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Posts Tagged ‘CRBA’

12th September 2010

Frequently the administration of this blog posts the holiday closing schedules of various American Embassies and Consulates located abroad in an effort to forestall fruitless trips by American travelers to a US Embassy or US Consulate which is closed in observance of an American or local holiday. The following is quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Mauritius:

New Year

Thursday, January 1


New Year (observed)

Friday, January 2


Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 18


Thaipoosam Cavadee Saturday, January 30 Mauritian
Abolition of Slavery Monday, February 1 Mauritian

Maha Shivratree

Friday, February 12


Chinese Spring Festival Sunday, February 14 Mauritian

Washington’s Birthday

Monday, February 15


National Day

Friday, March 12



Tuesday, March 16


Labor Day

Saturday, May 1


Memorial Day

Monday, May 31


Independence Day*

Monday, July 5


Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sunday, August 15


Labor Day

Monday, September 6



Friday, September 10


Ganesh Chathurthi Sunday, September 12 Mauritian

Columbus Day

Monday, October 11


Arrival of Indentured Laborers

Tuesday, November 2


Divali Friday, November 5 Mauritian

Veterans Day

Thursday, November 11


Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 25


Christmas Day***

Friday,  December 24


Christmas Day Saturday, December 25 Mauritian

* July 4, 2010 (the legal public holiday for Independence Day) falls on a Sunday, therefore Monday, July 5 will be the public holiday.

**The exact date of this festival will depend on the visibility of the moon.

*** December 25, 2010 (the legal public holiday for Christmas Day) falls on a Saturday, therefore Friday, December 24 will be the public holiday for the U.S.

There are a rather large number of services which Americans and foreign nationals seek from American Missions abroad. Those seeking Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, US passport renewal, addition of visa pages, or notarial services are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services Section of an American Embassy or Consulate. Furthermore, those seeking the aforementioned services are encouraged to check the US Embassy or US Consulate website in order to ascertain if appointments can be booked online. Booking an appointment with American Citizen Services is an effective way of minimizing difficulties at a Post and streamlining the processing of requests as American Consular Personnel are put on notice of the customer’s request and can thereby make preparations to provide assistance.

Those seeking an American visa abroad are well advised to contact an American Embassy directly in order to inquire as to the procedures for making a visa interview appointment. Generally, the protocols for making an immigrant visa appointment differ from the procedures which one must adhere to when booking a non-immigrant visa appointment. Generally, for purposes of making a visa appointment, the K1 visa is considered to be an immigrant visa.

For related information please see: US Visa Thailand.

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15th August 2010

Holiday closing schedules for US Embassies and US Consulates in Asia are routinely posted on this blog in an effort to forestall fruitless trips to US Missions abroad made by American travelers and expats in host countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The following holiday closing schedule was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Papua New Guinea:

Listed below are Papua New Guinea and U.S. National holidays on which the Embassy is closed.

Holiday Date Observed
New Year’s Day January 1, 2009
Martin Luther King, Jr’s Birthday January 19, 2009
President’s Day February 16, 2009
Good Friday April 10, 2009
Easter Monday April 13, 2009
Memorial Day May 25, 2009
Queen’s Birthday June 8, 2009
Independence Day July 3, 2009
Remembrance Day July 23, 2009
Labor Day September 7, 2009
Independence Day September 16, 2009
Columbus Day October 12, 2009
Veterans Day November 11, 2009
Thanksgiving Day November 26, 2009
Christmas Day December 25, 2009
Boxing Day December 26, 2009

Papua New Guinea is 10 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and 15 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Americans as well as Lawful Permanent Residents traveling or living overseas often find that they need services that can only be provided by staff at an American Citizen Services section of a US Embassy abroad. The services which American Citizen Services provides include, but are not limited to: US passport issuance, addition of visa pages, notary services, and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.

Those thinking of traveling to a US Mission abroad are prudent to check the Embassy’s official website in order to ascertain the operating hours of the Post as well as the Post’s holiday closing schedule. Furthermore, those with business at American Citizen Services may be able to book an appointment online thereby streamlining their service after arrival at the Mission’s facilities. In many cases, an online appointment booking can place the Consular Officers on notice of the services to be sought thereby allowing the Consular Officers the opportunity to prepare to serve the customer.

