Author Topic: US Embassies and announcements.  (Read 4520 times)

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Offline Willy The Londoner

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Re: US Embassies and announcements.
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2017, 10:07:10 PM »
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has consolidated its overseas operations into several regional offices that provide a full range of SSA services for U.S. citizens residing outside of the United States.  Effective October 1, 2017, individuals residing in the People's Republic of China who require social security services or have questions about SSA benefits must contact the SSA Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) located in the Philippines, rather than China.

Personal visits not essential.


Offline Pineau

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Re: US Embassies and announcements.
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2017, 10:05:45 AM »
Message for U.S. Citizens:
23 OCT 2017
Taxis are typically a safe means of transportation in China.  However, recently there has been an increase in reports of some taxi drivers attempting to charge inflated fares for relatively inexpensive trips, in some cases resulting in verbal or physical confrontations when customers refused to pay these fares.  When using taxis, please avoid any altercations with the driver.  Rather, attempt to remove yourself from the situation.  If a driver refuses to use the meter, take another taxi.  Should you feel threatened, please make note of the driver’s name and license number and report the incident to the taxi company and/or police.  Likewise, avoid unlicensed cabs.
Whom to Contact
If you are a victim of a confrontation with a taxi driver, call the local police at “110” which is roughly equivalent to “911” in the United States.  Be aware, however, that very few English speakers staff this hotline.  Or you can file a complaint by calling the Mayor hotline at 12345 (press option 3 for English).  The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General have no law enforcement authority in China.
For Further Information
·         Visit Country Information for Chinafor additional travel & transportation safety tips (for pedestrians and drivers) for China
·         Find useful tips on packing and planning with our Traveler's Checklist
·         See our webpage on Help for U.S. Victims of Crime Overseas
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Offline Pineau

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Re: US Embassies and announcements.
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2017, 08:20:02 AM »
With the holiday travel season upon us, the Embassy would like to call your attention to the most recent worldwide caution message that the Department of State issued on Decemeber 11, 2017.  We want to ensure that all U.S. citizens are well aware of the current worldwide travel environment.  Please have a healthy and safe holiday season!

As part of the Department of State's continuous efforts to provide U.S. citizens traveling abroad with information about safety and security events, we are updating the Worldwide Caution with information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions, political violence, and criminal activity against U.S. citizens and interests abroad.  This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated September 14, 2017.     


As terrorist attacks, political upheaval, and violence often take place without any warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness when traveling.  To better prepare for possible emergencies, U.S. citizens are encouraged to read Country Specific Information pages, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts on before planning a trip.


In addition to concerns stemming from terrorism, travelers should be alert to the possibility of political unrest, violence, demonstrations, and criminal activities when traveling.  Country-specific information pages and Travel Warnings should be consulted to obtain the latest data on such threats.


Travelers are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.  The Department uses these security messages to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc.  In an emergency, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or call the following numbers: 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.


U.S. government facilities worldwide remain in a heightened state of alert.  These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture.  In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.  U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.


Terrorist groups including ISIS, al-Qa'ida, their associates, and those inspired by such organizations, are intent on attacking U.S. citizens wherever they are.  Extremists may use conventional or non-conventional weapons to target U.S. government and private interests.  Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack to more effectively target crowds, including the use of edged weapons, pistols, and vehicles as weapons.  Extremists increasingly aim to assault "soft" targets, such as:


·        high-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)

·        hotels, clubs, and restaurants

·        places of worship

·        schools

·        parks

·        shopping malls and markets

·        tourism infrastructure

·        public transportation systems

·        airports


In multiple regions, terrorists, guerrilla groups, and criminals seek to kidnap U.S. citizens to finance their operations or for political purposes.  The Department also remains concerned that terrorists could again seek to down aircraft using concealed explosives or hijack commercial flights


Private U.S. citizens should not travel to any country to participate in armed conflict.  U.S. citizens are reminded that fighting on behalf of or providing other forms of support to designated terrorist organizations can constitute the provision of material support for terrorism, which is a serious crime that can result in penalties, including prison time and large fines.


Below, we provide information specific to different regions and countries.  Please consult travel.state.govfor additional information.


AFRICA: There are terrorist, guerilla, and insurgent groups in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, and the potential for al-Qa'ida or ISIS-inspired attacks is high in several West African countries and countries bordering Somalia.  These groups have been known to take hostages, kill civilians, and deliberately target Westerners on occasion.  There is political instability and civil unrest in some African countries.  Under these conditions, the level of consular assistance available to U.S. citizens may be limited.


If you are planning to travel to any of the following countries, please read our advisories carefully:



















EAST ASIA and PACIFIC:  Armed terrorist and criminal groups are operating in the East Asian and Pacific region and may attempt to target U.S. citizens, particularly for kidnapping in the coastal areas and outlying islands of the eastern part of the Malaysian state of Sabah and the southern Philippines.  Indonesia has witnessed an increase in terrorist-related arrests and foiled plots, and several small-scale attacks and attempted attacks have occurred.  Periodic acts of violence in Thailand remain a concern.  U.S. citizens are strongly warned to avoid all travel to North Korea/the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) due to the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea's system of law enforcement.  A travel restriction on the use of U.S. passports to travel to, in, or from North Korea became effective in early September 2017. 


If you are planning to travel to any of the following countries, please read our advisories carefully:





EUROPE:  Terrorist groups continue to plot attacks in Europe as foreign fighters return home from Syria and Iraq, while other individuals may be radicalized or inspired by ISIS propaganda.  European authorities continue to warn of additional attacks on major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centers, places of worship, and the transportation sector, frequently prompting heightened security at notable public venues and coordinated counterterrorism operations. 


