The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has announced that it is experiencing a critical failure in its visa issuance systems. This system failure is worldwide. All U.S. Consular Posts have temporarily suspended issuance of nonimmigrant and immigrant visas. Each Post is addressing this issue on an individual basis – some are preemptively canceling appointments; others are continuing to interview applicants but are unable to issue the visa after the interview.
The impact is that if an applicant departs the U.S. without a valid visa, they may be required to remain outside the U.S. for an extended period of time. The DOS does not currently know what the issue is or when it will be fixed.
It is anticipated that when the system does go back online there may be a delay in rescheduling visa appointments. If an employee does not have a valid visa and requires a visa to reenter the U.S., we recommend that they not leave the U.S. until the issue is resolved -- unless they are able to remain outside the U.S. for an extended period of time. If an employee is traveling and has a visa appointment, they may wish to keep the appointment to avoid backlogs in rescheduling and should be prepared to remain outside the U.S. until the problem is resolved.