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US overseas embassies, consulates remain in technical glitch

Last updated on December 4, 2017

Washington, D.C. — The US Department of State continues to experience issues with their hardware and remain unable to provide passports or visas to anyone outside the country. The failure does not affect domestic passport issuance.

On Friday, the State Department announced it had been forced to suspend the issuance of US passports and visas at their overseas diplomatic embassies and consulates due to a technical glitch. The glitch has left offices unable to print travel documents, passports and visas.

According to the US Department of State’s website, the Bureau of Consular Affairs is currently experiencing technical problems with their overseas passport and visa systems. They say that passport applications accepted overseas on or after May 26, 2015 are affected. Those who applied for a U.S. passport during this time frame and have travel plans should consider requesting an emergency passport at the U.S. embassy or consulate at which they originally applied.

For visa applications, the State Department explains a hardware failure on June 9 halted the flow of biometric clearance requests from posts to the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD). Individuals who submitted online applications or were interviewed for visas on or after June 9 may experience a delay in the processing.

They explain, “The systems in place to perform required national security checks before the issuance of visas are experiencing technical difficulties. As a result, the system is unable to print visas, regular passports overseas and other travel documents. We cannot bypass the legal requirements necessary to screen visa applicants before we issue visas for travel. As a result, there is a backlog of visas waiting to be processed. We are working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue and to clear the backlog.”

The consular database was taken down last July by another technical glitch that had the same effect but the department said the current issue is unrelated. The department said it was working “urgently to identify the problem and correct it.”

“We expect the systems to be fully operational again soon,” it said, but continues to offer no timeline.


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