Consul General of Guyana to New York, Barbara Atherly announced the resumption of operations to process documents submitted by mail, and limited in-person service for high-level notarization.
The diplomat told a virtual town hall meeting and panel discussion on July 10 that the office was not deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, and continued to serve nationals via telephone, its www.guyanaconsulatenewyork.org website, and social media platforms.
The panel of consulate staff, along with CG Atherly gave a comprehensive overview of services that will be offered.
She said the consulate was not deterred by the mid-March shutdown, and noted, that the diplomatic office strives to be accessible to the public, and thanked officers who worked from home processing life certificates, birth and death certificates.
However, the consulate is gradually resuming service to finalize the enormous backlog of documents, strictly submitted through the mail-in system.
The consulate would also be operational from 10 am to 4 pm, to help staff by-pass the peak hour travel in order to provide limited service from the consulate’s office on 308 W 38th St. in Manhattan.
“ I can assure you that the staff of the consulate is committed to the diaspora and has displayed dedication in dealing with the many challenges that arose,” said CG Atherly, who promised to expand the use of technology to reach Guyanese across America, and reiterated that the consulate remains committed to serving the diaspora.
Vice Consul Samuel Robinson, reminded Guyanese that the consulate’s website — www.guyanaconsulatenewyork.org — is easily accessible for the processing of passports, and birth and death certificates, where forms can also be downloaded.
Staff would be working in office Monday to Friday to give guidance to callers, he said, and urged persons to ensure passport forms were fully completed with an affixed signature.
He encouraged persons to read all instructions that could be found on the first page of their old passport, in order to complete the process.
The turn-around time for passports after being processed in Georgetown is estimated to take four to six weeks, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic measures that are affecting mail service, the document could take a little longer.
Aquafie Monroe, executive officer lll, said the consulate has partnered with the National Insurance Scheme in Georgetown, to have Life Certificates notarized by the consulate, and emailed to the Georgetown office.
For this to be done, an appointment must be scheduled by telephoning the office at 212-947-5110.
He repeated that consulate’s website, as well as Whatsapp and Facetime platforms are helpful, and encouraged expatriots to download and fill out forms, ensuring to add a telephone number in case there are emergency questions.
Counsel Beverly McDonald, informed attendees that in order to transact legal business such as notarization of power of attorney documents, bank letters, an appointment must be scheduled with the consulate by email – [email protected], or by telephoning, 212-947-5113.
It is important to keep this appointment, bringing along a completed document that could only be notarized only by the consulate that does not prepare such document.
This face-to-face transaction is to facilitate signature needed to validate the document.
A valid photo ID and a USD$20 money order are required for the notarization copy. No cash would be accepted.
She also dissuaded persons from bringing along a companion, since that person would not be allowed into the office.
All of this information could be accessed via the consulate’s website, www.guyanaconsulatenewyork.org
The hour-long town hall meeting was held in collaboration with Grace Kennedy/Western Union, and moderated by Jonathon Locke.