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Posts Tagged ‘US Embassy Myanmar’

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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20th January 2011

The following information was quoted directly from the official website of the United States Embassy in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar):

Date Day U.S.* Burmese**
December 31 Friday New Year’s Day
January 4 Tuesday Independence Day
January 17 Monday Martin Luther King’s Birthday
February 12 Friday Union Day
February 15 Monday President’s Day
April 13 Wednesday THINGYAN (Water Festival)
April 14 Thursday THINGYAN (Water Festival)
April 15 Friday THINGYAN (Water Festival)
May 17 Tuesday Full Moon of Kason
May 30 Monday Memorial Day
July 4 Monday Independence Day
July 15 Friday Full Moon of Waso(Beginning of Buddhist Lent)
July 19 Tuesday Martyr’s Day
September 5 Monday Labor Day
October 10 Monday Columbus Day
October 12 Wednesday Full moon of Thadinkyut
November 10 Thursday Full moon of Tazaungmone
November 11 Friday Veteran’s Day
November 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
December 26 Monday Christmas Day

* American Holidays falling on Saturday will be observed the preceding Friday. Holidays falling on Sunday will be observed on the following Monday.

** Burmese Holidays falling on either Saturday or Sunday will be observed only on the respective day. The Embassy will be OPEN the preceding Friday and the following Monday when Burmese holidays are celebrated on either Saturday or Sunday.

For Idd, Deepavali, Karen New Year, Peasants’ Day and Full Moon day of Tabaung, Embassy will observe a liberal leave policy.

Those wishing to visit the official homepage of the American Embassy in Burma please click HERE.

Those Americans 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 (ACS) Section at a US Consulate or US Embassy abroad. Those wishing to receive services from an ACS Section abroad may find it beneficial to make an appointment online to visit the post. Setting an appointment in advance can greatly streamline the processing of requests put before ACS.

Those seeking a temporary visa such as a B-2 visa (US Visitor Visa), B-1 visa (US Business Visa), J-1 visa (US Exchange Visitor Visa), F-1 visa (US Student Visa) are likely to process their visa application through a Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) Unit at a US Embassy abroad. It should be noted that non-immigrant visa applications are scrutinized pursuant to section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

Those seeking American family visa benefits such as the CR-1 visa or the IR-1 visa are likely to see their visa application processed through an Immigrant Visa (IV) Unit at a US Post abroad. It should be noted that the K-1 visa, a non-immigrant US fiance visa, is generally treated in much the same manner as immigrant visas. In the past, the same could have been said for the K-3 visa, but since the National Visa Center’s promulgation of the “administrative closure” policy far fewer K-3 visa applications are processed abroad compared to the past.

Those seeking an EB-5 visa or an L-1 visa are likely to be required to process an immigration petition at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in the USA prior to processing a visa application abroad.

For related information please see: US Visa Burma.

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21st October 2009

US Visa from Myanmar (Burma)

Posted by : admin

Although not boasting the same tourist numbers like countries such as Thailand and Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma) has a large number of nationals applying for United States visas, particularly when one takes into account the fact the Myanmar (Burma) is one of the most politically isolated countries in Southeast Asia. Although a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Myanmar has not signed the protocols allowing for visa free travel for citizens of ASEAN countries. Therefore, it can be extremely difficult for Burmese visa seekers to travel to another US Consular or Diplomatic post in the region in order to process a visa application.

The US Embassy in Myanmar (Burma) is located  in Yangon (Rangoon). This post does process visa applications for those of Burmese (Myanmar) nationality or those residing in the Consular District. That being said, obtaining a US visa for a Burmese national can be very complicated due to the fact that the government of the Union of Myanmar (Burma) is reluctant to issue passports to its citizenry. Further, the government in Myanmar (Burma) takes a dim view of Burmese nationals marrying foreigners. Government officials can often cause delays in obtaining necessary documentation. The implacable nature of some bureaucrats leads many to apply for a USA visa in a different jurisdiction.

Many Americans in Thailand meet Burmese nationals who are living and working in the Kingdom of Thailand. In most situations, Burmese-American couples opt to process their visa application at the US Embassy in Bangkok. Taking this course of action does not eliminate the need for a Myanmar passport, but in some cases, if the Burmese national can obtain a Thai visa, then they will be able to remain in Thailand until the visa interview at the US Embassy. Further, if the Burmese national obtains a Thai visa, then this will likely ensure that the US Embassy will take jurisdiction over the case, rather than forwarding the application to the Embassy in Yangon (Rangoon).

That being said, some opt to utilize the K-3 visa as it can be beneficial for those with a Burmese fiancee who wish to process their application in Thailand. Before getting married, the couple may need to decide where they wish to apply for a visa as this may have an effect upon where the marriage should be executed. Even still, a K1 visa will still be faster and if the Burmese national remains in lawful immigration status in Thailand, then it is likely that the American Embassy will take jurisdition over the case.

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19th October 2009

The United States has a somewhat tenuous relationship with the Union of Myanmar (also known as Burma). This is due to the fact that Myanmar has been a somewhat isolated nation since the early 1960′s. Prior to that, the country was a colony of the British and briefly a member of the British commonwealth. Burma (Myanmar) has had a very turbulent history as there was once a great deal of factional infighting culminating in a takeover by military generals. The country has since been under a system known as “The Burmese Way Of Socialism.” According to those in power, the military authorities are holding power in a sort of trust until such time as the country is ready for democracy.

The United States maintains an Embassy in Burma (Myanmar) in the country’s capital Rangoon (also known as Yangon).  Interestingly, the Embassy maintains a American Center which is in a different location from the United States Embassy and the US Consular section in Yangon. This situation is not, in an of itself, uncommon. For example, the Consular Services Section of the US Embassy Bangkok is located across the street from the Embassy proper, that being said, it is still relatively close.

The United States Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar (Rangoon, Burma) as well as the Consular Services Section is located at:

110 University Ave, Kamayut Township, Rangoon, Burma

The American Center in Yangon is located at:

14, Tawwin Road, Dagon Township, Rangoon, Burma.

The office hours of the Consular Services Section are: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. Except for holidays.

Unlike the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, the post in Myanmar is not headed by an American Ambassador, but is instead headed by a Chargé d’Affaires.

Those seeking to obtain United States visas for loved ones living in Burma (Myanmar) will likely process through the United States Consulate in Yangon. In many cases, Burmese Nationals residing in Thailand may be able to enjoy the benefit of having their visa processed through the United States Embassy in Bangkok or the US Consulate in Chiang Mai depending upon the US visa category and the Burmese (Myanmar) national’s place of residence.

That being said, meeting the requirements for Consular jurisdiction in Thailand can be difficult for those with Burmese (Myanmar) Nationality. In some cases a K3 visa may be beneficial for those who wish to ensure a visa application will be processed in a certain jurisdiction. However, careful research and possibly the retention of expert immigration counsel may be necessary to properly determine where a US visa application will be adjudicated.

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