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      Citizens residing outside the U.S. who have not yet submitted a registration and ballot request (FPCA) for the 2014 calendar year should do so as soon as possible in order to participate in upcoming general elections.  The 2014 elections will decide 435 U.S. House of Representatives seats, 33 U.S. Senate seats, and the Governors’ seats of 36 states.

Below is the process for voting absentee:

The official US Government website for overseas absentee voting assistance is the Federal Voting Assistance Program http://www.fvap.gov/. It has a wealth of information about absentee voting, including the downloadable absentee ballot application, state-specific instructions for completing the form, links to state and local officials, and a downloadable emergency ballot.

  • Complete an application form and send it to local election officials in the U.S.
  • The local official approves your request, or contacts you for further information.
  • The local official sends you an absentee ballot.
  • Complete the ballot and send it back in time to meet your state’s deadline.
  • States are now required to offer electronic delivery of ballots, either via email or fax. Be sure to clearly mark your preferences in item 4c of the application form. If you select email and your state offers only electronic delivery via fax, local officials may default to delivery by mail.

Each state has different voting procedures. Information about your state’s deadlines to register and vote and a calendar of election dates is available at http://www.fvap.gov/.

States sometimes make last-minute changes. There may be late changes to your state’s voting calendar, procedures or deadlines. When these occur, the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will issue a news release.

Emergency ballots: If the ballot receipt deadline for the general election is approaching, and you have not yet received the blank ballot from local officials, you may download an emergency ballot, write in the names of the candidates and the offices for which they are running, and send it back in time to meet your state’s ballot receipt deadline. The emergency ballot (SF-186, Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, or FWAB) is at http://www.fvap.gov/.

National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 8-14!

This season, National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) takes place from December 8-14, 2013. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established NIVW in 2005 to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond. All around the country, NIVW events including a press briefing, radio interviews, health fairs, flu clinics, social media events, and educational opportunities will emphasize the importance of flu vaccination.

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As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination can still provide protection against the flu. Flu activity doesn’t usually peak until January or February in the United States, and the season can last as late as May, so it is important to vaccinate now if you haven’t already.

 

For more details please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/features/fighttheflu/

CG-Michael MullinsSeason’s greetings from the U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad! I hope you have been enjoying the holiday season and are able to take some time at the end of the year to spend with family and friends. Unfortunately, many routine holiday activities such as setting up electric lights, lighting candles, shopping in crowded places, attending holiday parties, and cooking feasts can present opportunities for incidents to occur in the home, in crowds, or on the roads. Whether you live in Hyderabad or are traveling away from home, we hope you exercise caution over the holiday season and keep your personal security and safety in mind.

As the New Year arrives, consider taking a moment to enroll in the Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP).  Despite the word “travelers,” even those Americans who live in India full-time can still benefit from registering.  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at their destination.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.  As always, we want to be sure that U.S. citizens in India have quick and easy access to information related to their health and safety as well as information about our services.  To this end, we have created an American Citizen Services India Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/AmericanCitizenServicesIndia.

Updated information on travel and security may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  For further information, please visit travel.state.gov and consult the Worldwide Caution and other consular information, including Country Specific Information, for specific countries.  These products and the latest international travel information for U.S. citizens are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.  You can also download our free Smart Traveler App available through iTunes and the Android market to have travel information at your fingertips.

Happy Holidays,

Michael Mullins

Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad

NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH 2013

On November 19, 2013, in Children Issues, Kids, by Hyderabad ACS

Celebrating National Adoption Month 

Every November, a Presidential Proclamation launches activities and celebrations to help build awareness of adoption throughout the nation. Thousands of community organizations arrange and host programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories, challenge the myths, and draw attention to the thousands of children in foster care who are waiting for permanent families.

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 Since November 1995, National Adoption Month has provided a forum to celebrate families and increase awareness of the hundreds of thousands of children awaiting adoption – both in the United States and abroad. USCIS is proud to help unite adoptive children from around the world with American families who desire to provide a permanent and loving home for them. In fiscal year 2013, USCIS approved nearly 5,600 intercountry adoption-related petitions and played a crucial role in thousands more.

Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens adopt children from overseas. This is known as an intercountry adoption.Adopting a child from another country is often a complicated journey, and the information on this site: http://www.uscis.gov/adoption is designed to help you as you move forward.

Also visit http://adoption.state.gov/about_us/national_adoption_month.php

October is National Pizza Month

On September 27, 2013, in Did you know?, People, Uncategorized, by Hyderabad ACS

Celebrate Pizza!           

October is U.S National Pizza Month and people in the United States consume the equivalent of approximately about 23 lbs., or 46 slices, of pizza every year! National Pizza Month began in the year 1987. Americans started loving pizza in the late 19th century, when it was first sold in Italian neighborhoods in the cities of New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. Peddlers in cool paper chef hats used to walk up and down the streets with a metal washtub full of pizzas on their head, and selling it at 2 cents per piece. Pretty soon small cafes and grocery stores started offering the dish to their Italian-American customers. Each year, pizza is a $30 billion industry in the U.S. The most popular days for ordering pizza are Super Bowl Sunday, Halloween, the day before Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. These days, selling pizza is a $30 billion-a-year industry in the U.S., having 70,000 pizza restaurants across the country.

Pizza Fun Facts

 94 percent of Americans eat pizza regularly

Pepperoni is America’s favorite topping (36 percent of all pizza orders). Other popular pizza toppings are mushrooms, extra cheese, sausage, green pepper and onion.

 On Super Bowl Sunday, pizza drivers can expect $2 tips to sometimes soar as high as $20.

There are approximately 61,269 pizzerias in the United States.

 

For more news on national pizza month and recipes visit: http://pizza.com/news/national-pizza-month

 http://www.pizzatoday.com/magazine/2012-october-national-pizza-month-recipes?A=SearchResult&SearchID=5085630&ObjectID=5742679&ObjectType=35

 

 

Amerikids! Learn about the USA

On July 3, 2013, in Holidays, Independence Day, Kids, by Hyderabad ACS

   

 Miss the fireworks on July 4th?

 

 

 

The Fourth of July isn’t only about pausing to remember our important history… it’s also about having fun, being creative, and celebrating with friends and family. Be at your creative best and join your child to make your very own fireworks with music! http://www.pbs.org/capitolfourth/fireworks.html

Amerikids! Learn about the USA

On July 3, 2013, in Holidays, Independence Day, Kids, by Hyderabad ACS

                                                     

How many of you have taken part in a pie-eating contest as part of the National Day celebrations?

 

 

July 4th has been recognized as Independence Day in the United States ever since the country’s Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. To mark the occasion, Americans celebrate with parades, fireworks, concerts and other festive activities.

Share your experiences in the comments!

http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/gallery/2011/06/20110601172314su0.5658931.html#axzz2Wp6IWN5P

Amerikids! Learn about the USA

On July 2, 2013, in Holidays, Independence Day, Kids, by Hyderabad ACS

                                                    

A lot of chocolate chip cookies will be consumed across America during July 4th picnics. 

 

 

 

Cooking with your kids is a great way to celebrate the holiday.  You can find a recipe here and even learn the history of the classic cookie sometimes called a Toll House Cookie. http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18476/Original-NESTL%C3%89-TOLL-HOUSE-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies/detail.aspx

Amerikids! Learn about the USA

On July 1, 2013, in Holidays, Independence Day, Kids, by Hyderabad ACS

                                                    

Fifty-nine places contain the word “liberty” in the name. Pennsylvania, with 11, has more of these places than any other state. Can your AmeriKids guess how many people lived in America in 1776?  And now? 

 

 

 On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country. For more July 4th Patriotic trivia, visit http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb13-ff14.html

Amerikids! Learn about the USA

On June 30, 2013, in Kids, by Hyderabad ACS

See the document that formalized U.S. Independence and play some history games

 

 

 

Kids.gov is the official kids’ portal for the U.S. government. We link kids, parents and teachers to U.S. government information and services on the web from government agencies, schools, and educational organizations, all geared to the learning level and interest of kids.Our Mission is to provide a safe place online where kids can create, play, and learn.      

    http://kids.usa.gov/history/constitution/index.shtml