DOS Gradually Restoring Worldwide Visa Systems

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DOS Gradually Restoring Worldwide Visa Systems

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The US Department of State (DOS) continues to experience technical problems with its visa systems worldwide. As of June 23, 2015, DOS reported that “39, representing more than two-thirds of our normal capacity, are now online and issuing visas.” The main problem with the system was biometric data processing, but DOS reports that the “biometrics clearances has been rebuilt and is being tested.” A backlog of both nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applications have resulted, and prioritizing issuance of visas for urgent and humanitarian travel needs, as well as temporary agricultural workers.

The DOS technology team is working 24/7 to restore all visa systems. As of June 22, 2015, 22 posts had been reconnected and about 24 hours later 17 more posts were restored. On June 23, 2015, DOS issued more than 45,000 visas, including 15,000 visas out of the Beijing post alone. Currently reconnected posts include the following: Paris; Monterrey; Ciudad Juarez; Guangzhou; Beijing; Shanghai; Tijuana; Nuevo Laredo; Mexico City; Guadalajara; Mumbai; New Delhi; Sao Paolo; Chennai; Manila; Bogota; Buenos Aires; Rio de Janeiro; Tel Aviv; Merida; Hermosillo; Karachi; Seoul; Lima; Santo Domingo; Kingston; Shenyang; Chengdu; DPT; Lagos; Guayaquil; London; Brasilia; Moscow; San Salvador; Quito; Ho Chi Minh; Hanoi; and Kyiv.

In mid-June, many posts were cancelling or not scheduling appointments for applicants who had filed applications after a certain date. DOS reports that several posts are now rescheduling interviews, and “[i]n some cases, interviews will be available as soon as June 24.” Applicants should continue to check the appropriate post’s website for interview availability.

Initially the technology problems included issuance of US passports in overseas posts. However, except for delays in a few cases, passport issuance capability has been restored. In those cases where the technology may delay regular processing, the posts are still able to issue passports in emergency situations.

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