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May Day Holiday Closures 1 May 13

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in Embassy Consulate Closure, traveler advise.
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May Day has long been a traditional holiday in Europe, but the current May Day holiday, International Workers’ Day, has its roots in the not-so-distant past. The Second International, an organization of socialist and worker parties from around the world, met in Paris in 1889 and declared May 1st International Workers’ Day. The holiday commemorates the workers’ fight for an eight hour work day and the memory of the “martyrs” of the 1886 Haymarket Square massacre in Chicago, in which dozens of unarmed people were killed at the hands of the Chicago Police during a labor demonstration. This event in Chicago galvanized worker parties around the world and reinforced the concept of an international struggle shared by all workers.

Today International Workers’ Day is one of the largest secular holidays celebrated around the world. This holiday is officially observed by dozens of countries, including China, Russia and the former Soviet nations, the majority of European Union nations such as France and Germany, India, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Brazil and Venezuela, and is unofficially observed on every populated continent.

The second week of May holds another major international holiday, Victory Day. Victory Day is a holiday that celebrates the victory over fascist Germany by the Allied forces in 1945. The day marks the unconditional surrender of the German Third Reich to the Allies on May 8, but because Moscow is so far East it was already May 9. The holiday is celebrated by Europeans from London to Moscow. France and the United Kingdom celebrate the holiday on May 8, while Belgium and the Netherlands observe Victory Day on May 5. For Russia and the former Soviet nations of Armenia, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, the May 9 Victory Day is a particularly important holiday, as the Soviet Union endured enormous losses during World War II. The Soviet Red Army incurred over 8 million deaths, and the nation as a whole had over 13 million civilian deaths. The effects of the conflict are evident even today; statistics show that every family in the Soviet Union lost a member in the conflict. Victory Day is celebrated with commencements at cemeteries, military parades, and is a unifying holiday for all citizens of the former Soviet Union. All of their consulates will be closed on Monday, May 9 in honor of the holiday.

New Flight Crew Requirements for India 15 April 13

Posted by Summer Jenkins in Visa News.
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by Leydy Jimenez, Associate Director and Country Information Coordinator for India

Indian consulates in several US cities have recently begun to request additional documentation for flight crew members, particularly pilots, in a move that appears to be connected with a change in consular staff.  The consulates, which so far include Washington, DC, Houston, and New York City, require several documents for visa services which are difficult  for many crew to produce, such as:

* A No Objection Certificate and Air Operator’s Permit from the Indian sponsoring organization, both issued by the Indian Director General of Civil Aviation (see weblink http://www.dgca.nic.in/operator/ops-ind.htm; choose the “Obtaining a Permit” link on the left sidebar)

* An individual-specific approval (otherwise unspecified) from the Director General of Civil Aviation

* A copy of the landing permit

The new requirements are common requests for employment visas for foreign crewmembers, but are generally not possible to obtain for crewmembers who will visit India as non-immigrants.  Their duties are generally to transport passengers, deliver aircraft, meet with clients, or otherwise perform tasks that were previously associated with business purposes, and until recently the consulates would issue business visas to crewmembers.

G3 Visas & Passports has spoken with consular officials in Washington, DC, to petition for simpler requirements, and we have also met with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) to ask for their assistance in engaging the Indian consulates.  The consulates have been unresponsive so far, unfortunately, but G3 continues to ask that crew be given consideration for visas in a timely manner.  In the meantime, US crewmembers who must visit India for crew purposes are requested to call G3 Visas & Passports for visa assistance.

Embassy Closures Week of 12 November 2012 13 November 12

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in Embassy Consulate Closure.
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A Federal holiday on Monday will see most embassies honoring US Veterans Day which is also Armistice Day for those in Western Europe. The State Department’s Passport Offices are all closed Monday as well. The Hindu Festival of Diwali will  see closures at the Indian Embassy and it’s  Consulates General but their outsourcing operations are still open. This week also has Islamic New Year which will cause delays and closures at various consulates and embassies.

