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Embassy Bulletins

 
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Dimitris Stylianos
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:58 am    Post subject: Embassy Bulletins Reply with quote

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul is transmitting the following information through the Embassy's Warden System as a public service to all U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea. Please disseminate this message broadly to U.S. citizens.

This warden message is being issued in response to the announcement on December 16, 2010, by the Government of the Republic of Korea that it will “hold a one-day live-fire drill on Yeonpyeong Island between Dec. 18 and 21.” The Embassy does not assess that there has been an increase in the threat environment in South Korea.

Given the increased tensions since the North Korean shelling of Yeonpyeong Island on November 23, 2010, it is understandable that U.S. citizens would be concerned regarding the security situation on the Korean Peninsula. However, the Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea that military training exercises are routinely conducted throughout South Korea throughout the year, to include civil defense drills normally held eight (Cool times a year. U.S. citizens should stay informed through local media about upcoming military exercises and civil defense drills that sometimes occur at short notice and for which the Embassy will not routinely provide advance notification. The Embassy continues to closely monitor the current situation. Should the security situation change, the Embassy will update this warden message.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in South Korea are reminded of the importance of enrolling with the Embassy through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment System (STEP) website: travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ . U.S. citizens without internet access may register in person at the U.S. Embassy. Enrollment is a voluntary way of telling us that you, as a U.S. citizen, are in Korea, whether for a long-term stay or for a short visit. In the event of an emergency, we use enrollment information to communicate with you. This could include a family emergency in which relatives in the United States request that the Embassy contact you.

For the latest security information worldwide, U.S. citizens should regularly monitor the State Department’s website at travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the Unites States, or, for callers from outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

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Dimitris Stylianos
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens of the potential for anti-U.S. actions following the disruption of a plot, linked to Iran, to commit a significant terrorist act in the United States. This Travel Alert expires on January 11, 2012.

An Iranian-born U.S. citizen, working on behalf of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force - designated by the Treasury Department in 2007 for its support of terrorism - is suspected of conspiring to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States. The U.S. government assesses that this Iranian-backed plan to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador may indicate a more aggressive focus by the Iranian Government on terrorist activity against diplomats from certain countries, to include possible attacks in the United States.

U.S. citizens residing and traveling abroad should review the Department's Worldwide Caution and other travel information when making decisions concerning their travel plans and activities while abroad. U.S. citizens are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the embassy/consulates to contact them in case of emergency.

Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

Embassy Contact Information:

American Citizen Services
U.S. Embassy Seoul
32, Sejong- daero, Jongno-gu
Seoul, Korea 110-710

