Before U.S. employers send employees, interns, or other foreign nationals to U.S. consulates to obtain or renew their U.S. visas, please note that such visa issuance can be significantly delayed. The U.S. Department of State is currently experiencing systemwide technical problems with its overseas computer visa system, preventing the embassies and consulates from issuing or printing U.S. visas in passports (with limited exceptions for certain seasonal workers and urgent humanitarian travel). As a result of these technical problems, all U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide appear to have suspended the issuance of all U.S. visas until further notice. As outlined below, this systemwide failure may impact the ability of individuals with expired visas to re-enter the United States after traveling outside the country and prevents individuals with approved employer-sponsored petitions from receiving U.S. visas in their passports if they are currently abroad and need to enter the United States.
- If you have a U.S. visa that has already been issued in your passport that will be expiring in the near future or has already expired, please check with immigration counsel before traveling outside of the United States, as the U.S. embassies and consulates overseas will not be able to issue new visas until the technical issues have been resolved.
- If you have an approved petition, but have not yet scheduled your interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas, please contact the U.S. embassy or consulate overseas to confirm the availability of upcoming visa appointments, as they may be impacted by the systemwide failure. If you are currently in the United States and the approved petition has extended your stay or changed your status, you should consult with immigration counsel before making any plans to travel outside the country as your ability to re-enter could be impacted.
- If you have an approved petition and have already attended your interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas, you will not be able to receive a U.S. visa in your passport until the technical issues have been resolved.
According to the U.S. State Department website, the State Department hopes to resolve the technical issues by next week but notes that additional delays may persist due to the backlog of pending visa cases after the systems are restored to full functionality.