Those seeking a visa interview appointment in connection with a US visa application are well advised to check with the Visa Unit of the Post where the interview will take place as interview appointments are scheduled based upon a Post’s caseload. Often, non-immigrant visa applicants (those seeking visas such as the US Tourist Visa and the US Student Visa) are interviewed in a different manner compared to immigrant visa applicants, for purposes of interviewing and processing the K1 visa is often treated in the same manner as a true immigrant visa.

For information about Consular denial of a visa application please see: US Visa Denial. For information about possible remedies after a visa denial please see: I-601 waiver.

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5th July 2010

Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia. In recent years it has become a popular destination among back-pack tourists as well as those wishing to see the majestic splendor of Laos’ natural beauty. As is often the case in countries around the globe, a US Embassy provides services to those seeking a US visa or a other services which can be provided either through the Consulate proper or the American Citizen Services Section. Those wishing to travel to an Embassy are generally advised to check the hours of operation and the local holiday closing schedule in an effort to forestall an unnecessary trip to the Embassy due to Post closure. The following is a direct quote from the official website of the US Embassy in Laos:

Holidays 2010

Date Day Holiday Lao/U.S.
January 1 Friday New Year’s Day U.S./Lao
January 18 Monday Martin Luther King’s Birthday U.S.
February 15 Monday Presidents’ Day U.S.
March 8 Monday International Women’s Day Lao
April 14-16 Wed.-Friday Lao New Year Lao
April 30 Friday Lao Labor Day Lao
May 31 Monday Memorial Day U.S.
July 5 Monday Independence Day U.S.
September 6 Monday Labor Day U.S.
October 11 Friday Boat Racing Festival Lao
October 22 Monday Columbus Day U.S.
November 11 Thursday Veterans Day U.S.
November 19 Friday That Luang Festival Lao.
November 25 Thursday Thanksgiving Day U.S.
December 2 Thursady Lao National Day Lao
December 24 Friday 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.

As can be gathered

Note: Administrative Days: In addition to the dates above, the consular section will be closed on the following Fridays for administrative days — March 12, June 11, September 10, November 12, and December 10.

Staff at a US Embassy or a US Consulate can usually provide assistance, or insight, regarding documentation such as the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), Notarized affidavits, Passports, visa pages, etc. In situations where an American Citizen must travel to the American Citizen Services Section of a United States Embassy or Consulate it may be wise to check the US Embassy’s website in order to ascertain whether or not one can set an appointment online. This makes the situation far less cumbersome for both the American and the Consular Officer as the Post can be prepared ahead of time to deal with the petitioner’s request.

With regard to visas, those petitions which are filed in the USA (such as a K1 visa petition or a K3 Visa petition) must first receive approval from USCIS before the petition will be forwarded to the Department of State and the US Embassy.

For further information, please see: US Visa Laos.

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11th June 2010

A frequently discussed topic on this blog is that of LGBT immigration rights. Recently the United States Department of State made an announcement about new guidelines that will be implemented with regard to those seeking corrected passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad to reflect gender change. The following is a direct quote from the announcement:

The U.S. Department of State is pleased to use the occasion of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month to announce its new policy guidelines regarding gender change in passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. Beginning June 10, when a passport applicant presents a certification from an attending medical physician that the applicant has undergone appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition, the passport will reflect the new gender. The guidelines include detailed information about what information the certification must include. It is also possible to obtain a limited-validity passport if the physician’s statement shows the applicant is in the process of gender transition. No additional medical records are required. Sexual reassignment surgery is no longer a prerequisite for passport issuance. A Consular Report of Birth Abroad can also be amended with the new gender. As with all passport applicants, passport issuing officers at embassies and consulates abroad and domestic passport agencies and centers will only ask appropriate questions to obtain information necessary to determine citizenship and identity.

The new policy and procedures are based on standards and recommendations of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), recognized by the American Medical Association as the authority in this field.

Although this announcement marks a watershed moment for transgender rights, there are many who feel that a more pressing issue is that of US visa benefits for those couples in a bona fide LGBT relationship. At present, statutes such as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) preclude Immigration benefits for bi-national same sex couples. Meanwhile, different sex couples enjoy immigration benefits notwithstanding the fact that same sex couples may have been married under exactly the same conditions as their different sex counterparts. Many feel that this disparity is unconstitutional and illegal. However, this assertion has yet to be fully analyzed by US Courts.

