Consular Services Outreach in Daegu on Thursday and Friday, June 18-19, 2015

Seoul logoDon’t have time to get to the Embassy in Seoul? We will offer American citizen services in Daegu on June 18  (1:00pm-4:30pm) and June 19 (9:00am-12:30pm), 2015. To schedule an appointment, please email us at  For full details, visit

Consular Services Outreach in Busan Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, May 27-29, 2015

Seoul logoDon’t have time to get to the Embassy in Seoul? We will offer American citizen services in Busan on May 27  (1:00pm-4:30pm), May 28 (9:00am to 4:30pm), and May 29 (9:00am-11:30am), 2015. To schedule an appointment, please email us at  For full details, visit

Happy Lunar New Year!

The Embassy is closed on Wednesday ~ Friday, February 18~ 20 in
observance of the Korean Lunar New Year. We will reopen for regular business hours on Monday, February 23.

We will provide half-day services at Yongsan on March 4, 2015.

Seoul logo

We will provide half-day services only (from 9:00am-11:30am) at Yongsan on March 4, 2015.

Did you submit a Social Security number application for your child at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea? Please see below for the answers to some of the questions we receive most frequently to better understand the Social Security number (SSN) application process.

Q: Will my child’s SSN application be processed at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea?

No, the U.S. Embassy in Seoul is not a Social Security claims-processing post. Once we have received a Social Security application, we will then forward it to the Social Security Administration (SSA) office in Manila for processing.

Q: How long will it take to process a Social Security card and where will it be mailed?

A: It may take 3-6 months or longer for applicants to receive an actual Social Security card from the SSA office. When a Social Security number (SSN) is assigned to the applicant, a SSN card will be mailed directly to the address provided on the SSN application.

Q: Can the U.S. Embassy check the status of my child’s application?

A: No, once we have forwarded SSN applications to the SSA office in Manila, we have no access to SSN application records. If you wish to check the status of your child’s application, we suggest you wait about 3 months from the date you submitted the application and then directly contact the SSA office in Manila to inquire about the SSN application status. Their contact information is below:

Social Security Administration
1201 Roxas Boulevard
Ermita, 0930 Manila

Phone Number: (63)(2)301-2000

Q: I know I must wait about 3-6 months to receive a SSN card. However, is there any way for me to know the SSN before the card is mailed to us? If so, how long does it take for us to be allocated a SSN and whom should we contact to find out the assigned number?

A: In general, it will take about 2-3 months for the Social Security Administration (SSA) office to allocate an SSN to an individual. If it has been more than 3 months, you may directly contact the SSA office to find out the assigned SSN number.

Q: I’ve already contacted the Social Security office to inquire about the Social Security number (SSN) assigned to my child and was told that they sent my child’s SSN information to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. Where should I contact to find out my child’s SSN?

A: Please send an email to with your child’s full name and date of birth. We will check our records and reply to you with further instructions. If your child’s SSN has been forwarded to our office, you will have to make a personal appearance here to retrieve the number as it is not possible to send it via telephone, fax or email due to security and privacy considerations.

Consular Services Outreach in Daegu, Thursday and Friday, March 12-13, 2015

Seoul logo

Don’t have time to get to the Embassy in Seoul?  We will offer American citizen services in Daegu on March 12 and March 13, 2015.  To schedule an appointment, call us at 02-397-4114 or email us at For full details, visit

Consular Services Outreach in Busan, Thursday and Friday, February 26-27, 2015

Seoul logoDon’t have time to get to the Embassy in Seoul? We will offer American citizen services in Busan on February 26 (1:00pm-5:00pm) and February 27 (9:00 am to 1:00pm), 2015. To schedule an appointment, call us at 02-397-4114 or email us at For full details, visit

Consular Services Outreach in DaeGu, Thursday and Friday, December 11-12, 2014

Please note that the Consular Services dates in Daegu have been changed from December 18 and 19 to December 11 and 12.  To schedule an appointment, call us at 02-397-4114 or email us at For full details, visit


Consular Services Outreach in DaeGu, Thursday and Friday, December 11-12, 2014

Seoul logoDon’t have time to get to the Embassy in Seoul?  We will offer American citizen services in DaeGu on December 18 and December 19, 2014.  To schedule an appointment, call us at 02-397-4114 or email us at For full details, visit

How or where do I report a missing payment check?

