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Embassy Closures : week of 11 February – 15 February 11 February 13

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in Embassy Consulate Closure.
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Embassy Closure

This week starts a New Year for many in Asia. Lunar New Year is observed this week and many embassies and consulates will closed, some for an extended period. Starting on Monday the 11th of February China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam will all be closed. The Chinese embassy and most of it’s consulates around the country will be closed until Thursday February 14th. Vietnam will stay closed until Friday, the 15th of February. An addition to the New Year, there are closures at the embassies of Cameroon and Myanmar this week. Afghanistan will be closed on Friday to observe their Day of Liberation.

11 February, Monday: 

Lunar New YearChina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam 

Youth Day – Cameroon   

12 February, Tuesday:

Lunar New Year – China and Vietnam 

Union Day – Myanmar

13 February, Wednesday:  

Lunar New Year – China (Chinese consulate in San Francisco is open) and Vietnam

14 February, Thursday:  

Lunar New Year – Vietnam (Embassy in DC is open)


15 February, Friday:

Liberation Day – Afghanistan 

As is always the case for holiday closures, the closure means no new visa  will be submitted or completed jobs picked up. A holiday does not count towards the total processing time associated with completing a request.  Because of the two holidays travelers are advised to take into account any extra time their requests my require when determining to how quickly to process their visa request


Embassy Closures Week of 26 November – 30 November 2012 26 November 12

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in Embassy Consulate Closure.
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This week has no US Federal Holidays and most embassies are open with normal hours this week. There are no major Embassy closures this week at Brazil, India, China or Russia. The list of embassy and consulate closures is below.

26 November, Monday

Sao Tome & Principe closed for Argel Accord Day
Suriname closed for Independence Day

28 November, Wednesday,

Chad closed for Proclamation of the Republic of Chad
Laos closed for That Luang Festival
Mauritania closed for Independence Day
Myanmar closed for Festival of Lights (Thadingyut)

30 November, Friday

Benin closed for National 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.

Myanmar: The Next Destination 16 November 12

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in traveler advise.
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Burma, officially named the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a nation reintegrating itself into the world economy. Since the 2010 elections, the country has undergone a series of economic and political reforms that have moved it from its 40+ year pariah nation status to an emerging democracy and tourist destination in South East Asia.

Secretary of State Clinton’s visit in November 2011 to Myanmar was a first for a US Secretary of State, and  paved the way for the upcoming state visit from President Obama this month. US relations with Myanmar have not had such a positive tone since the Second World War. The visit to Myanmar by the President is also a first for the US, and underscores the importance of the country has for US foreign policy in the region. Tourists are now discovering Myanmar as a top destination for culture and history.

The name Burma refers to the Bamar majority ethnic group, but the country officially recognizes over a dozen distinct cultural groups. Myanmar’s earliest inhabitants were ethnically and culturally linked with Tibet. These links  can still be seen today in the Burmese script, a form of Sanskrit, and  80 % of the population identifies as Buddhist. A regional superpower back in the 16th century, its borders extended to Tibet and incorporated modern day Thailand.  Myanmar’s culture and cuisine is a distinctive mix of Indian and regional South East Asian.

Myanmar is actively encouraging tourism, showcasing its coastline, ancient history, diverse culture and pristine interior jungles for ecotourism.  Although the capital of the country was moved in 2005 and renamed to Naypyidaw, meaning the City of the Kings, Yangon (also called Rangoon) remains the most important entry point for travelers. Many international carriers already fly in to Yangon, with many more adding new routes this October.

Visas to Myanmar

US citizens, as well as citizens of most other countries, must have a visa in advance to enter Myanmar.  Visas are issued by the Embassy in Washington, DC and by the Consulate General in New York City; the Embassy will accept applications from residents of any state except New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, which must process through the New York Consulate.  Processing times are extremely long; even the most urgent requests can take more than two business weeks to be processed.  If you have any questions about visa to Myanmar, please contact G3’s Washington or New York offices for assistance. A list of requirements four tourist and business travelers can be found on the forms page of the G3 website.

Touring Myanmar

Interest in the south east Asian jewel is growing as Myanmar transitions into the world economy and as relations with the United States continue to improve on social and economic levels. Many people are adding Myanmar as a destination in conjunction with trips to already popular destinations like  Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.

Tourist infrastructure continues to develop as the government invests in its tourism industry. New hotels are being built, road infrastructure is improving and there is now competition with tour bus operators. A good source for information on hotels in Myanmar as well as general tourist information and travel tips is located at the guide for Myanmar.

Established Tour Companies in the US

Using an established reputable tour company is recommended mode of travel for tourist trips to developing nations like Myanmar. The organized nature of this type of travel is appealing to those who don’t want the worries of individual travel.   These tour companies have already established relationships with Myanmar tour guides and hotels and can provide tourists with an outstanding itinerary of select destinations and attractions.  G3 Visas and Passports recommends the following companies for travelers wanting  to explore Myanmar.

Odysseys Unlimited  A leader in small group travel, Odysseys Unlimited is an experienced operator with a sterling reputation for service and outstanding tours. They have created custom tours for some of America’s most prestigious institutions. Here is a listing of their current tours to Myanmar.

Asia Transpacific Journeys (ATJ) Since 1987 ATJ has been organizing small group and custom tours to Asia. They specialize in cultural travel to Asia. Here is a listing of ATJ’s tours to Myanmar.


There are a few items regarding US passports that international travelers should be aware of. The first is that your passport is not valid for travel six months prior to the printed expiry date, and adequate visa pages are need in order to obtain a visa to Myanmar. G3 can obtain passport renewals have additional  visa pages placed in your passport. Visit the passport services page or contact passports@g3visas.com for more information.

Image from Odysseys Unlimited Tours