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Newsletters and Messages for U.S. Citizens

June 2011 American Citizens Services (ACS) Newsletter

U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau

New Topics

Continuing Topics of Interest

Make Your Appointments Early!

Summertime is our busy season! As you begin to put together your summer travel plans, please remember to book appointments early for all Consulate services. To avoid a visit to the Consulate, please use our mail-in service for adult passport renewals and added visa pages. See Passports for further details.

Also, for those planning trips in Asia, please keep in mind that many countries require travelers to have at least 6 months validity remaining on their passports. Airlines will deny boarding to those who do not meet this requirement. For specific details about entry and exit requirements for the country you plan to visit, please see our Country Information at Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

Typhoon Season

The annual rainy and typhoon season has begun and is expected to last until September. Please be advised that if a Black Rainstorm Warning or Typhoon Signal 8 or above is announced by the Hong Kong Observatory, the Consulate General will be closed. If the Black Rainstorm Warning is lowered to a Red, or the Typhoon Signal is lowered to Signal 3 before 1:00 p.m., the Consulate General will reopen on the same day within one hour of the lowering.

Individuals with American Citizens Services appointments may return to the Consulate General with their original appointment confirmation letters anytime between 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. within five working days after the Consulate re-opens or reschedule the appointment online.
Please monitor radio and television broadcasts, the Hong Kong Observatory website or the Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau website to stay informed about the latest weather conditions.

In addition, the Department of State issued a travel alert on June 1 to alert U.S. citizens to the Hurricane Season in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1 and ends November 30. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season began May 15 and ends November 30. For the full text of the travel alert please see: Hurricane Season 2011.

June 15 Filing Deadline for Overseas Taxpayers

For U.S. citizens who are taking advantage of the IRS's automatic two-month extension for overseas taxpayers, please keep in mind that the June 15 deadline is fast approaching. If you utilize the automatic extension make sure you write "INTERNATIONAL TAXPAYER" on the top of your tax form.

If you are unable to file your return by the due date, you can request an additional extension to October 15 by filing Form 4868 before the return due date. However, any payments made after June 15 would be subject to both interest charges and failure to pay penalties. Please refer to the IRS for more information: U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad

National Missing Children's Day

Last year, parents abducted nearly 2,000 children to or from the United States. That's 40 children taken from their homes and from their loved ones each week. Abductions traumatize children, their parents, friends, and family. To view Secretary Clinton's remarks on National Missing Children's Day, please visit: National Missing Children's Day

If you would like to learn more how the Department of State helps parents access the tools available to prevent international abductions, such as our Passport Issuance Alert Program, please visit: Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program

Pandemic Influenza Awareness

Hong Kong remains at the "Alert Response Level" for pandemic influenza as the Hong Kong government continues to assess the nature and level of influenza risks. For recent updates related to the H5N1 virus in Hong Kong, please visit the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection's Influenza page or the Hong Kong government's Prevention of Avian Influenza page.

For more information about flu prevention, pandemic flu and the flu situation in the United States please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.

Travel Safety Notices and Updates

Worldwide Caution: On May 1, the Department of State updated the Worldwide Caution to alert U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad to the enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan. Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. To view the entire alert, please see: World Wide Alert (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_worldwide.html)

Japan: On May 16, the Department of State updated the Travel Alert to Japan to advise U.S. citizens traveling in Japan of the updated U.S. government recommendation on the safe use of the Tohoku Expressway and the Tohoku Shinkansen Railway through the 50-mile evacuation area. Using the same analysis we would use in a similar situation in the United States, the U.S. Government believes it is safe for U.S. citizens to use the railway and expressway for transit through the area. The full text of the Travel Alert is available at: Japan Travel Alert (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_5454.html" target="_blank)

The following Travel Warnings and Alerts remain in effect for the East Asia and Pacific Region:

  • Nepal: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_927.html
  • Philippines: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_2190.html
  • North Korea: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5137.html

Also, please be aware of the volatile political situations in the Middle East and North Africa: Current Travel Warnings. As you make your travel plans, don't forget to check the Bureau of Consular Affairs web site for the most current safety and security information.

You may also receive travel alert tweets by joining the Twitter for Bureau of Consular Affairs.

 


This newsletter is published by the American Citizens Services Unit, U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau. Tel: 2841-2211; fax: 2845-4845; e-mail: acshk@state.gov; website: American Citizens Services. All services are by online appointment only. The return address listed above does not accept replies directly from this message. To contact the Consulate, please email acshk@state.gov.

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Last modified: June 3, 2011