Please note that the U.S. Embassy in Seoul is not a Social Security claims-processing post. The Social Security Administration’s regional office is located in Manila, Philippines. If you have not received a check by the date on which it usually comes, please wait until the end of that month. If you have not received it by the end of the month, you should notify the Social Security Administration in Manila of the non-receipt of the check by email. Their email address is When sending an email, include the following information.

• Name of beneficiary and claim number or Social Security Number
• The month of benefit payment you did not receive
• Current address
• Contact information such as telephone number or email

Happy Chuseok Holidays!

US EMBASSY CLOSURES FOR CHUSEOK HOLIDAY: US Embassy Seoul will be CLOSED from Saturday, Sept. 6 to Wednesday, Sept. 10 for Chusok (Korean Thanksgiving). The Embassy will close early at 2pm on Friday, Sept. 5. Additionally, we will NOT be offering our usual Wednesday outreach services at Yongsan Army Garrison on Sept. 10. Continue reading

Consular Services Outreach in Busan, Monday and Tuesday, November 17-18, 2014

Seoul logoDon’t have time to get to the Embassy in Seoul? We will offer American citizen services in Busan on November 17 and November 18, 2014. To schedule an appointment, call us at 02-397-4114 or email us at For full details, visit


Effective September 12, 2014, Consular service fees will be changing for certain nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applications, immigrant visa (IV) applications, administrative and American Citizen Services (ACS) fees. The specific fees affecting American Citizen Services are:

Fee for:

— Consular Time: from $231 to $135

— Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship: from $450 to $2,350

For more details and a list of fee changes, please visit

New Change for Korean F-6 visa applicants

As of July 21, 2014, U.S. citizens are no longer required to provide a “Marriage Letter” from U.S. Embassy Seoul when applying for a Korean F-6 visa due to his/her marriage to a Korean citizen, according to the Korean Immigration Service. As long as you can prove that you were lawfully married in Korea by submitting the Korean Marriage Registration Certificate issued by a Ward Office, you should be able to apply to change your Korean visa status at any Korea Immigration Office.  As a result, U.S. Embassy Seoul will no longer provide this letter to U.S. citizens.

American Citizen Services (ACS) Announcement

The Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs is currently experiencing technical problems with our passport/visa system.  This issue is worldwide and is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document, or visa category. We apologize to applicants who are experiencing delays or are unable to obtain a passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or visa at this time. We are working urgently to correct the problem and expect our system to be fully operational again soon.

Consular Services Outreach in Daegu, Monday and Tuesday, September 15-16, 2014

Seoul logoDon’t have time to get to the Embassy in Seoul?  We will offer American citizen services in Daegu on September 15  and September 16, 2014.  To schedule an appointment, call us at 02-397-4114 or email us at For full details, visit




What are developmental photos?

Develpment photo sample

Pop Quiz: Are the children in the 2 photos the same person?

As a child grows older, he or she changes significantly to the point where their face no longer resembles their previous passport photo.  This is especially true if the last passport was issued when the child was an infant.  As a result, it is often very difficult to recognize that the applicant and the person in the previous passport photo are one and the same person.

For that reason, we request the parents bring photos that show the physical development of their child since their last passport was issued. We suggest that you submit at least one photo from every year since the last passport was issued. Failure to do so may result in delay of issuing your child’s passport until you can provide such photos.

Development photos may also apply to first time adult passport applicants.  Adults can change too!  If you’ve had a dramatic change in appearance since your last passport photo – such as a significant weight loss or plastic surgery – the consular officer may request that you present developmental photos or other documentation.

All development photos will be returned to the parents/applicants.  Please do not bring photos on your phone or other mobile device; electronic devices are not permitted in the consular waiting room.

Answer: The 2 photos are the same person! Surprised?  This is why we need development photos.


