Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

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Alan
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Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby Alan » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:03 pm

Hi... I don´t frequent this embassy, but am forwarding a message from an American friend that does.


To anyone who hasn't been to the US Embassy in awhile and needs to do a trámite, be aware that they no longer let you leave things like cell phones at the door to pick up on your way out. You can't enter with anything from remote car-door openers to purses. They won't even let you in the door. I ran afoul of the rule today when I realized I'd fogotten to take my Kindle out of the folder in which I was carrying papers.
This being Lima, there's a travel agent across the street who will hold onto things for you for a fee if you get caught out


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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby Alpineprince » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:49 pm

Brilliant!
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby caliguy » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:05 am

Alan wrote:
there's a travel agent across the street who will hold onto things for you for a fee if you get caught out

that's what i had to do recently. 5 soles :D
every place has it's own spirit. you just need to tune into it.
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby gringolandia » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:58 pm

They won't even let electronic car keys in.

It is quite ridiculous.

At first they were not even going to let my wife bring the baby diaper bag (diapers, change of clothes, milk) in. She complained very loudly until the supervisor finally let us in.

I'm writing a letter to complain.

It is so pathetic. Remember how in the movies the embassy is the one place an American citizen can always go when you are in danger and need protection? Hahahaha, not now!!! Now you're assumed to be a terrorist because our country has so many paranoid cowards in positions of authority.

Oh, and bonus: not a single one of the security people spoke English. WTF?!?!
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby MarcoPE » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:19 pm

gringolandia wrote:I'm writing a letter to complain.


Good idea...though based on the warmness and kindness of the people there, I can guess right where that will go.

gringolandia wrote:Oh, and bonus: not a single one of the security people spoke English. WTF?!?!


Well, the security people that don't speak any English actually work for a private security company (I think its called Torres which ironically also provides "language services") and previously they were the ones who watched your items ... so I am curious if this new rule is from the embassy or the security company?

Alan wrote:there's a travel agent across the street who will hold onto things for you for a fee if you get caught out


Makes me think the person in charge of embassy security has a sibling that owns a travel agency :lol:
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby ironchefchris » Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:34 pm

Curious if this is a new policy that has been implemented in other US embassies or only locally in Peru. This level of paranoia/excessive security is one of the reasons I´ve chosen to be an expat. Fear of diaper bags is a bit much.
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby edgeclinger » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:10 am

It has always been amazing to me how difficult they make everything at this embassy. Even before this change it was aggravating to have to go there. Getting past security to get into the building required answering questions in Spanish even with an appointment. Then giving up the cell phone at the security desk. Then trying to find the correct building / entrance with no signage. And of course then getting to the appointment and being asked questions which required information from the cell phone to answer! The whole thing has always been so frustrating that I am absolutely amazed that they have found a way to make it even more so! So now you're telling me that I can't even take my purse in with me? Turning my cell phone AND my purse over to some stranger and walking into MY embassy feeling "naked" without the purse gives me the creeps. As always I will do everything in my power to avoid going to the place. But doesn't this seem ridiculous? I used to think they were there to help us. LOL
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby captcosmic » Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:41 pm

Yes I agree that the US Embassy in Lima needs take a remedial class on customer care. As a government servant, I would NEVER treat anyone like my wife and I have been treated. If any one in the embassy visits this site, they should try to be just a little more friendly and remember your salaries are being paid by the US citizens and residents who come to you for help. You also might remember that some Peruvians who visit you will become residents and citizens. YOU are the first US government servants they will have contact with. IN my visits to the Embassy, I was amazed at the coldness and sense of "doing me a favor" from the minute I entered the Embassy grounds. It seems that the embassy employees have a sense of being better than anyone else and have forgotten what being a public servant means.

Funny. I have been to the Peruvian embassy in the states, and they treated me very nice.

Any embassy employees out there, chime in and enlighten us on why things are like they are at the US Embassy!
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby Alpineprince » Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:30 pm

I was there two weeks ago and am going again Monday and I really did not think it was that bad. The officer in charge of our case was very friendly and what I heard was a couple of hours in the interview process, was done in no time. They allowed us to bring in a diaper bag with powdered formula and a bottle of water as well.
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby captcosmic » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:57 am

Let us know how your trip to the embassy goes. Our personal experience has never been cheerful. The last time my wife went with the twins, and she had to find a place to keep her purse or lose her appointment, was the epitome of poor customer care. I guess when word gets around it might not make things better, but at least folks will be forewarned to leave everything at home. "Guerra avisada no muere gente."
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby ironchefchris » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:10 am

What are the experiences of non-American expats when it comes to dealing with their embassies?
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby jetsetter » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:01 pm

Oh the US embassy in Lima. I've been there multiple times, every time more miserable than the last. On my last visit the woman behind the 3" thick glass started being very condescending to my wife who is Peruvian from Iquitos. I flipping lost it, and told her in a very stern matter that my tax dollars pay her and her co workers salaries. and she WILL address my wife with respect. We were asked to leave the embassy. So Screw em.

I once had to deal with the US embassy in Seoul Korea. Quick, easy and overall pleasant experience.
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby TonyLeslie » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:18 pm

In reference to the enquiry by ironchefchris, I have only had need to go to the Australian Embassy twice and one of those was to vote, but from my brief experience, they were all very polite and efficient. Obviously it is a lot smaller than the U.S Embassy, so that must be taken into account. Certainly you have security to move through at certain points and you are put into specific lifts by security who press the required password and buttons on your behalf. That ensures no other button will work, so you cannot accidently get out at the wrong floor. I have also had the privilege of being entertained at the Ambassadors residence as part of a charity group fund raising party, (Nice to see where and how my previous tax dollars were going...lol) and likewise the wife of the Ambassador was a very friendly and efficient hostess.