If you are planning to travel to any of the following countries, please read our advisories carefully:





MIDDLE EAST and NORTH AFRICA:  Terrorist groups are very active in the Middle East and North Africa.  The U.S. government remains highly concerned about possible attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests in the region.  Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya are considered violent and unpredictable war zones, and there is no official U.S. diplomatic presence in the latter three countries.  U.S. citizens should avoid these areas.  Terrorist groups have demonstrated capability to conduct attacks throughout the region, posing both a direct and indirect threat to U.S. citizens.  Government officials throughout the region are concerned about the potential return of foreign fighters following ISIS's territorial losses in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.


If you are planning to travel to any of the following countries, please read our advisories carefully:















SOUTH and CENTRAL ASIA:  The U.S. government assesses terrorist groups in South Asia may be planning attacks in the region, possibly against U.S. facilities, citizens, and interests.  U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Afghanistan, as no region in the country is immune from violence.  A number of established terrorist organizations, indigenous sectarian groups, and other militants pose a danger to U.S. citizens in Pakistan.  Extremist elements are also active in India, as outlined in a recent emergency message.  Terrorists have hit a wide variety of targets and institutions in Bangladesh.


If you are planning to travel to any of the following countries, please read our advisories carefully:






WESTERN HEMISPHERE:  Insurgent groups, armed criminal gangs, and indigenous terrorists remain active in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada.  U.S. citizens are particularly vulnerable to kidnap-for-ransom attempts and violent crimes of opportunity while visiting a variety of countries.  Gang- and narcotics-related violence is of concern in several countries throughout the region. Political protests are common throughout the region, and in some countries they can devolve into violence.  Haiti is particularly vulnerable to violent political protest activity, some of which has directly targeted U.S. interests.  Venezuela's current political crisis has turned violent on numerous occasions in 2017, including near-daily protests between April and August that have cost more than 100 people their lives.


If you are planning to travel to any of the following countries, please read our advisories carefully:









For further information:


·        See the Department of State's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.

·        Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

·        The Department of State's Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides several resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector abroad.  Additional information on OSAC can be found on or by following OSAC on Twitter.


·        Mariners and U.S. citizens considering maritime travel should also review information at the websites of the National Geospatial Agency, the Maritime Security Communications with Industry Portal, and the U.S. Coast Guard for information related to maritime and port security globally.
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Offline Pineau

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Re: US Embassies and announcements.
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2018, 11:09:27 AM »
On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, the Department of State made changes to our safety and security information to make it easier to find, understand, and use.


Travel Advisories replace Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts.  Every country has a Travel Advisory, which provides one of four standard levels of advice.  The Travel Advisory gives an explanation for the level and include clear actions U.S. citizens should take.


Alerts replace Security Messages and Emergency Messages.  Alerts follow an easy-to-understand format with clear actions U.S. citizens should take.


U.S. citizens who have signed up to receive updates via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( will automatically receive the China Travel Advisory and Alerts via email in the weeks following the January 10 launch.  They will continue to receive other messages as usual, including announcements related to voting, town halls, and administrative issues.


For more information about improvements to our safety and security information and to sign-up to receive a notification on launch date, visit


Contact information:


Beijing – Email:, Tel: (010) 8531 4000
No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Chaoyang, Beijing

Chengdu – Email:, Tel: (028) 8558 3992

No. 4. Lingshiguan Road

Section 4, Renmin Nanlu

Chengdu, Sichuan

Guangzhou – Email:, (020) 3814 5775

No.43 Hua Jiu Road

Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District

Guangzhou, Guangdong

Shanghai – Email:, (021) 8011-2400

Westgate Mall, 8th Floor

No. 1038 Nanjing Xi Lu


Shenyang – Email:, (024) 2335 5188

No. 52, 14th Wei Road
Heping District
Shenyang, Liaoning
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Offline Pineau

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Re: US Embassies and announcements.
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2018, 10:57:20 AM »
Your vote counts!  Did you know that many U.S. elections for house and senate seats have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters?  All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.

Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2018 U.S. elections:
1.     Request Your Ballot:  Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).  You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2018 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2018 elections.  The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted.  The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.
You can complete the FPCA online at  The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state.  We encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state).  Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option.  Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website. will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature.  If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.
2.     Receive and Complete Your Ballot:  States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections.  For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.
3.     Return Your Completed Ballot:  Some states allow you to return your completed ballot by email or fax.  If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can use international mail, a courier service such as FedEx or DHL, or you may also drop off completed voting materials during regular business hours at the U.S. Embassy Beijing or any of the Consulates General in China.  Place your materials in a postage paid return envelope (available under “Downloadable Election Materials” on the FVAP homepage) or in an envelope bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address it to the relevant local election officials.
4.  New this year – email to fax service by FVAP! - the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will provide an email-to-fax conversion service for voters who have difficulty sending election materials to States that do not accept emailed documents.  Get more information here.
Researching the Candidates and Issues:  Online Resources.  Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues.  Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain online.  You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the internet to locate articles and information.  For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP's Voting Alerts (  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebookand Twitter.
Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) website,  If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact the Voting Assistance Officers at:
U.S. Embassy Beijing:
U.S. Consulate General Chengdu:
U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou:
U.S. Consulate General Shanghai:
U.S. Consulate General Shenyang:
Remember, your vote counts!
Be absent but accounted for!
Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.