The full list of weekly closures by day

12  November, Monday   Veteran’s Day/ Armistice Day
US Passport Offices
Brazil
Cambodia
Vietnam
China (DC, NY, SF only)
India
Laos
Russia(outsourcing closed, consulates open)
Angola closed for Independence Day
Azerbaijan closed for Constitution Day, (outsourcing open)

13 November, Tuesday
India closed for Diwali (outsourcing open)

14 November, Wednesday
Nepal closed for Sambat New Year

15 November, Thursday   Islamic New Year –
Algeria
Bahrain
Djibouti
Egypt
Indonesia
Iraq
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Libya
Malaysia
Morocco
Oman
Syria
UAE
Yemen
(expect other consulates to close that have not reported their holiday schedule)
Belgium closed for Dynasty Day
Cote d’Ivoire closed for National Peace Day

Remember when consular office are closed there are no visa processed
or new applications accepted on that day. When an embassy or
consulate is closed, that day does count as a processing day and
applications currently in for process will have the visa processing
extended to include the non processing closure day. Please account
for extra time if you are applying for a visa to a country whose office closed because of holiday.
If you have any questions on how long your visa request will take
for a particular country please feel free to contact our
professional staff for more information.

Embassy Closure List week of 22 October 2012 22 October 12

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in Embassy Consulate Closure.
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Embassy closures  has the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha causing closures at the end of the week. Applicants can expect to have visa processing delays due to  embassy closures at consulates and embassies representing Muslim countries.  This week’s other notable closures include Kazakhstan’s national day, independence days for Zambia and Turkmenistan and Thailand closing for Chulalongkorn. India has a closure for Dusshera but the processing center is open for new submissions, applications in process and will take an extra day to process visas as the Indian embassy and all their consulates are closed.

23 October, Tuesday
Thailand closed for Chulalongkorn Memorial Day/King Rama V Day

24 October, Wednesday
India closed for Dusshera; Travisa open for submissions
Zambia closed for Independence Day

October 25, Thursday Eid al-Adha begins this evening; closures will include:
Bangladesh
Saudi Arabia (embassy and all consulates)
Kazakhstan closed for Republic Day

October 26, Friday  Eid al-Adha – closures will include:
Afghanistan
Bangladesh
Ethiopia
Ghana
Indonesia
Malaysia
Saudi Arabia (embassy and all consulates)
Benin closed for Armed Forces Day
Cambodia closed for Coronation Day
Turkmenistan closed for Independence Day
Uganda

Remember when consular office are closed there are no visa processed
or new applications accepted on that day. When an embassy or
consulate is closed, that day does count as a processing day and
applications currently in for process will have the visa processing
extended to include the non processing closure day. Please account
for extra time if you are applying for a visa to a country whose office closed because of holiday.
If you have any questions on how long your visa request will take
for a particular country please feel free to contact our
professional staff for more information.

Embassy Closure List week of Oct 8 8 October 12

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in Embassy Consulate Closure.
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This week Columbus Day is observed. This is an official Federal Holiday, closing banks and Federal institutions such as the State Department’s Passport Office and the Office of Authentications. As with  most US Federal Holidays the Russian Embassy is open and this counts as a processing day for applications already in process. However, their ILS acceptance facilities are closed, so new Russian applications will be submitted today. Also the Chinese Embassy is closed but it’s consulates in LA and San Francisco are open for processing and accepting new visa applications today.

8  October, Monday: Columbus Day – US Passport Offices closed, many embassies and consulates closed including:

Algeria
Bangladesh
Brazil
Cambodia
China – All consulates except LA and SF.
Egypt
India – only the Travisa office in SF, all others are open.
Laos
Malaysia
Nigeria
Myanmar
Kazakhstan
Philippines
Russia – ILS offices closed, but consulates open
Thailand
Saudi Arabia
Turkey
Vietnam
Venezuela closed for Day of Indigenous Resistance


9 October, Tuesday
Uganda closed for Independence Day

10 October, Wednesday
Kenya closed for Moi Day
Taiwan closed for National Day (Double Tenth)

12 October, Friday,  
Equatorial Guinea closed for Independence Day
Laos closed for Day of Liberation

Remember when consular office are closed there are no visa processed
or new applications accepted on that day. When an embassy or
consulate is closed, that day does count as a processing day and
applications currently in for process will have the visa processing
extended to include the non processing closure day. Please account
for extra time if you are applying for a visa to a country whose office closed because of holiday.
If you have any questions on how long your visa request will take
for a particular country please feel free to contact our
professional staff
 for more information.