Having said all that, I have not been there recently or since the isis situation has accelerated so things may have changed.
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby adrian Thorne » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:51 pm

ironchefchris wrote:What are the experiences of non-American expats when it comes to dealing with their embassies?

I must admit I was a little embarrassed at the British Consulate. Showing a British passport I was given free access to the unattended underground car park, used the stairway up to reception. I then went to the fifth floor in the lift, then when I entered the room there was at least twenty Peruvian applicants in the queue. On showing my passport, the doorman immediately sent me to the head of the queue and I was dealt with immediately. All the members of staff were polite and because I came up the stairs to reception I was not frisked. A very pleasant visit.
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby fanning » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:07 am

The Dutch embassy has gotten a bit more burocratic. Before you got the same type of treatment as the Brittish embassy, but some years ago they also introduced the appointment system. It is fairly easy to get the appointment, and when we had a time-problem they gave us an earlier date.
Once in the embassy you are dealt with quickly and efficiently.

My brother in law is Italian, and he has different experience in his embassy. It took him more than a year to get his son to get all the paperwork and passport to become Italian. It seems in that embassy it is almost impossible to make an online appointment ( they make them some weeks in advance, but you need to make it at 12 at night, else all appointments 2 weeks ahead are taken, a bit like the appointment system in the Good Hope clinic ... )
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby ironchefchris » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:52 am

This thread is starting to remind me of that old (dated?) joke about Heaven and Hell. My addendum is in parentheses.

Heaven Is Where:

The French are the chefs
The Italians are the lovers
The British are the police
The Germans are the mechanics
The Swiss make everything run on time
(And anybody but the US runs the embassy)

Hell is Where:

The British are the chefs
The Swiss are the lovers
The French are the mechanics
The Italians make everything run on time
The Germans are the police
(And the US runs the embassy)
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby Alpineprince » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:37 pm

My experience today was fast and efficient. I turned in my cell phone (S/2) and got on line at citizen services behind a bunch of Peruvians who had no idea what they were doing. It was less of a line and more like a circle of 20 people. Got the guards attention and he came over and looked at my receipt to pick up papers ( never asked for a passport) and waved me in. Once in side I was about 4th in cue and probably waited 15 mins, picked up my documents and was on my way! :P
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby captcosmic » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:49 pm

Security, ISIS, terrorism and even 9/11..there is no excuse to treating people like second or third class citizens. US or Peruvian, everyone should be treated with respect. It is the face of the US government. I was ashamed when I went there with my wife, to be honest. Too bad Ambassador Nichols or his wife don't stop by this page. Or maybe the embassy could give out a customer care opinion card given out with a collection box at the exit like they do in most DMVs and other government agencies. :lol:

I am glad at least a couple of folks here had a good experience at the embassy! :D
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby mammamia » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:14 pm

Funny enough, most of the guys who complain about the US embassy are those who worship Peru and all it stands for. I've been to the US consulate in Lima 5 times (visa issues) and have never been treated bad. And I'm neither American, nor Peruvian. So, maybe, it's time for you guys to give up your American passports, become 100% Peruvians and finally stop dealing with those mean consular officers... :D
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby ironchefchris » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:43 am

Generally speaking we Americans have a tendency to complain. Maybe because as a nation we US citizens were born with a metaphorical silver spoon in our collective mouths and tend to have higher expectations when it comes to service. There was an American who used to post here (and complain) a lot, but his complaints were primarily about how much better and efficient things were in the US compared to Peru, especially related to service, not how great and worthy of worship Peru is.

I've only had one experience at the US embassy, back in September which was before the no purses or diaper bags rule went into effect. Some of the staff were cold but that's pretty common for US federal employees. Others were, if not cold, tepid. Nothing not to be expected or that I would complain about. My only complaint is that for such a large country with a giant global footprint they don't have much (if any) presence outside of Lima. Other, smaller, countries have consulates here in the second city, but not the US. I had to fly back a second time a few weeks later to pick up my (renewed) passport because they wouldn't mail it to me at my confirmed address. In the US they'll send a passport using the regular postal service but in Peru they won't, even using a more reliable (?) private company such as FedEx or DHL. I don't understand why their concern for citizens in the provinces is such that they have no presence outside of Lima where it's possible to take care of a simple passport renewal. I had to laugh at the post up thread that compared the DMV favorably to the experience at the US embassy as the DMV is one of the least liked bureaucracies just about everyone has to deal with.

Of the five times you went to the embassy how many of those times were since the recent security changes? It's interesting to note the comparison of experiences from non-US expats and their respective embassies compared to the experiences of those using the US embassy. Due to Poe's law I don't know how serious your comment about those Americans complaining about their experiences with their embassy while worshipping Peru is, but if serious, I would think it a good thing that they've found and are living in a place where they are truly happy, even if other expats who live here find less joy and more to complain about. As expats we're free to live wherever we are happiest. Why an expat from any country would chose to voluntarily expatriate and continue to live in a country they find distasteful is beyond me. I give credit to those who instead of continuing to live in a country they feel is worthy of complaint have taken action to change their conditions to something they feel is better for them.

As far as US expats giving up passports, that's happening in record numbers, though mostly for reasons related to unfair double taxation that is unique to the US and it's citizens living abroad.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/ ... itizenship
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Re: Security change at USA Embassy in Lima

Postby caliguy » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:57 am

mammamia wrote: I've been to the US consulate in Lima 5 times (visa issues) and have never been treated bad.

same here. had a very good experience at the U.S. embassy. they were very polite and helpful to myself and spouse. they even welcomed me to Peru
every place has it's own spirit. you just need to tune into it.

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