US Department of State Visa Systems Continue to Experience Technical Failures

June 18, 2015

Expect delays in the coming weeks in US visa and passport issuance.

The US Department of State (DOS) announced yesterday that it is experiencing technical problems with visa issuance at US embassies and consulates around the world. The DOS stated that officials are working “around the clock” to fix the problem, noting that it does not expect to have the problem fixed before next week. The DOS further noted that the system failure stems from a hardware issue that began on June 9 that is preventing the DOS from processing and transmitting biometric data checks at visa-issuing embassies and consulates. Domestic passport operations are functioning, and the DOS continues to issue passports to US citizens with urgent overseas travel needs.

Please be aware that many posts have had to reschedule visa appointments this week as a result of this outage. Urgent medical and other humanitarian cases are being prioritized, along with H-2A agricultural workers.

Be aware that this outage may cause a delay in visa issuance throughout the consular system. Although the DOS expects to fix the issue shortly, the delays may affect visa processing for the next several weeks. Please keep this in mind when making travel plans this summer, and allow for extra time when scheduling visa appointments or requesting visa reissuance by mail.

The DOS will continue to post regular updates on its website.

Read the full alert from the DOS.


If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Washington, DC
Eleanor Pelta
Eric S. Bord

San Francisco
A. James Vázquez-Azpiri

Lisa Stephanian Burton