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Messages for U.S. Citizens

February 2012 American Citizens Services (ACS) Newsletter

U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau

New Topics

Continuing Topics of Interest

Greetings from ACS Chief, Laurence K. Jones

Happy New Year, both Western, and now Chinese, to all of the members of our community! We're spooling up for tax season and elections, both of which are addressed below. We should take our responsibilities every bit as seriously as our rights as citizens, and the ACS unit is ready to assist with both issues. Unfortunately, IRS Beijing will not be able to come to Hong Kong this year to give a tax workshop, but we'll assist in any way we can from local resources. Also, in this connected world there is no form or instruction that the ACS unit can stock or find that the taxpayer can't find by going directly to the IRS website.

Given the changing nature of how this connected world connects, we're looking at simplifying this product, and integrating it a little more thoroughly with our website and with the Consulate's social media outreach. We'll be very careful moving forward not to cut anyone off.

Macau Day: Wednesday, March 21, 11:00am - 2:00pm

On Wednesday, March 21, our staff will travel to Macau to provide limited consular services for American citizens. Services to be offered during this visit include voter registration, notarials (US$50 for each signature of the consular officer), passport application (US$105, US$110, or US$135 depending on age and type), birth registration (US$100 for each child), and adding additional visa pages (US$82 per set of pages). Please note that we will only be able to accept credit cards as payment - there are no cash transactions. Customers may pay using MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club or Discover card. Customers must present their card at the time of payment and the person whose name is listed on the card must be present to sign the payment slip. All charges will be in U.S. dollars.

Except for notary services, we will only accept applications and fees in Macau. Passports, additional pages and report of birth abroad applications will be completed at the Consulate and returned to you by post or you may make arrangements for pick up at the Consulate or in Macau at our next Macau day in the coming quarter. If you need immediate service for a passport renewal or same day service for added pages, please make an appointment online to see us at the Consulate in Hong Kong.

Services will be available from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Academy of Music (see map - PDF 392 KB), located at Rua de Santa Clara, No. 19, 2/F, adjacent to City Hall and near Catholic Social Services on a first-come-first-served basis. Individuals who are physically challenged and/or require special arrangements to access this location may call (852) 2841-2211 in advance to facilitate access.

To enable us to best assist you in Macau:

  • Please check our website for information on what specific identification, forms, fees and supporting documents are required for each service. Download the appropriate forms and bring them with you.
  • Please present your U.S. passport for all services.
  • Please bring the original and one photocopy of each piece of identification and/or supporting document (such as passports, birth certificates, marriage and divorce certificates, Macau ID cards, etc.)

If you need a service not listed above, please contact us in advance at (852) 2841-2211. We may be able to bring with us what you need for that service.

Tax Season Approaches: Help for Overseas Tax Payers

Tax season is just around the corner. The Consulate website maintains a Help for Overseas Tax Payers webpage with extensive guidance and resources for those preparing their U.S. taxes from abroad. Please visit our webpage at: Taxes in the United States

You may also wish to visit the U.S. Internal Revenue Service webpage for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad at: U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad

Voting News: Absentee Ballots Available Electronically

No matter what state you vote in, you can now ask your local election officials to provide your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). You can now also confirm your registration and ballot delivery on-line. Be sure to include your email address on the form to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. This is the fastest and most reliable way to receive your ballot on time, and we strongly recommend every overseas voter take advantage of it. Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) website.

You can obtain a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at FVAP's website. The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories. It allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (presidential and state primaries, run-off, special, and the November general elections) during the course of the year. An online wizard will help you complete the form. Depending on your state's voting requirements, you then either send in the FPCA electronically or mail it to your local election officials. To mail it, print out the completed FPCA and the (U.S.) postage-paid envelope containing the address of your local election officials. Please be advised that paper copies of absentee ballots may submitted to the Consulate for mailing to the U.S. via pouch, however this may be result in some delay in the arrival of the absentee ballot.

