait until we reopen our Embassy facilities.

You must bring your original documents (when available).  If at all possible, please bring a photo copy of each of those documents as well.  Many of the forms are available on-line.  Please print out and complete your forms.  Bring the completed forms with you.  This will help us serve more people.

Beginning at 8:00am Wednesday, May 19, 2010, the services listed below will be available until further notice.  Newly issued Passports and Consular Report of Birth Abroad will not be available for pick up until the following work day.

WHERE: WESTIN GRAND SUKHUMVIT, BANGKOK

259 SUKHUMVIT ROAD (corner of Soi 19)

BTS: Asok, MRT: Suhkumvit (note: neither the BTS nor MRT is currently running)

Phone: 02-207-8000

HOURS: 08:00 – 12:00 Monday – Friday

SERVICES:

  • PASSPORTS – EMERGENCY and REGULAR
  • CONSULAR REPORT OF BIRTH ABROAD (CRBA) BY APPOINTMENT ONLY*
  • NOTARIALS (AFFIDAVITS, INCOME AFFIDAVITS, etc)
  • PICK UP OF COMPLETED PASSPORTS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS LISTED ABOVE
  • DROP-OFF OF DOCUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF AN APPLICATION

PAYMENT: CASH ONLY – U.S. DOLLARS OR THAI BAHT

NO CREDIT CARDS, CHECKS OR TRAVELLERS CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED

Those who have appointments will be given priority and seen on the day of their appointment.  Those with appointments on Friday May, 15; Monday May 17; and Tuesday, May 18 will be given priority in the order of their original appointment.  Please bring a print-out or other proof of your appointment with you.

Appointments must be made on the Embassy website, http://bangkok.usembassy.gov.  Appointments cannot be made by phone.

Those without appointments will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.  We will do our best to accommodate those without appointments if we have time between appointments, but we cannot guarantee that services will be available to those without appointments.

*CRBA APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE:

Applicants for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad will only be seen with appointments; there will be no walk-in CRBA interviews.  Please come prepared with valid documentation; a detailed list is available on-line.  Failure to provide complete documentation may significantly delay the procession of your application.

IF YOU ARE APPLYING FOR AN EMERGENCY PASSPORT PLEASE BRING:

  • 2 passport photos with white background
  • Police Report
  • Proof of Citizenship (if available)
  • Proof of identity
  • Fee – $100.00 (one hundred U.S. dollars)

FOR COMPLETE DETAILS OF REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION, SERVICES, AND FEES PLEASE CONSULT THE EMBASSY WEBSITE http://bangkok.usembassy.gov

As stated in the above announcement, one should refrain from traveling to the provisional American Citizen Services unless it is an emergency. The United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand is closed until after the 21st of May due to the unrest in the city.

For information about the situation in Bangkok please see: US Embassy Bangkok. For further information about attorney assistance with Consular Processing of American visa applications please see: US Embassy Thailand.

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17th May 2010

Please be advised that the following was posted on the official website of the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand:

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

U.S. Embassy Consular Section Closed May 17 – May 21, 2010

Due to continuing security concerns in the area and access issues on Wireless Road, the U.S. Embassy is currently operating under emergency personnel staffing only.  The Non-immigrant and Immigrant Visa sections will be closed until May 21, 2010. If you have a non-immigrant visa interview appointment scheduled for the period between May 17 to May 21, 2010, your appointment will be rescheduled.  As a resolution to the ongoing security situation in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy is uncertain, it is not currently possible to establish a new appointment time for those impacted by our unscheduled closure.  As soon as the U.S. Embassy has determined the situation to be safe for Embassy Consular staff to return to work and for visa applicants to travel to the Embassy for visa appointments, we will advise those impacted through e-mail or phone with details on new appointment dates. Please Note:  As a large number of people have been affected by these events, and the volume of appointments that have been scheduled for the upcoming weeks, it will not be possible to consider expedited appointments.  We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this has caused.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I reschedule my appointment?

At present, we must ask applicants with visa appointments scheduled for the week of May 17 through May 21 to wait until the Embassy has determined when that it is safe to conduct visa appointments.  All those impacted by this unexpected closure will be notified through the e-mail address or phone number provided during the visa interview appointment process.

I have a visa appointment scheduled during the week of May 17-May 21.  I have urgent travel to the United States, what can I do?

Unfortunately, due to the current security situation, the U.S. Embassy Consular Section is currently closed.  We are unable to schedule any visa appointments for the week of May 17-May 21 and will be unable to accommodate expedited appointments.  We suggest that you make alternate travel plans.

I have a visa appointment scheduled during the week of May 17-May 21.  Can I reschedule my appointment at another U.S. Embassy in a neighboring country?

Each U.S. Embassy has its own scheduling system and requirements for visa applicants.  Fees paid in Thailand for the visa interview cannot be used abroad.

I have a visa appointment scheduled during the week of May 17-May 21.  Can I reschedule my appointment for the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai?

The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai has its own appointment system and you must live within their consular district to schedule an appointment there.  Please see http://chiangmai.usconsulate.gov/ for more information.

I have a visa appointment scheduled during the week of May 17-May 21.  Can I make a special request?

Due to the current security situation, the U.S. Embassy Consular Section will be closed for the week of May 17 – May 21.  As such, we will be unable to reply to visa inquiries and/or special requests during that period.  We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience our disruption of service has caused.

I am an immigrant visa applicant – can I come in for my scheduled appointment, to drop off documents, or to pick up my visa?

If you had/have an immigrant visa appointment for the week of May 14-May 21, it will be rescheduled.  You will be contacted with a new date and time once the Embassy reopens.  If you have been told to bring in documents on Mondays or Wednesdays, or to come in to pick up your visa, please do not come in until the Embassy reopens.  Please look for announcements on the Embassy website.

Meanwhile, the situation on the ground in Bangkok remains tenuous, to quote The Nation’s website:

Thailand teetered yesterday between a last chance for peace and what could be even bigger urban warfare than has already occurred these past few days. It all hinges on behind-the-scenes talks reportedly taking place and whether increasingly uncontrollable pockets of angry protesters can be reined in.The casualty toll slowed its climb a bit during the day, but many observers believed the night could explode into something worse than the wee hours of yesterday morning.

The conclusion of this dramatic series of events remains, at the time of this writing, unclear. However, all hope that the conflict will be resolved with no further loss of life.

For more information about this unfolding state of affairs please see: US Embassy Bangkok or US Embassy Thailand.

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