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Immigration Update: Visa Processing Delays at U.S. Consulates

June 16, 2015

U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently announced it is experiencing technical problems with their overseas passport and visa systems. Individuals who submitted online visa applications or were interviewed for visas on or after June 9, 2015 may experience a delay in the processing. These issues are not specific to any particular country or visa category and DOS has not yet announced when they expect a resolution to the problem.

DOS confirmed a hardware failure on June 9 halted the flow of biometric clearance requests from posts to the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD), specifically the systems in place to perform required national security checks. Consulates cannot bypass the legal requirements necessary to screen visa applicants before issuing visas for travel, therefore they are unable to print visas. As a result, there is a backlog of visas waiting to be processed.

Consulates are attempting to assist non-immigrant visa applicants with urgent humanitarian travel. DOS requests that these applicants contact their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

This disruption in service is also impacting overseas applicants for U.S. passports and requests for Consular Report of Birth Abroad. Domestic passport issuances are not affected at this time. Consulates are able to issue emergency passports to U.S. citizens overseas for urgent travel.

DOS will post updates to their Newsroom at Travel.State.Gov and has also posted updates on social media. Some Consulates are providing updates to their individual websites and online visa appointment systems.