Consular Services Outreach in Busan, Monday and Tuesday, August 25-26, 2014

Seoul logo

Don’t have time to get to the Embassy in Seoul?  We will offer American citizen services in Busan on August 25 (1:00 pm- 5:00 pm) and August 26 (9:00 am to 1:00 pm), 2014.  To schedule an appointment, call us at 02-397-4114 or email us at For full details, visit

Traffic Advisory on Wednesday, June 18, 2014

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: On Wednesday, June 18, the Republic of Korea will play Russia in a World Cup match, 06:30am – 09:00am. More than 20,000 football fans are expected at a viewing party that will be set up in Gwanghwamun Plaza, directly in front of US Embassy Seoul. Expect heavy traffic congestion and road closures in and around the area. Consular applicants should allow extra time to arrive at the Embassy. Visitors are strongly advised to use the metro (subway) as vehicles will likely be diverted. There is NO public parking at US Embassy Seoul.

Information Session with Korean Immigration Services

ACS hosted senior officials with the Korea Immigration Service (KIS) at the U.S. Embassy on Wednesday, June 11.  The KIS representatives gave a presentation on the KIS organizational structure and policies, and also engaged in a lengthy Q&A session addressing a wide array of immigration issues, including Korean visa and residence policies, immigration enforcement, and progress on addressing a variety of complicated issues that have arisen as a result of the dramatic increase in foreign visitors and residents in Korea over the past 30 years.  Attendees included various U.S. governmental agencies as well as consular representatives from Canada and New Zealand.  These types of bilateral exchanges help ACS better serve the local American citizen community, all of whom have at least some interaction with KIS during their time in Korea.

A meeting with the Director of the National Child Protection Agency

On Tuesday, June 3, ACS staff met with the Director of the National Child Protection Agency (NCPA), which was founded in 2001 by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.  The NCPA provided an overview of child welfare issues in Korea and briefed ACS members on  its role in helping to prevent, protect against, and offer assistance to the victims of child abuse and neglect. Afterward, representatives from the NCPA and ACS engaged them in a lively and illuminating discussion of the differences in child welfare laws and governmental resources available in the U.S. and Korea, and possible avenues of cooperation between the two groups.  This cooperation is essential to our ability to assist American children who may be suffering from abuse or neglect in a foreign and sometimes completely unfamiliar environment.

American Citizen Services Appreciation Day 2014


More than 45 guests from various government organizations and other agencies attended the annual ACS appreciation event on May 21, 2014.  Consul General Paul Boyd welcomed the guests with warm remarks and handed certificates to each recipient.  All participants promptly helped US citizens in need with their knowledge and expertise.  Most of these cases not only involved a criminal, legal, or medical matter, but also the safe and orderly repatriation of an American Citizen back to the U.S.  The appreciation day was quite successful in terms of maintaining strong relationships with crucial contacts and showing them our gratitude.

When a Valid Passport Isn’t Really Valid websiteAll too often, Embassy Seoul receives calls from anxious American citizens who are stuck at Incheon International Airport.  The stories are similar and often go something like this: “John” is traveling from Seoul to Thailand with non-refundable tickets for a dream vacation, but the airline denied him boarding. “Mary” is traveling from Los Angeles to Manila with a layover in Seoul, but was prevented from boarding her continuing flight to the Philippines. Both passengers are carrying valid U.S. passports. So what’s the problem?  Their passports are expiring too soon. Or, their passport visa pages are too full.

These visitors learned the hard way that many countries in Asia and around the world will not permit travelers to enter unless their passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date of their intended departure.  These countries include — but are not limited to — Thailand, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia.  These same countries also require visitors to have at least one blank visa page in their passport.  A handful of countries go a step further:  China, Singapore and Indonesia (specifically Bali) require visitors to have at least two remaining blank visa pages in their passport.

Before packing your sunscreen and swimsuit, it’s important to carefully check your passport, especially the expiration date.  The next step is to check the entry requirements for the country you are visiting.  Begin by visiting Travel.State.Gov (  Next, type in the name of the country you are visiting in the “Learn about your destination” box. The first item you’ll see are any Travel Alerts or Travel Warnings pertaining to that country. Below under “Quick Facts” is a summary of entry and exit requirements. In addition to passport validity and visa page requirements, you’ll also learn whether your destination country requires a visa or vaccinations.