- 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
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Dimitris Stylianos
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its email message 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. Greetings from the ACS Chief
2. Holiday Closures
3. Consular Services in Busan, November 21 and 22, 2011
4. Postal Delivery Services
5. All-Appointment System (save your password!)
6. Question of the Month: How do I get a new or replacement social security card/request social security benefits/submit social security paperwork?
7. Caution in Entertainment Districts
8. Voting
9. Travel Warnings ----------------------------------
1. Greetings from the ACS Chief---------------------------------- What a difference a year makes! On November 23, 2010, those of you who were in Korea doubtless remember the increased tensions between North and South Korea after the North fired artillery shells on the island of Yeonpyeong off the west coast of South Korea. From that point until close to Christmas there were concerns that hostilities could break out between the two countries. Although the situation never got to the point that we advised U.S. citizens to consider leaving Korea, many Americans inquired about our evacuation plans and many more registered for our email message system. Presently things are calm on the Korean Peninsula, and I have noticed that fewer people are registering for our information system. Of course, I realize that if you’re reading this you’re probably already registered, but I’d ask you to encourage your friends and relatives in Korea to do the same. As you know, we put out useful general information for Americans in Korea, and in the event of some type of natural or man-made emergency you’ll receive our latest guidance. All you have to do is provide us your email address via the Consular Section's website at http://www.asktheconsul.org. After going to this site simply fill in your email address in the box within the section entitled “Sign up for our free email service” and hit the submit button. Above this box on the same webpage is a box entitled “Register Your Stay in Korea.” This allows you to register in the State Department’s STEP or “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.” Wherever you travel in the world this program allows you to get the latest news and guidance from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. As promised last month, this newsletter has information on the Overseas Voting Program. The 2012 elections are only one year away, and some state primaries are as early as January 2012. Please check out this information. The holiday season is fast approaching, so if you plan to travel back to the U.S. or somewhere else internationally, make sure that your passport and those of your family members all have at least six months validity, and also that you have enough passport pages. If not, then make an appointment with us to renew your passport or add pages, or visit our Website to learn how you can do these things by courier service. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Robert (Buck) Waldrop ACS Chief ----------------------
2. Holiday Closures---------------------- The Embassy will be closed on the following days: November 11, 2011: (Friday) Veterans Day November 24, 2011: (Thursday) Thanksgiving Day The ACS Unit will be closed for routine services, including passport processing, on November 11 and November 24. Please plan ahead, and enjoy the holiday! Please be advised that the days just before and after a holiday are usually busier in the American Citizen Services Unit of the Embassy with all appointments taken. Do not be surprised at a longer wait for consular services on those days. A complete list of all of our holiday closings for 2011 is available on-line at http://seoul.usembassy.gov/p_holidays.html --------------------------------------------------------------
3. Consular Services in Busan, November 21-22, 2011, and Beyond-------------------------------------------------------------- The Embassy offers consular services for American citizens in Busan for two days each month. Our scheduled visits for the next several months are listed below. During these visits, U.S. citizens can apply for U.S. passports, additional visa pages in their current passports, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, and Social Security cards. A consular officer will also offer notarial services and provide information regarding voting, federal benefits, and enrollment with the Embassy. The consular staff is also available to assist with emergencies involving U.S. citizens. Any questions about requirements should be directed by email to seoul_acs@state.gov. Officials from the Embassy's ACS Unit will next be in Busan on Monday, November 21, and Tuesday, November 22, 2011. A Consular Officer will be available on November 21, from 1:00–4:00 p.m. and on November 22, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the American Presence Post (APP), Lotte Gold Rose Building (also known as the Job Center Building), #150-3, Yangjung-dong, Busanjin-gu, Room No. 612. Directions to the APP can be found here: http://busan.usconsulate.gov/contactus.html. Please note that an appointment is now required for services in Busan. Call the U.S. Embassy to schedule an appointment at 02-397-4114. Please specify that you would like to make an appointment for consular services at the Busan office and which date you would prefer (it can be any of those listed below). Be sure to call by noon on the Friday prior to the visit. For the November outreach, please make your appointment by Friday, November 18th at noon. Our Busan outreach dates for next month will be: Dec. 19-20, 2011 ----------------------------
