By Alexis R. Milan
The United States (US) State Department has said it has had to suspend the issuing of visas and passports at overseas diplomatic missions, due to a glitch in its Consular Consolidated Database, (CCD). These services will remain suspended indefinitely, it said.
“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,” the State Department said in a 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.
According to the US State Department, a hardware failure last Tuesday 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 26th 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,” the spokesperson said.