Below the “Quick Facts” box, take a few minutes to read through the Country Specific Information (CSI), which includes important information about your destination country such as U.S. Embassy and Consulates contact information, security & safety concerns, local laws, LGBT travel and more.

Don’t let your travel plans get delayed by poor planning. If you discover your passport is expiring soon, visit the Embassy Seoul website ( for information on renewing your passport.  We recommend U.S. citizens renew their passport no later than 7 months before the expiration date. We can normally renew your passport in 2-3 weeks, so your valid passport won’t become invalid.

Consular Services Outreach in Daegu, Monday and Tuesday, June 30-July 1, 2014

Seoul logoDon’t have time to get to the Embassy in Seoul?  We will offer American citizen services in Daegu on June 30 and July 1, 2014.  To schedule an appointment, email us at or call us at 02-397-4114.  For full details, visit

Information Session with a Korean Police

The Head of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA), Second International Crime Investigative Unit, met with Embassy Consular staff to explain the roles and responsibilities of the Korean police, the investigative processes, foreigner’s rights, and victim assistance.  One of the highlights was the increasing role of the “Tourist Police” in Dongdaemun, Myeongdong, and Itaewon (and other locations) to assist foreign visitors with any problems or issues they may encounter during their visit to Seoul.  Of particular interest was the increasingly proactive role taken by the police toward recognizing and addressing mental health and victim assistance issues. The session was quite informative and helped to increase knowledge and awareness for the Consular staff about the Korean police and the rights of foreigners during the police investigation process.

Consular Services Outreach in Busan, Tuesday and Wednesday, June 10-11, 2014

Seoul logoDon’t have time to get to the Embassy in Seoul?  We will offer American citizen services in Busan on June 10 (9:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-5:00pm) and June 11 (9:00 am to 12:00pm), 2014.  To schedule an appointment, call us at 02-397-4114 or email us at For full details, visit

Big changes at Embassy Seoul

Seoul logoOn Monday, April 14, the American Citizen Services (ACS) section moved to a new, larger space.  Effective immediately, customers with ACS appointments must enter through the South ‘side’ entrance of the Embassy. ACS (American Citizen Services) customers do not have to stand in the line with the visa applicants.  Come directly to the front of the line and look for the entrance marked for ACS. You may enter the ACS waiting room no earlier than 15 minutes prior to your appointment time.

After passing through security, make an immediate right into the ACS waiting room. The new ACS waiting room and office is twice as large as our old office, featuring more seating areas, a larger children’s play area, and a private nursing area for new mothers!  We look forward to your visit to the new American Citizen Services section.

For public transportation directions to US Embassy Seoul, please click the link below:

The old front entrance across Sejong Cultural Center is reserved for Special Consular Services only- which include deaths, arrests, medical, health, and legal issues.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to technical difficulties, all Embassy Consular sections are unable to accept credit cards until further notice. We can only accept cash (U.S. dollars or Korean won). We apologize for the inconvenience. 

“Emergency Ready” app for smartphones and tablets

NEMAThe ROK National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) provides an English-language version of its “Emergency Ready” app for smartphones and tablets.  The app is free and allows users to make emergency 119 calls quickly, locate the nearest emergency shelters, watch videos related to CPR, First Aid, etc.  Please consider installing the app on your smartphones/tablets and passing this to family members for their consideration.


Do I need to file taxes if I live abroad?

IRS 1040 Tax Form Being Filled Out www.seniorliving.orgMany Americans living abroad are aware that they will have little or no income tax liability, but a large number are unaware that they are still legally required to file their annual tax returns even if no money is owed.

According to the IRS, “the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad.” (see U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.)   This means that all Americans and resident aliens are required to file income tax returns each year, regardless of the income source.  Whether any taxes are actually owed, however, depends on the source(s) of income, amount of income, and length of time living or residing abroad during the tax year.

If you meet certain requirements, you may qualify to exclude foreign earnings up to $97,600 in TY 2013 and/or claim the foreign housing deduction.  Excludable earnings are adjusted annually for inflation, so you will have to remember to check the IRS website or consult with your tax attorney as you prepare to file each year.