There are some American legislators who are attempting to deal with this perceived inequality through passage of legislation such as the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). Some hope that so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform will include some provision for same sex bi-national couples hoping to obtain same sex visa benefits.

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6th May 2010

Few people realize that Puerto Rico is, for immigration purposes, part of the United States of America. This legal posture is enshrined in the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. In a recent posting on the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration Website it was announced that the Puerto Rican authorities will be making sweeping changes to the rules effecting the issuance of birth certificates:

The government of Puerto Rico has enacted a new law (Law 191 of 2009) aimed at strengthening the issuance and usage of birth certificates to combat fraud and protect the identity and credit of all people born in Puerto Rico.

The new law was based on collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to address the fraudulent use of Puerto Rico-issued birth certificates to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports, Social Security benefits, and other federal services.

Under the new law, all Puerto Rico birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010, will be invalidated so that new, more secure certificates can be issued. Until that date, all birth certificates will remain valid.

It is important to understand that there is no need to rush out and get a new birth certificate on July 1.  It is suggested that only people who have a specific need for their birth certificate for official purposes need request a new birth certificate right away.

As many may be aware, birth certificates are an integral component of many visa petition packages. This is particularly true for K1 visa petitions, K3 Visa petitions, IR1 and CR1 visa petitions. How these proposed chages will impact immigration to the United States from abroad, and from Puerto Rico, remains to be seen, but it is clear that government officials are taking the issue of fraud prevention seriously.

Birth certificates are such an important piece of documentation that some believe that it is clearly self evident that maintaining the integrity of such documents is vitally important in maintaining security in the United States of America. In the 50 United States, there have been innumerable programs that are intended to make it more difficult for individuals to obtain fraudulent documentation. It would appear that this overall policy is being extended to US territorial possessions in order to provide increased document security in the outlying jurisdictions of the United States of America.

For more information about births overseas and obtaining birth registration documentation from abroad please see: Consular Report of Birth Abroad. For information about registering Thai births overseas please see: Thai Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

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10th March 2010

Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA) are similar to birth certificates in that they note that a child was born, but they differ in their reason for issuance. A Consular Report of Birth Abroad also notes that a child was born an American Citizen. There are two ways that a child can be born an American Citizen. One way is by birth in the United States. Although, the American Immigration and Nationality Act defines “United States” (for purposes of US Immigration) as all of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico birth in the non-US states or the District of Columbia may or may not cause the transmission of automatic Citizenship depending upon the situation. That being said, birth in the 50 US states definitely confers automatic Citizenship. However, there is another method of transmission of United States Citizenship and that is by blood. A United States Citizen may transmit their citizenship to their child outside of the US if  at least one of the child’s parent’s meets the legal requirements for Citizenship transmission. This can become complicated as automatic citizenship transmission can be dependent upon many factors.

In order to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad an applicant usually makes an appointment with the American Citizen Services Section of the appropriate US Embassy or US Consulate. In Thailand, the CRBA interview would likely take place at either the US Embassy in Bangkok or the US Consulate General in Chiang Mai.

What concerns us in this post is the prospect of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad Denial. If, by law, an American Citizen cannot transmit their Citizenship to their child automatically because the US Citizen parent did not spend enough time physically present in the US at the time of the child’s birth, then a Consular Report of Birth Abroad may not be issued and the child may not be entitled to a US passport. It should be noted that in some cases a parent cannot prove up their actual presence in the United States, but later procures proof. In this case, it may be possible to re-apply for the CRBA and, assuming the new evidence is acceptable to the Consular Officer, thereby legally prove transmission of Citizenship. However, there are some cases where the transmission of Citizenship either cannot be proven or did not, in fact, occur. In situations such as these, Americans are basically left with one option: they may petition for an Immigrant visa for their child. An American Citizen may petition for Immigrant visa benefits for their child and upon approval of a visa application and petition, the child may enter the United States with their US Citizen parent. Under the provisions of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 if the child enters with their US Citizen parent in order to take up residence, then the “foreign” child becomes a US Citizen by operation of law upon lawful admission.

In this situation, the child may then obtain a Certificate of Citizenship (similar to a Naturalization Certificate) in order to prove their status.

For related information please see: US Visa Denial or CR1 Visa.

