Sunday, May 10th, 2015

The lack of social services provided by the @usembassyq8 @HMAMatthewLodge

If you go to a restaurant and receive inadequate service, you can ask the manager to come to the table, and you can voice your concerns with them.  You can explain how the food wasn’t prepared properly, or how the value for the food was unsatisfactory.  If you happen to have a rude server, you can explain to the manager how you felt you were mistreated, and usually the business will go out of their way to make sure you leave a satisfied customer.

…unfortunately the US Embassy is not a restaurant…lol.

Today was my second trip the the US embassy in Kuwait.  Having been a recent victim of banking fraud during a trip to Brazil, my bank is requiring me to get the dispute forms notarized–a service that an online search revealed only the US Embassy is able to provide locally in Kuwait.

The first time I visited the US Embassy in Q8 was last year when I needed to get a passport replaced.  Having visited  ‘my’ Embassy in several countries; Mexico, Philippines, Thailand, etc–I was surprised to see that it was by appointment only, however I guess with the added security measures needed in the Middle East that point was understood.

It was just a bit discouraging that the property was not open to American Citizens seeking information on their social services, without an appointment booked online…You literally couldn’t even speak to an American Citizen working for the Embassy, as you were turned away at the security gate.

Having learned my lesson about needing an appointment last time, I went online and booked a date with the Consular Officer of the United States of America, which only took me a week before the first available appointment. (thank goodness it wasn’t an emergency…lol)

Arriving a half hour before my scheduled appointment, I was able to quickly pass through the security screenings and proceed into the designated area.

The facility itself was busy, as the embassy essentially books everyone into the same 1:00PM appointment time.  After 45 minutes of waiting it was finally my turn to get my banks dispute forms notarized.

In the states there are several options to get things notarized, banks, police departments, often schools have people available to witness your signing of official documents before placing their seal of approval.

The cost of the notary varies depending on the type of document and which state you are trying to get the forms witnessed, however  the price of most single page, single notarizations in the state of Arizona is 2$…Shockingly when I went to my appointment today, the Kuwait Embassy charged me 150$ to complete my 3 forms.

When I asked the Consular Officer if there was a mistake in price, explaining that my forms were basic in design–he simply told me I am more than welcome to decline the notary.


I’m in Kuwait!!!…And the Embassy is suppose to provide me with such social services, not extort me for being a citizen living abroad!

Needing the papers signed I had no other options, and I grudgingly paid the 150$ fee.

forget 6$ that will be 150$ please


I find it disappointing, especially since I am still paying taxes in the USA for social services I rarely get the benefits of, that the Embassy here in Kuwait would charge such excessive fees for essentially a rubber stamp ‘witnessing’ my own signature.

It is really pathetic to see how little the American Embassy does for the Expat community living in Kuwait, when compared to other countries servicing their communities abroad.

I have actively tried to reach out to the Ambassador  for opportunities to network and fellowship with other American’s living in the country, to no avail.

While the USA Embassy offers Thursday evening ‘Happy Hours’ where people are able to enjoy some of the many privileges being on USA soil offers (like a casual alcoholic beverage)…it is almost impossible to get an invite or ‘sponsor’ to attend such an event.

In the words of a recent email received from the Consular Section when asked about these social services provided by the Embassy, I was informed that the ‘‘Embassy employee association social events are often official, representational functions and are not in any case normally open to the general public.”--Something I wouldn’t find so comical if the employee would have been honest and just said ‘You need to have Wasta for an invite’–because the truth is there are more Kuwaiti nationals able to get me on the list to visit one of these functions at my own embassy than their are Americans.

Maybe the next time Anderson Silva is in the country, I can ask him to introduce me to someone who can help me get an invite to my own embassy…Until then it looks like I’ll be fellowshipping with those in attendance at the British Compound–something that is a testament to British ambassador Matthew Lodge and his commitment to making himself available to service his expat community!

seeing as how there is no manager at the US Embassy to talk to, and I get better customer service from the local Chili’s here in Kuwait… I figure I’ll just put my experience on the blog For other Expats to read and prepare for similar experiences–judging by what I saw with several other citizens seeking social services today, I’m not the only one disappointed with the process.