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News & Events: Immigration Alerts

IMMIGRATION ALERT - Consular Posts Unable to Issue Visas

Practices: Immigration


The Department of State (DOS) has reported that it continues to experience severe and significant disruptions in its ability to issue visas in consular posts which began last week. This hardware glitch affects all types of visas, both nonimmigrant and immigrant, and in all countries. Also affected are US citizens who have applied for US passports at consular posts. The system affected is different from the visa issuance problems the DOS experienced last summer and the DOS has confirmed that this incident is related to biometrics clearance requests that must be cleared before a visa can be issued.

What does this mean? If you submitted a visa application or had a visa interview after June 9th, the consular post will not be able to issue you a nonimmigrant or immigrant visa until the hardware that is affected has been fixed and the DOS systems begin functioning again. Exceptions are made only in cases of urgent humanitarian need. US citizens that submitted passport applications at a consular post on or after May 26, 2015 are also affected although the DOS has indicated that the posts are now issuing passports. Once DOS systems begin functioning again, the posts will have a large backlog of visas to issue. Therefore, individuals that are planning on applying for visas in the next several months should also keep in mind that their visa application process may be delayed even if the DOS systems are working again.

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