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31st January 2010

Consular Processing (the process of obtaining a US visa from an American Consulate abroad) can be very time consuming. Also, for those Americans overseas wishing to obtain a new passport, US Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or new visa pages a trip to the US Consulate is likely required. Some Americans and prospective US Immigrants are unaware that most overseas Consular posts close for both American and local holidays out of respect to the American citizens working at the post as well as host-country nationals. In an effort to provide convenience to the readers of this blog below please find the holiday closing schedule for the United States Embassy in Nepal. We provide this information in an effort to forestall people traveling to the post on days when it is not open.

Note: (A) = American Holidays
(N) = Nepali Holidays

Date Holiday (A)/(N) Information
January 1 New Year’s Day (A) First day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, celebrated at home or in gatherings.
January 15 Maghi Parba (N) Begins the holy month of Magh (and the end of the ill-omened month of Poush). It is celebrated by taking ritual baths and praying at shrines. As well as eating yam and ‘chaku’ (a sweet made from boiled and hardened molasses).
January 18 Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday (A)

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was a black clergyman who is ranked among the greatest of black Americans because of his crusade to win full civil rights for his people. (more)

February 12 Maha Shiva Ratri (N) “Great Shiva’s Night,” a festival celebrated with all day fasting and an all night vigil.  Many Hindus gather at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.
February 15 Presidents’ Day (A) This day honors Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  Washington was the first President.  Lincoln was President during the Civil War (1861-65) between the southern and northern states, which ended with the Union intact and slavery abolished.
April 14 Nepali New Year (N) First day of the year in the Nepal Sambat calendar.
May 27 Buddha Jayanti (N) On this day people swarm in Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and Patan to pay homage to Lord Buddha and also visit Buddha’s birth place in Lumbini and chant prayers and burn butter lamps.
May 31 Memorial Day (A) A holiday honoring those who have died, especially in war, often by decorating their graves with flowers. The federal legal holiday began in 1971.
July 5 Independence Day (A) Independence Day is regarded as the birthday of the United States as a free and independent nation. (more)
August 24 Janai Purnima (N) High caste Hindus chant the powerful Gayatri mantra and change their Sacred Thread while a red or yellow protection chord (a rakshya bandhan) is tied around the wrists of other Hindus and Buddhists. Many pilgrims journey to the mountains north of Kathmandu to emulate Lord Shiva by bathing in the sacred lake of Gosaikunda.
September 6 Labor Day (A) Commemorates the contributions of working men and women.  Labor union participation in annual parades remains common, while for many Americans the holiday marks the unofficial end of summer and beginning of the school year.
October 8 Ghatasthapana (N) On the day of Ghatasthapana, all Nepalese worship Diyo (an oil-fed lamp), Kalas (auspicious jar) and lord Ganesh in accordance with Vedic rituals and sow maize and barley seeds in a jar filled with soil and cow dung for germination of the auspicious Jamara (barley shoots).
October 11 Columbus Day (A) Commemorates Christopher Columbus’s first landing in the Americas, October 12, 1492.  In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the federal holiday.
October 14 Phulpati(Dashain) (N) Tenth day of the 15-day national festival of Nepal, celebrated with sacrifices.
October 15 Maha Asttami(Dashain) (N)
October 18 Ekadashi (Dashain) (N) Eleventh day of the 15-day national festival of Nepal.
November 8 Bhaitika (Tihar) (N) Fifth day of Tihar, when sisters give their brothers tika and brothers give gifts in return.
November 11 Veterans’ Day (A) Derived from Armistice Day, commemorating the end of the First World War, November 11, 1918.  Today it recognizes all members of the armed forces, living and dead, who served during times of peace or war.
November 25 Thanksgiving Day (A) Commemorates the survival of early European settlers in the United States and their thanks to Native Americans for assistance in farming and hunting.  Celebrated with a large family meal featuring turkey.
December 24 Christmas Day (A) Holiday celebrated in the United States with family gatherings and giving presents.  For Christians it commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.
December 31 Friday  New Year’s Day (in lieu of Jan 1, 2011) (A)

This information was taken directly from the US Embassy website, but please be advised that the Embassy’s operating hours are always subject to change. For more information please see the US Embassy in Nepal’s website at this link.

For more information about Consular Processing in Thailand please see: US Embassy Bangkok.

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