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Technical Problems Cause US Passport and US Visa Issuance Delays

US visa issuance delays US visa issuance delays

US visa issuance delaysUPDATE: As of June 30, 2015, the Department of State (DoS) reported that US consulates and embassies were back online, and that the majority of the backlog created by the last few weeks’ technical issues with the overseas passport and visa systems has been cleared. Some online immigrant visa (IV) application forms are still having problems, however; but DoS hoped to have a fix in place by first week of July 2015.

Technical problems with overseas passport and visa systems is now causing US passport and US visa issuance delays overseas. This is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document or visa category. The Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) is now working urgently to correct these problems and restore the system to full operational status as soon as possible. However, no timeline is available for correction of this problem.

Specifically, individuals who submitted online visa applications or were interviewed for US visas on or after June 9, 2015, may experience US visa issuance delays. These problems are also delaying US passport applications accepted overseas on or after May 26, 2015.

US Visa Issuance

A hardware failure on June 9, 2015, halted the flow of biometric clearance requests from US consular posts to the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD). The systems in place to perform required national security checks prior to US visa issuance are experiencing technical difficulties. This has disrupted or prevented some of the US State Department’s primary data-share partners from accessing US visa records. As a result, the Bureau of Consular Affairs is unable to print US visas, regular US passports overseas, and other travel documents.

Therefore, individuals who submitted online US visa applications or who were interviewed for US visas on or after June 9, 2015, may experience US visa issuance delays.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs cannot bypass the legal requirements necessary to screen US visa applicants before issuing US visas for travel. As a result, a backlog of US visas is waiting to be processed. The Department of State is  working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue and to clear the backlog.

Service will be interrupted until the system is brought back online, although no timeline is available indicating when this will occur.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) is seeking to assist non-immigrant visa applicants with urgent humanitarian travel. Travelers with an urgent humanitarian need for travel should contact their nearest US embassy or consulate.

The Department of State is prioritizing pending adoption cases and seeks to issue these visas with few delays.

US Passports

Passport applications accepted overseas on or after May 26, 2015 are affected. If you applied for a US passport during this time frame and have travel plans within the next 10 business days, please consider requesting an emergency passport at the US embassy or consulate at which you originally applied.

Emergency passports may be issued to US citizens overseas for urgent travel. Information about how to apply for an emergency passport is available on the website of the nearest US embassy or consulate.

Domestic passport issuance is not affected at this time.

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