Message to U.S. Citizens: 2018 Updates & Improvements to Safety and Security Information

January 9, 2018

Happy New Year! Everyone here at Embassy Kathmandu wishes you and yours a happy and healthy 2018. Please take a moment to plan for the following changes and opportunities in the year ahead.

Improvements to Safety and Security Information

On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, the Department of State will make changes to our safety and security information to make it easier to find, understand, and use.

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

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

Individuals who have signed up to receive updates via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP.state.gov) – and you have already done so if you successfully receive this email – will automatically receive NepalTravel Advisory and Alerts via email in the weeks following the January 10 launch. Individuals who have signed up will also 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 http://travel.state.gov/travelsafely.

SSA Inquiries Can Be Directed to Embassy Manila

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has recently 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.

Going forward, individuals residing in Nepal who require social security services or have questions about SSA benefits must contact the SSA Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) in Manila, Philippines, rather than Embassy Kathmandu. For more information on the services provided at the FBU in Manila, please visit https://ph.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security. You can reach them directly at fbu.manila@ssa.gov or 632-301-2000.

For comprehensive information on SSA’s services abroad, visit https://www.ssa.gov/foreign. Please note that if you already receive SSA benefits payments, there will be no change in the method of distribution of those payments.

American Citizen Town Hall Planned for February 21

We are organizing an annual Citizen Town Hall, tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, February 21, 2018. Additional details will follow, but mark your calendars in advance and email consktm@state.gov if there are topics you would like to be covered by Embassy officials during the event.

Got What It Takes to Become a U.S. Diplomat?

The Embassy will host the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) on Friday, February 2, 2018, at 9:00 am. Visit the Pearson VUE FSOT website to learn more, http://www.pearsonvue.com/fsot. Sign up for the test no later than Wednesday, January 24, 2018.

It Is Never Too Early to Register to Vote

If you use the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) to register to vote, you need to send a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) each and every year. Re-register early every year to avoid delays. If you register to vote directly through your state election authority, you may or may not need to re-register every year. Learn more at http://www.fvap.gov. Register now to participate in the 2018 midterm elections!

It Is Also Never Too Early to Get Started on Your Taxes

U.S. citizens and resident aliens living outside the United States are subject to U.S. income tax on worldwide income. International taxpayers may, however, qualify for certain foreign earned income exclusions and/or foreign income tax credits. U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live outside of the United States are allowed an automatic two-month extension until June 15 to file a return and pay any tax due. For additional information, please refer to Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. Find more great resources for international taxpayers, at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/international-taxpayer.

We’re at Your Service

Routine consular services for citizens are offered by appointment on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons. Learn more about our routine and emergency services for American citizens by visiting https://np.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services.

For needs outside of that schedule, email consktm@state.gov or dial (+977)(1)423-4000 during working hours. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance outside of business hours, dial (+977)(1)423-4000 to be connected with the emergency duty officer. If the primary number does not work, you can also dial the analog back-up number (+977)(1)400-7200.

We strongly encourage U.S. citizens living or traveling in Nepal to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. If you have received this message by email, you are successfully enrolled. If friends and family have not received this message, their STEP enrollment may not be up-to-date. To cancel your enrollment, log into STEP and enter an end date to your enrollment or email consktm@state.gov to let us know that you have departed Nepal.