Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Public Service Post for Americans from me in Isaan
"I want to let you know about an upcoming change that the Department of State is requiring us to make in our operations. Beginning no later than September 1, most non-emergency ACS services will be available by appointment only. According to the Department, this is already true in 80% of ACS offices around the world, including in Chiang Mai. So far, the only service we've provided here by appointment only is the Consular Report of Birth Abroad. By September 1, we will be providing notary services, passport applications, passport renewals, passport page additions, and federal benefits inquiries/applications on an appointment only basis.
The main means of making an appointment will be the same: online through http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/acsappointment.html
One of the main reasons we haven't gone to appointments only is because we know quite a few of our residents are not too comfortable with the internet. Therefore, at least to begin with, we will try taking appointments by telephone through our main number, 02-205-4049 . We may specify particular times of the day to call for appointments. Most people will find it more efficient to make appointments online. If someone needs more than one service, they only need to make one appointment. Based on the application volume we have seen over the last year, we will be offering about 50 passport-related appointments and 40 notary appointments per day in addition to 5 or 6 Report of Birth and 9 or 10 federal benefits appointments. We have already started opening appointment slots at that volume. In practice, we will try to be flexible for those without appointments, but it will usually mean waiting an hour or two longer for service.
We will be announcing the change to the public soon.
We will continue to provide emergency services (including lost and stolen passport assistance) and voting assistance without appointment. Also, we won't be making appointments for services provided during an outreach. Outreaches will continue as they do now. "
and if applying for new passport