AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER in South Korea NOVEMBER 2009

korea prayerU.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
NOVEMBER 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please disseminate this message broadly to other U.S. citizens.

In this issue:

1. U.S. Embassy Seoul Launches Consular Information Unit
2. Online Passport Form Wizard makes applications a breeze!
3. Tips for a Smooth Consular Visit
4. Seasonal Flu and H1N1 Influenza Information
5. A Message to American Communities and Organizations in Korea
6. Twitter for Worldwide Travel Warnings
7. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
8. Upcoming Embassy Holidays: November 11, 2009 (Veterans Day), and November 26 (Thanksgiving Day)
9. Embassy Contact Information

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1. U.S. Embassy Seoul Launches Consular Information Unit
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In order to better serve the public, the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea, officially launched a new Consular Information Unit on October 26, 2009.  This Information Unit will become your new one-stop shop for information about all U.S. Consular Services in the Republic of Korea.

The Consular Information Unit will be responsible for all routine consular correspondence for the Consular Section, including Nonimmigrant Visas, Immigrant Visas, and American Citizen Services.  The Information Unit will be responsible for responding to incoming consular-related public inquiries by e-mail, telephone, fax or postal mail.

Our public Visa Inquiry telephone line is 02-397-4373.  Our Passport Inquiry line is 02-397-4040.  These public inquiry lines are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.  Our fax number is 02-397-4080 and our e-mail address is seoulinfo@state.gov.  All consular telephone inquiries not related to passport or visa matters or emergency inquiries should still be directed to 02-397-4114.  Our website has been updated with our new contact information.

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2. Online Passport Form Wizard Makes Applications a Breeze!
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The U.S. Department of State has prepared an online wizard allowing applicants to complete the data fields of a passport application and prepare a hardcopy all in a few simple steps.  The online forms can be used for passport renewals, adding supplemental pages, and first time passport applications.  After filling out your application on-line, print and bring it with you to the Embassy when you apply.  You may fill out the required forms using the Passport Wizard at the following site:  https://pptform.state.gov/?Submit=COMPLETE+FORM+DS-4085+ONLINE.

Additional information about passport services may be found here:  http://seoul.usembassy.gov/us_passports.html.  The American Citizen Services Unit of the US Embassy in Seoul encourages all citizens needing passport services to use the electronic application form as it will significantly decrease the time needed to process your application and increase the accuracy of the data entered for you.

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3. Tips for a Smooth Consular Visit
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— Please make sure you have read our hours of operation and have taken note of Korean and American holidays before planning your visit.
— For passport applicants: Complete (but do not sign) passport applications ahead of time – this considerably shortens your visit.
— Photos: Pay special attention to passport photograph requirements and make sure you obtain 2’’ by 2’’ photos. Selecting “passport photos” in a photo booth won’t always give you photos of the correct size.
–For minors (passport applicants below age 16): Parents, please remember to bring your child’s original birth certificate and social security number when applying for a new or replacement passport.
— For notary clients: Please ensure you have read your document(s) to be notarized and understand the contents.  Do not sign your document, but make sure that all other blanks are filled in before coming to the Embassy.
— Please remember: The fewer items you bring to the Embassy (i.e. backpacks, laptops, cell phones, etc.), the more quickly the security check will be for everyone.

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4. H1N1 Influenza Information
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Information and updates on H1N1 Influenza is constantly being put out.  For the latest information on this issue, please remember to regularly check the Department of State’s official webpage on H1N1: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/health/health_1181.html

The Korean Government’s website on H1N1 is a prominent link on the Korean Centers for Disease Control’s main page:
http://www.cdc.go.kr/kcdchome/

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5. A Message to American Communities and Organizations in Korea
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The Embassy encourages all schools, business groups, churches, private companies, and other organizations with a nucleus of American citizens to make sure that the Embassy has a point of contact for your group.  To ensure that your group is kept fully informed by the Embassy:
— Sign your group up at http://asktheconsul.org/ to receive this newsletter and Embassy warden messages through your group’s generic email address;
— If you have a group that will be in Korea for a fixed period of time, register them at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/pages/common/CreateAccountStart.aspx following the instructions under “New Organizational User”;
— Send an email to the Embassy at seoulinfo@state.gov giving the name of your organization, a point of contact (POC), email address, phone number, and any other contact information.  It is not necessary that your POC be an American citizen.  The Embassy will use this information to contact your group in an emergency.  Please type “Group Contact Info” on the subject line of your email.

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6. Twitter for Worldwide Travel Warnings
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Join the over 8,000 followers of tweets from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. Using twitter, you may stay up to date on Travel Alerts and Travel Warnings around the world. Sign up at the following website:http://twitter.com/TravelGov

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7. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
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The U.S. Department of State has recently issued Travel Warnings or Travel Alerts for the following countries and regions:

Worldwide Caution July 29, 2009
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_1161.html

H1N1 Flu Outbreak Information
http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/health/health_1181.html

Travel Alerts
China   09/25/2009
Mozambique   09/23/2009
Germany   09/23/2009
India   09/12/2009
Uganda   09/11/2009
China   09/09/2009
Mauritania   09/01/2009
Tanzania (including Zanzibar)   08/28/2009
Mexico   08/20/2009
Honduras   07/24/2009

Travel Warnings
Guinea    10/01/2009
Lebanon    09/29/2009
Cote d’Ivoire    09/22/2009
Philippines    09/17/2009
Congo, Democratic Republic of the    09/01/2009
Mali    08/31/2009
Eritrea    08/28/2009
Central African Republic    08/19/2009
Israel, the West Bank and Gaza    08/14/2009

For additional information about these travel warnings and alerts, please go to this site:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html

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8. Upcoming Embassy Holidays: November 11, 2009 (Veterans’ Day)
November 26, 2009 (Thanksgiving Day)
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The Embassy will be closed on the following days:

November 11, 2009 (Wednesday) Observance of Veterans’ Day (U.S. Holiday)
November 26, 2009 (Thursday) Observance of Thanksgiving Day

Please be advised that the days just before and after a holiday are usually exceptionally busy in the American Citizen Services Unit of the Embassy.  Do not be surprised at a significantly longer wait for consular services on those days.

A complete list of all of our holiday closings for 2009 and 2010 is available on-line at http://seoul.usembassy.gov/holidays.html.

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9. Embassy Contact Information
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American Citizen Services
U.S. Embassy Seoul
32, Sejongno, Jongno-gu
Seoul 110-710, Korea

– or –

American Citizen Services
U.S. Embassy, Seoul
Unit #15550
APO AP 96205-5550

Tel: 02-397-4040  (Passport Inquiry line)
Tel: 02-397-4114 (All other services)
Fax: 02-397-4080
DSN: 721-4114
English:  http://www.asktheconsul.org/
Korean:  http://www.usavisas.org/
E-mail
:  seoulinfo@state.gov

1 Comment

Filed under Announcements, Politics, Traveling, USA

One response to “AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER in South Korea NOVEMBER 2009

  1. I would like to subscribe ACCS newletters, please. I want to know addresses of US military hospitals in Korea.

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