The bad news: if you live abroad, but earn income from a U.S. source, you will not qualify for the foreign earnings exclusion.  If you fall into this category, however, you probably are already aware of this and have been filing your returns regularly.

The good news: “If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien residing overseas, or are in the military on duty outside the U.S., on the regular due date of your return, you are allowed an automatic 2-month extension to file your return and pay any amount due without requesting an extension. For a calendar year return, the automatic 2-month extension is to June 15.”  (see U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.)

Depending on your personal situation, filing from abroad could be relatively straightforward or very complex, and you may wish to consult with a tax professional.

Below are more resources that the IRS has made available to Americans living and working abroad:

New US Citizenship Rules Help Birth Mothers

baby's name

Mothers who gave birth to a child overseas with help from an egg donor can transmit citizenship under a new policy from the U.S. State Department.

The change took effect on Jan. 31.  For the first time, birth mothers who are not genetically related to their child can pass on U.S. citizenship.  Birth mothers will be treated the same as genetic mothers for purposes of acquiring citizenship.

The good news for such mothers is that the policy is retroactive.  That means that birth mothers can apply for U.S. citizenship for their children even if their application would have been turned down in the past.

The new policy officially means that both the U.S. State Department and Department of Homeland Security will interpret the definition of “child” under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to mean the child of a genetic or a gestational parent.  The baby will be treated as born in wedlock as long as both genetic or gestational parents are married at the time of the child’s birth.

Of course, a few caveats apply. The mother must be the legal parent of the child. And a U.S. consular officer must approve the request for an official birth certificate, known as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, making sure that all requirements for citizenship are fulfilled.

Great article on the many ways U.S. Embassies help Americans abroad!

See what American Embassies can do for American citizens who live abroad!  Hit this link.

Consular Services Outreach in Daegu, Monday and Tuesday April 28-29, 2014

Seoul logoDon’t have time to get to the Embassy in Seoul?  We will offer American citizen services in Daegu on April  28 (12:30pm to 5:00pm) and 29  (9:00 am to 1:00pm), 2014.  To schedule an appointment, call us at 02-397-4114 or email us at For full details, visit


taxI know, it’s not even March, but U.S. residents living abroad often need more time to get their taxes in order.

Did you know U.S. citizens and legal residents living outside the United States are taxed on their worldwide income? The good news is that up to $97,600 of your income is excluded, on top of which, you may be able to deduct certain foreign housing expenses.

Check out this this webpage for more forms and more info:

AIR QUALITY: Chinese Smog and Dust Roll into Korea

smogWinter cold promotes a rise in coal burning in industrial China, which creates smog that then rolls across the sea into Korea.  Occasionally Korea’s winter skyline is blanketed by this haze (“mise meonji”).  The National Institute of Environmental Research says the smog contains high levels of heavy metals such as arsenic and lead, and expects the smog to become a more frequent problem for Korea.  Warnings of smog have sent sales of face masks soaring, along with detergents that claim to wash away bacteria and heavy metals.  Dustproof windshield wipers and air filters are popular.  To check Korean air quality data, see:

In the spring, the Yellow Dust (or “hwangsa”) from China’s Gobi Desert blows across northern China, where it can where it can pick up industrial pollution and then blow across the sea into Korea.  Dust concentrations vary greatly from place to place and day to day.  In high concentrations, Yellow Dust can aggravate respiratory illnesses and cause significant irritation to the eyes, throat, and lungs, especially for young children and the elderly.

If Yellow Dust levels exceed 400 micrograms/㎥, the Korea Meteorological Administration will issue an advisory to encourage the elderly, elementary schoolchildren, and those with respiratory illnesses to stay inside, and advising all residents to avoid strenuous outdoor activity.  If Yellow Dust levels exceed 800 micrograms/㎥, the government will issue a warning thatresidents should avoid any unnecessary outdoor activities; schools may be closed, and many outdoor events may be cancelled.  Korea Meteorological Administration provides an excellent English-language chart of yellow dust levels for all provinces and major cities in Korea (be sure to select your city or province from the menu on the top left of the chart).

Happy Lunar New Year!

happy_newYear2The Embassy is closed on Thursday and Friday, January 30 and 31 in observance of the Korean Lunar New Year.   We will reopen for regular business hours on Monday, February 3.


