June 23, 2015

DOS Alert: Technological System Issues Cause Visa Delays

Since early June, the Department of State (DOS) has been currently experiencing technical problems with its overseas passport and visa systems, regarding background checks. The issue is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document, or visa category. However, the problem will cause delays in receiving approved visas. Visa applicants should be prepared to wait several weeks or more after a visa interview to receive their visas.

According to the DOS, ” the problems stem from a hardware failure in a State Department facility in the United States on June 9. That failure is preventing the Department from processing and transmitting biometric data checks at visa-issuing embassies and consulates. We cannot bypass the legal requirements to screen visa applicants before we issue visas for travel. Each visa decision is a national security decision, and we take our obligation to protect the United States seriously.”

Here’s the latest update from the DOS on this issue:

June 22, 2015

On June 22, 2015, DOS updated their alert with the following language:

  • The Bureau of Consular Affairs is in the process of resolving technical problems with our visa systems. Though some progress has been made, biometric data processing has not been fully restored.
  • Our team continues to work on this 24/7 to restore the systems to full functionality.
  • As of noon today, 22 posts have been reconnected, representing about half of the global nonimmigrant visa volume.
  • We will continue to bring additional posts online until connectivity with all posts is restored.
  • Last week, nearly 1,250 temporary or seasonal workers who had been issued visas in the past were issued new visas in Mexico, and we have issued more than 3,000 visas globally for urgent and humanitarian travel.
  • We deeply regret the inconvenience to travelers and recognize the hardship to those waiting for visas, and in some cases, their family members or employers in the United States.
  • We continue to post updates to our website, travel.state.gov.