Be an Educated Voter. 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 via numerous websites such as Project Smart Voter. You can also read national and hometown newspapers on-line, or search the Internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP's Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

Upcoming presidential primaries are: Missouri (February 7), Wisconsin (February 21), Arizona (February 28), and Michigan (February 28). Other states will follow throughout the spring and summer. Voter registration deadlines for primaries are as early as January 3, 2012. Note: Participation in party presidential caucuses by overseas voters is not protected by federal law and requires in-person attendance in most cases. If the party you are affiliated with selects presidential nominees by caucus in your state contact state party officials for further information.

If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Consulate Hong Kong's American Citizens Services at 2841-2211 or at acshk@state.gov

Consulate Warehouse Auction

The US Consulate warehouse is having a sealed bid disposal sale. Items include CPUs, monitors, printers, phones, vacuum cleaners, dehumidifiers, cabinets, chairs, sofas, lamps, wall units, and much more! The sale will be held at the Consulate warehouse on the following dates and times:
Friday, February 10 from 10:00 am-4:00 pm; and Saturday, February 11 from 11:00 am-3:00 pm Consulate Warehouse: 15F, Leader Center, 37 Wong Chuk Hang Rd. (near Aberdeen)

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Please read carefully.

  1. This will be a sale of lots by sealed bid.
  2. The buyer accepts the property on an "as is - where is" basis, with no claim against the seller as to condition and agrees to make payment for all items for which the party is the successful bidder.
  3. The bidders can look at the lots and bid at that time.
  4. Sealed bids must be submitted upon viewing of the items. Bids will be accepted in Hong Kong dollars only and may not be retracted. A "good faith" deposit of HK$500 will be required when making any bids.
  5. Consulate staff will contact the successful bidder by 5:00 pm Wednesday, February 15. The notified party must submit full payment (in cash, Hong Kong dollars) after notification of award at the US Consulate Warehouse on Friday, February 17, 2012, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
  6. Upon completion of the payment, the Buyer must remove the property from the sale location by Friday, February 24, 2012 between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. Please notify the warehouse at Tel: 2845-2327 that you are coming. The US Consulate does not provide pickup and delivery services.
  7. Sale to US Government employees will be subject to the conditions outlined in 14FAM 417.3-3.
  8. The Seller reserves the right to reject any bids if the Seller judges such rejection of bids will be in the best interest of the US Government.
    For questions, please contact HillKM2@state.gov

Passports for Children under Age 16

 A person applying for a U.S. passport on behalf of a child under age 16 must demonstrate that both parents consent to the issuance of a passport to the child, or that the applying parent has sole authority to obtain the passport. Congress' purpose in adding this requirement that both parents' consent be demonstrated is to lessen the possibility that a U.S. passport might be used in the course of an international parental child abduction. Note that these requirements are in addition to the standard passport requirements.
For full details on passport applications for children under the age of 16, please see Minor Passports.

For children under age 16 applying for a passport, the child must appear at the Consulate.

Please also note: for both adults and minors, an individual must be physically present in Hong Kong or Macau in order to have pages added to one's passport.

Consulate Hours and Upcoming Holidays

General Office Hours for the Consulate General
Monday - Friday 8:30 - 12:30 and 1:30 - 5:30

Hours for American Citizens Services
Monday - Friday 8:30 - Noon and 1:30 to 4:00, Except Wednesdays (8:30 to Noon only)

Upcoming Holidays on which the Consulate Will Be Closed

  • Monday, February 20, 2012
    President's Day

The Consulate is located at 26 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong. The American Citizens Services section is located on the First Floor: All of our non-emergency services are by appointment only. Please also be aware that food and cell phones are not permitted inside the building.

Travel Safety Notices and Updates

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

Warnings

  • Philippines: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5639.html
  • North Korea: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5601.html

Alerts

  • Philippines: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_5634.html
  • South Pacific Cyclone Season: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_5623.html
  • India (Potential Terrorism): http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_5582.html
  • Japan: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_5574.html

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.

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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. Services are by online appointment only. The return address listed does not accept replies directly from this message. To contact the Consulate, please email acshk@state.gov.


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