Embassy Closure List week of 1 October 2012 1 October 12

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in Embassy Consulate Closure.
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October 1 is a big day for national days around the world with
Nigeria, Botswana and China all closed on the first.  Many of
the PRC consular offices are taking additional days and embassy
closure schedule is not standard for the various consulates and the
Embassy in Washington, DC.

Monday, 1 October

China closed for National Day
Botswana closed for Botswana Day
Cameroon closed
Nigeria closed for National Day
Sao Tome and  Principe closed
Uzbekistan closed for Day of Teachers and Instructors

Tuesday, 2 October

China(Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco consulates
only) closed for National Day
India closed for Mahatma Ghandi’s birthday
Guinea closed for Independence Day

Wednesday, 3 October

China
(Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and New York consulates only) closed
for National Day
South Korea closed for Foundation Day

Thursday, 4 October

Mozambique closed for Peace and National Reconciliation Day

Friday, 5 October

Egypt closed for Armed Forces Day
Syria closed for Tishreen Liberation War Day

Remember when consular office are closed there are no visa processed
or new applications accepted on that day. When an embassy or
consulate is closed, that day does count as a processing day and
applications currently in for process will have the visa processing
extended to include the non processing closure day. Please account
for extra time if you are applying for a visa to a country whose office closed because of holiday.
If you have any questions on how long your visa request will take
for a particular country please feel free to contact our
professional staff
for more information.

International Protest Update, September 21 21 September 12

Posted by Summer Jenkins in State Department Update.
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Ten days after the first protests broke out at US Consulates in Egypt and Libya, demonstrations continue, and have now spread to nations beyond the Islamic world.  In some nations, protesters have targeted locales deemed to be American interests, such as fast food restaurants and movie theaters.  French Embassies and interests are also now at risk, following a French magazine’s publication of cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed on September 19.

The US State Department has responded by temporarily closing dozens of diplomatic missions abroad, and has issued official warnings for the following countries:

  • Austria – planned protest at the US Embassy in Vienna on Saturday.
  • Australia – possible demonstrations in multiple locations in Perth this weekend.
  • India – Several US Consulates have been closed as a precaution following last week’s protests in Kashmir and Chennai.
  • Ireland – planned protest at the US Embassy in Dublin on Friday afternoon.
  • Jordan – several demonstrations planned at the US Embassy and other locations in Amman on Friday afternoon.
  • Mali – high risk of protests and civil unrest targeting the embassies of USA and France in Bamako on Friday and throughout the weekend.
  • Mauritania – high risk of protests at the embassies of USA and France in Nouakchott, as well as at the Grande Mosque and Marche Capital areas on Friday and throughout the weekend.
  • Nigeria – the US Embassy in Abuja and the US Consulate General in Lagos will close at 11:00AM today as a precautionary measure, as demonstrations are likely.
  • Norway – two planned demonstrations on Friday afternoon, one at the US Embassy in Oslo, and one in Oslo’s Youngstorget area.
  • Pakistan – the US Consulate General in Lahore is temporarily closed due to violent protests.  Demonstrations are ongoing in other cities, including Peshawar, Islamabad, Karachi and Rawalpindi.
  • Tunisia – protests at the US Embassy in Tunis are expected on Friday.  The Embassy and Consular Section is temporarily closed to the public.
  • Turkmenistan – although no protests have yet been announced, the US Embassy in Ashgabat warns US citizens of the possibility of demonstrations arising spontaneously.
  • Uganda – the US Embassy in Kampala urges US citizens to “keep a low profile and avoid unnecessary travel,” as demonstrations are likely to occur throughout Uganda this weekend.

Further protests have occurred in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jakarta and several other cities in Indonesia, Quito, Ecuador, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The US State Department has also issued warnings for Gabon, Spain and Malta, although demonstrations in those countries are likely to be for unrelated political and economic reasons.