In light of a recent post on June 15, 2015, by Shaun Staller, which covers the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announcement that its Bureau of Consular Affairs “is currently experiencing technical problems with [its] visa systems and these issues have resulted in delays in printing visas and may mean rescheduling some visa interviews.” The DOS has provided an update on the issue on June 17, 2015:
The DOS Bureau of Consular Affairs in its efforts to address the technical problems with the visa systems states that the issue is not specific to any particular country or visa category and they do no expect the system to be fully online and operational before next week. They further state that they intend to work as efficiently as possible to clear the backlog of pending cases affected by the technical issues.
The DOS has issued updates regarding the following:
- Passport Applicants: issues affecting passport operations have been resolved and overseas passports are being issued;
- Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants: the DOS is unable to print most nonimmigrant visas approved after June 8, 2015. Further, the DOS is currently unable to process DS-160 online applications submitted on or after June 9, 2015. They recommend that if you completed and submitted Form DS-160 on or after June 9, 2015, you continue to monitor the DOS website and only attend the appointment if the situation has been resolved. However, if you submitted your DS-160 online application prior to June 9, 2015, you should plan to attend their scheduled appointment.
- Immigrant Visa Applications: the DOS is still currently unable to print most immigrant visas, including fiancé(e) visas, approved after June 8, 2015. Additionally, they are aware that some applicants continue to experience technical difficulties accessing Form DS-260. The issues are intermittent, therefore DOS suggests that you return to the Consular Electronic Application Center periodically to try to complete Form DS-260.
While the DOS Bureau of Consular Affairs is apologetic and recognizes the hardship the technical issues this has created, they stress that border security is their main concern and they cannot circumvent any legal requirements to screen applicants prior to issuing visas for travel.