On July 24, the Department of State (DOS) reported a computer glitch in a key database, the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD).  The computer problem is causing serious delays in the issuance of visas and passports at US consulates around the world.  This issue is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document, or visa category.  The operational difficulties related to the computer crash persist and DOS is unable to forecast when the problem will be resolved.  It will take some weeks before the consulates are back to normal processing times.  US consulates are operating at approximately half capacity of regular production levels and the backlog will affect the ability of foreign nationals to schedule appointments for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas alike.  Indeed, this situation may impact the 2015 H-1B visa issuance for the October 1, 2014 employment start date.  Employers should plan for later start dates for new employees and communicate this concern to those employees abroad.  We further recommend that employers and employees review upcoming travel and visa documentation to determine if there is any risk to traveling abroad due to the expiration of existing visas during this period.

Additional updates will be posted to travel.state.gov as more information becomes available.