4. Postal Delivery Services---------------------------- As noted in last month’s newsletter, a large number of new passports have not yet been picked up by applicants. Therefore, the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit now requires that a delivery company form be filled out for each passport application. The forms are available at the ACS Unit. If a passport arrives at the Embassy and the customer has not arranged to pick it up within 30 days, the passport will automatically be sent to the address provided on the delivery form and any postage will be paid on delivery. This policy will not affect delivery to customers with APO addresses or who receive their passports back via the military passport courier system. ----------------------------
5. All-Appointment System---------------------------- The ACS Unit began requiring appointments for all non-emergency, routine services on June 15, 2011. This is also a worldwide policy for all U.S. embassies and consulates. Routine services include passport and additional pages applications, requests for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, Social Security card and benefit applications, and notarial services. Requiring appointments for all our non-emergency, routine services means that we’ll be able to serve everyone more quickly and efficiently -- it will lessen considerably the long lines and busy waiting room that we often had during non-appointment sessions. Of course, we’ll always take care of U.S. citizens with emergencies whether they have an appointment or not. Please note that notarial services are not considered emergency appointments. To make an appointment for routine consular services, please see our website: http://seoul.usembassy.gov/acs_appt.html. When making an appointment, please print out, write down, email or text your ACS appointment password to yourself. You will need it to cancel or change your appointment. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
6. Question of the Month: I lost my Social Security card and I need to replace it. What should I do? I want to apply for Social Security benefits. How do I do that?----------------------------------------------------------------------- A: You may apply for a replacement Social Security card or drop off paperwork to apply for Social Security benefits through ACS. It takes approximately three to six months to receive the new card in Korea. For information about application requirements, please visit the Social Security Administration’s website at http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/. We do not have a Social Security Administration office in Seoul, so we forward all applications to the Regional Office of the Social Security Administration in Manila, Philippines for processing. Specific questions about Social Security benefits should be directed to the Regional Office: Email: FBU.Manila@ssa.govTel: (63)(2)301-2000 (Ex. 5)Fax: (63)(2) 708-9723 & (63)(2) 708-9714 Website: www.ssa.gov ---------------------
7. Caution in Entertainment Districts--------------------- Itaewon and Shinchon are well known entertainment districts in Korea that are also considered a higher-risk area for crime. Please use caution in all entertainment and nightlife districts throughout Korea. Recently a small number of incidents involving U.S. citizens in these areas have included physical and sexual assaults, theft of purses, wallets, and drugs allegedly slipped into drinks. ---------------------
8. Voting--------------------- The U.S. Presidential election will be held on Tuesday Nov. 6, 2012. Also during this election, 33 U.S. Senate seats will be voted on, as well as all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives which will make up the 113th Congress. The election will also encompass 11 state gubernatorial races as well as many state legislature races, ballot questions and referendums. U.S. citizens residing overseas have the right to vote in both primaries and elections. In order to receive a ballot for any of the elections, including the presidential election, you MUST be registered to vote. The Federal Voting Assistance Program recommends that all U.S. citizens register to vote in January of every year or at least 90 days before the specific election you want to vote in. Stay tuned to the ACS Newsletter for the most up to date information about upcoming primaries and elections. The following states will hold Presidential Primaries in January 2012:South Carolina – January 21, 2012Florida – January 31, 2012 For more information on how to register to vote in these primaries or any other voting related questions please check www.fvap.gov or contact the U.S. Embassy Seoul American Citizen Services Unit at VoteSeoul@state.gov. ---------------------
9. Travel Warnings--------------------- The U.S. Department of State has recently issued travel warnings or travel alerts for the following countries and regions. If you are traveling to any of these regions in the near future, please consult www.travel.state.gov for more information. Travel Alerts:Thailand 10/27/2011Mexico - Hurricane Rina 10/25/2011India - Potential Terrorism 10/18/2011Congo, Democratic Republic of the 10/13/2011Worldwide 10/11/2011Japan 10/07/2011Tunisia 10/05/2011Worldwide 10/01/2011Bhutan 09/23/2011India 09/23/2011Nepal 09/23/20119-11 Anniversary 09/02/2011Bahrain 08/19/2011Zambia 08/11/2011Pacific Typhoon Season 06/02/2011Hurricane Season 2011 06/01/2011Egypt 04/28/2011 Travel Warnings:Iran 10/21/2011Nigeria 10/13/2011Lebanon 10/12/2011Mauritania 10/12/2011Mali 10/04/2011Syria 09/30/2011Libya 09/22/2011Algeria 09/19/2011Iraq 09/13/2011Yemen 09/02/2011Somalia 08/19/2011Chad 08/16/2011Haiti 08/08/2011Pakistan 08/08/2011Niger 08/05/2011Saudi Arabia 08/05/2011Central African Republic 07/28/2011Colombia 07/22/2011Congo, Democratic Republic of the 07/19/2011Republic of South Sudan 07/12/2011Israel, the West Bank and Gaza 06/22/2011Sudan 06/22/2011Cote d'Ivoire 06/16/2011Philippines 06/14/2011Burundi 06/01/2011Uzbekistan 04/25/2011Mexico 04/22/2011Afghanistan 03/08/2011Eritrea 02/27/2011Nepal 01/12/2011Kenya 12/28/2010Guinea 12/03/2010Korea, Democratic People's Republic of 08/27/2010 Worldwide Caution July 26, 2011http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4787.html For additional information about these travel warnings and alerts, please visit: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_1168.html

