Consulate Alert: Updates to Worldwide Visa System Outage

June 17, 2015, Department of State First Update:

The Bureau of Consular Affairs continues to experience technical problems with visa systems. This is a global issue, and they are working around the clock to fix it. More than 100 computer experts from both the private and public sectors across the United States are working on this problem 24/7. That said, DoS does not expect the system will be online before next week. 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. The DoS says “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.”

June 17, 2015, Department of State Second Update

The Bureau of Consular Affairs continues to experience technical problems with their visa systems. The Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) problems they are experiencing are not the same challenges they overcame last summer. In addition to more than 100 computer experts across the United States working on this problem 24/7, they are pursuing a variety of other solutions.

Nonetheless, yesterday, around 250 agricultural workers who had had visas in the past were issued new visas in Mexico. The DoS says “We anticipate that many more will receive visas this week. We deeply regret the inconvenience to travelers and recognize that this is causing hardship to those waiting for visas, and in some cases, their family members or employers in the United States.” No update has been provided about how DoS will handle improperly issued visas. Nor has information been provided about when the system is expected to be functional.

June 17, 2015


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