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 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

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

All About Selective Service Registration

On May 6, 2011, in Advice, People, by Hyderabad ACS

What is The Selective Service System?

The Selective Service System is an independent agency within the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. The Director of Selective Service is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Selective Service is not a part of the Department of Defense.

The Federal law under which the agency operates is the Military Selective Service Act. Under this law, the mission of the Selective Service System is to provide the numbers of men needed by the Armed Forces, within the time required, should Congress and the President decide to return to a draft, in the event of a national emergency. Selective Service would also be responsible for administering a program of alternative service for conscientious objectors.

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U.S. Citizenship – Rights and Responsibilities

On May 4, 2011, in Advice, by Hyderabad ACS

There are many people in India who possess U.S. citizenship but may have never lived in the United States before. American citizenship comes with certain rights and responsibilities that every citizen should be aware of. As a U.S. citizen abroad, you should be aware that certain responsibilities are requirements of all U.S. citizens, regardless of where you live.

All U.S. citizens are required to:

  • Enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport, regardless of what other nationality you may possess. This is federal law. Sec 215(b) INA [USC 1185]
  • File an income tax report with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year.
  • If you are male, register with the Selective Service System at age 18 for possible conscription into the armed forces. (Although no one has been drafted in the U.S. since 1973, draft registration continues for possible reinstatement on some future date.)

All U.S. citizens have the following rights: