BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday June 15, 2015 – Caribbean nationals waiting for visas to travel to the United States are facing some delays.
The US State Department said it has had to suspend issuing US passports and visas at its overseas diplomatic missions because of a technical glitch in its Consular Consolidated Database (CCD).
And while it is aiming for a quick resolution, it said it could not yet indicate when it would be back to business as usual.
“We do not yet have a timeline. We are working urgently to identify the problem and correct it. We expect the systems to be fully operational again soon,” it said in a June 12 notice on its website, adding that while it was still working to pinpoint the root cause of the technical issues, there was no evidence the problem was cyber security related.
The State Department explained that a hardware failure on June 9 halted the flow of biometric clearance requests from posts to the CCD. Individuals who submitted online applications or were interviewed for visas on or after that date may therefore experience a delay in the processing.
Applications made outside the US for passports on or after May 26 have also been affected.
“The systems in place to perform required national security checks before we issue visas are experiencing technical difficulties. As a result, we are unable to print visas, regular passports overseas, and other travel documents,” the State Department notice stated.
“We cannot bypass the legal requirements necessary to screen visa applicants before we issue visas for travel. As a result, there is a backlog of visas waiting to be processed. We are working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue and to clear the backlog.”
There were similar delays last July as a result of a technological glitch.
— Pádraig O Caoimh (@StoneFree2Rant) August 1, 2014
However, the US State Department indicated that the problem it is now dealing with is unrelated.