SSN_BENEFITSIf you are an U.S. citizen residing in Korea, you may apply for a social security card or replacement card at the Embassy, and we will forward your application to the Social Security Administration’s regional office in Manila.

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul is NOT a Social Security claims-processing post.  For social security claims and other questions, please contact:

Social Security Administration
1201 Roxas Boulevard
Ermita, 0930 Manila

Phone Number: (63)(2)301-2000
Fax Number: (63)(2)708-9723/9714

For more details about your Social Security benefits, please refer to the following website:


illegal drugsA majority of U.S. citizens serving sentences in Korean prisons are doing so for possession of illegal drugs.  The Embassy cannot get involved in Korean police investigations, court prosecutions, or provide legal assistance.  People caught by the Korean police for illegal drug possession will be prosecuted to the full extent of Korean law and serve lengthy terms in Korean prison.

I’VE BEEN ARRESTED! I need a lawyer now!

ARRESTEDIn most cases, Korean law enforcement officials promptly notify the Embassy about the arrest or detention of any U.S. citizen.  The American Citizen Services section makes every effort to make an initial visit to the detainee soon after the arrest, with follow up visits periodically.  However, the U.S. Embassy cannot assist prisoners with legal representation.  Our job is to ensure that the arrested U.S. citizen is being treated fairly under local laws, understands the charges, has access to legal counsel, and has any special or emergency needs met to the extent possible.  The Embassy can also keep a detainee’s relatives or friends informed of the situation if that is the person’s wish.

Here is a list of local attorneys who speak English and may be able help you with your legal problem:

I’VE BEEN ROBBED! What should I do?

robberyKorea’s crime rate is very low, but crime does happen.  Here’s what you should do:

(1)  Contact the U.S. Embassy:  Consular officers are available to provide emergency assistance 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.  Our 24/7 operator number is +82-(0)2-397-4114.  If you have access to DSN, call 721-4114.

(2)  Contact the local police to report the incident and get immediate help.  Request a copy of the police report.

The Embassy is committed to assisting American citizens who are the victim of a crime overseas.  For more information see:

I LOST MY PASSPORT! And I have to travel for an emergency!

ppt_If you lost your passport and must travel for an emergency (e.g., medical emergency, death in family), the Embassy can issue a temporary passport for the purpose of emergency travel only.  You must appear at the Embassy in person and bring documentation of the emergency situation and your travel itinerary/plane ticket.  Moreover, you should fill out the online passport application using the “Passport Wizard” ( and the DS-64 (statement regarding a lost or stolen passport) and bring them to the Embassy along with a photo I.D., proof of U.S. citizenship, proof of identity, passport photo, and fee ($135 for adults, $105 for children).  Please schedule an appointment on the Embassy’s appointment page:

If your passport was LOST or STOLEN—but you are NOT traveling for an emergency—then you must fill out the online passport application using the “Passport Wizard” and the DS-64 (statement regarding a lost or stolen passport) and bring them to the Embassy along with a photo I.D., proof of U.S. citizenship, proof of identity, passport photo, and fee ($135 for adults, $105 for children).  If your passport was stolen, please file a police report and bring a copy of the report with you.  A personal appearance is required, so schedule an appointment on the Embassy’s appointment page. You can get a new passport in 2 to 3 weeks.  For more information see:


Dr. KingMartin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his tireless work to promote civil rights in the United States.  Dr. King came from a family of pastors, and he had a strong belief in the equality of all people and in non-violent methods to achieve social equality.  He grew up attending segregated public schools in Georgia, but he continued his education until he received his Ph.D. in 1955.  He worked as a pastor and an executive committee member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation.  In December 1955, he led a bus boycott lasting 382 days to protest segregation on buses, until the Supreme Court declared such segregation to be unconstitutional.

In 1957, Dr. King was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil rights organization. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from India’s Gandhi.  Dr. King spoke over 2,500 times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; he wrote five books and numerous articles.  He led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world.  He planned voter registration drives in Alabama.  He directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his famous speech, “l Have a Dream.”  On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.  Dr. King is a strong symbol in the America psyche of the ideal that we should make the world a better place.