-------------------------------Embassy Contact Information------------------------------- American Citizen ServicesU.S. Embassy Seoul188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-guSeoul, Korea 110-710 - or - American Citizen ServicesU.S. Embassy, SeoulUnit #15550APO AP 96205-5550 Tel: 02-397-4040 (Passport Inquiry line)Tel: 02-397-4114 (All other services)Fax: 02-397-4080DSN: 721-4114English: http://www.asktheconsul.org/Korean: http://korean.seoul.usembassy.govE-mail: seoulinfo@state.govFacebook: www.facebook.com/americansinkorea End of newsletter text.
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Dimitris Stylianos
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul is transmitting the following information as a public service to all U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.

The Government of the Republic of Korea has advised the Embassy that beginning on Sunday, January 1, 2012, all foreign visitors to South Korea will have their biometric data collected at ports of entry (international airports and seaports). This means that starting on January 1, 2012, U.S. citizens entering the Republic of Korea will have their two index fingerprints electronically scanned at the same time a digital photograph is taken of their face by Korea Immigration Service inspectors. This process will take place at the same time the traveler’s passport is inspected at an immigration booth and is not expected to add significantly to the amount of time it takes to enter the Republic of Korea. This is similar to the process that visitors to the United States must go through when they enter the U.S. from overseas.

Exempted from this new requirement are children under 17 years of age (newborn through age 16), as well as foreign government and international organization officials and their accompanying immediate family members. Within Korea questions about this new requirement should be directed to the Korea Immigration Service, and outside the country to the nearest ROK embassy or consulate.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in South Korea are encouraged to enroll with the Embassy through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) website: https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/. U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll in person at the U.S. Embassy. Enrollment is a voluntary way of telling us that you, as a U.S. citizen, are in Korea, whether for a long-term stay or for a short visit. In the event of an emergency, we use enrollment information to communicate with you. This could include a family emergency in which relatives in the United States request that the Embassy contact you.

For the latest security information worldwide, U.S. citizens should regularly monitor the State Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers from outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

American Citizen ServicesU.S. Embassy Seoul32, Sejongno, Jongno-guSeoul 110-710, Korea

- or -

American Citizen ServicesU.S. Embassy, SeoulUnit #15550APO AP 96205-5550

Tel: 02-397-4040 (Passport Inquiry line)Tel: 02-397-4114 (All other services)Fax: 02-397-4080DSN: 721-4114English: http://www.asktheconsul.org/Korean: http://korean.seoul.usembassy.gov
E-mail: seoulinfo@state.gov
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Dimitris Stylianos
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This Message for U.S. Citizens is to remind Americans living in or visiting the Republic of Korea that the Nuclear Security Summit is scheduled to take place March 26-27, 2012. Please disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other U.S. citizens you know.

The Embassy informs U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in South Korea about increased public safety and security measures that will be in place during the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), which will be held in Seoul March 26-27, 2012. More than 50 heads of state and many representatives of international organizations will participate in the summit. You should expect increased security measures and restrictions during the summit, especially near the main venue, the COEX convention and exhibition center in Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu. The convention center portion of the COEX complex will be closed to the public March 26-27. Beginning on March 25 you should expect traffic congestion and possible delays within a 2-kilomter radius of the COEX due to enhanced security protocols related to the summit. Official motorcade operations may also cause intermittent delays along unspecified routes on city roadways. Travelers could experience heightened scrutiny at airports and other ports of entry.

The Embassy recommends that if you are not directly involved with the NSS you should avoid the COEX area, and more generally, any areas where there are large civic gatherings and increased police presence, since even peaceful demonstrations have the potential to become violent. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what the local news media has to say about local conditions.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in South Korea are encouraged to enroll with the Embassy through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) website: https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/. U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll in person at the U.S. Embassy. Enrollment is a voluntary way of telling us that you, as a U.S. citizen, are in Korea, whether for a long-term stay or for a short visit. In the event of an emergency, we use enrollment information to communicate with you. This could include a family emergency in which relatives in the United States request that the Embassy contact you.

For the latest security information worldwide, U.S. citizens should regularly monitor the State Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers from outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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