The Embassy is closed on Monday, January 20 in observance of Martin Luther King Day.   We will reopen for regular business hours on Tuesday, January 21.


OUCH!!! I need a Doctor or Dentist who speaks English

doctorsThe Emergency Medical Information Center (dial 119 within Korea) has English speaking doctors available 24 hours a day to assist foreigners and provide them with relevant medical information in emergencies.

Here is a list of Korean doctors and dentists who speak acceptable English, who may be able to help you:

Also, do you have health insurance?  Korean hospitals generally do not accept foreign medical insurance and expect advance payment for services in the form of cash or credit cards from foreigners.  If you’re relying on an insurance policy from the U.S., be sure to check with your company to determine if you have coverage overseas.


PPTSIf your passport’s visa pages are becoming full, but your passport is still valid and in good condition, you may apply for additional visa pages.  One set of extra pages (you can choose between a set of 24 pages or 48 pages) costs $82.  Follow the instructions on this webpage:

Seoul logoDon’t have time to get to the Embassy in Seoul? We will offer American citizen services in Busan on March 3rd (12:30pm to 5:00pm) and March 4th (9:00 am to 1:00pm).   To schedule an appointment, call us at 02-397-4114 or email us at   For full details, visit


teacherKorean students are generally bright and motivated, which can make teaching English here fun.  The Embassy’s webpage on teaching English in Korea is:

You should carefully review the terms of your employment contract, especially with regard to working and living conditions.  You will need an employment visa called E-2 (Teaching) visa from the Korean government.  To get the E-2 visa, you submit with your application a criminal records check, health certificate, and U.S. diplomas. Depending on the job and other factors, it can take from one week to two months get your E2 visa.  Within 90 days of arriving in Korea, you must register with Korean Immigration and obtain a residence certificate and re-entry permit.

WE’RE GOING ON A FAMILY VACATION! How do I get a passport for my baby or child?

family_vacationYou will need to bring your child’s U.S. Birth Certificate or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CBRA), parents’ photo identifications,  proof that parents are related to the child, online passport application using the “Passport Wizard” (, passport photo, and fee of $105.

For applicants age 15 or younger, both parents must appear in person and sign the passport application before a U.S. consular officer.  Please schedule an appointment at the Embassy’s appointment page:

For more information see:

WE JUST HAD A BABY! Since we live overseas, how do I ensure my baby is recognized as a U.S. citizen?

new bornIf you or your spouse is a United States citizen, you should get a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) for your baby.  The CRBA is an official record of U.S. citizenship issued to a person under age 18 who was born abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s) and acquired citizenship at birth. This document is used in the United States like a certified copy of a birth certificate, and it is acceptable evidence of citizenship for obtaining a passport and entering school. The Embassy strongly encourages all U.S. citizens with children born in Korea to apply for a CRBA as soon as possible after the birth of the child.  For more information see:

I WANT A JOB AT THE U.S. EMBASSY! How can I get hired?


If you don’t want to be a Foreign Service Officer (see last post on FSO jobs), but want to work at the U.S. Embassy, then take a look at the Embassy’s recruitment page:

Admittedly, there are not many available jobs at the Embassy because people like working here.  But from time to time, there is an opening, so check our website once or twice a month.  When you see an announcement for an open position, and you feel that you fit those requirements, then please send us an application at that time.  Recruiting takes place only for the purpose of filling our advertised vacancies.  Hope to see you here!


I WANT TO BE A DIPLOMAT! How can I apply for this cool job?

DiplomatU.S. diplomats are called Foreign Service Officers.  While this job may appear glamorous (worldwide travel, government-paid housing, generous pay and benefits), the job can be very challenging and sometimes dangerous.  Serving as a FSO requires fortitude, flexibility, and the ability to adapt to changing situations and cultures.  The job application process is extremely competitive.  Most FSOs speak at least one foreign language and hold an advanced degree.

If you want to join the State Department as a FSO, your first step is to pass the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT), which measures your knowledge, skills and abilities, including writing skills that are necessary to the work of a FSO.  The FSOT is administered three times a year.  You can register to take the FSOT in Korea.  The next test date is February 1 to 8, 2014.  For more information see: