Earlier this month, the United States
Department of State ("DOS") announced that, due to
technical problems, it was temporarily unable to issue U.S. visas
at consular posts abroad. This problem is currently affecting
overseas visa processing worldwide.
According to the notice posted at travel.state.gov, applicant biometric data is
not being processed properly, which is preventing overseas posts
from performing the security checks necessary to issue visas. As a
result, consular posts are unable to issue U.S. visas to these
The above problems have also affected some
U.S. passport processing abroad. Domestic passport operations are
still functioning, with some processing delays. However, the
technical problems have adversely affected the intake of some
mailed applications and same-day service at passport agencies.
The United States Consulate General in
Toronto has confirmed that consular posts have been unable to print
most immigrant and non-immigrant visas for applicants who were
approved after June 8, 2015. They have also been unable to process
new applications submitted on or after June 9, 2015.
Individuals with visa interview appointments
that are scheduled in Canada on June 22 or 23, 2015, are being
advised to reschedule their appointments, if they submitted a
DS-160 online application after June 9, 2015. However, individuals
who submitted their DS-160 online applications prior to June 9,
2015, should plan to attend their scheduled visa interview
Any non-immigrant who is currently in the
United States, and who does not already hold a currently-valid U.S.
visa, should consider delaying their trip abroad until this
technical problem has been resolved. Otherwise, they may experience
delays in obtaining a new visa at a consular post abroad. Even
after the technical problem has been addressed, visa processing
delays are expected as consular posts work to clear the backlog of
The only exception would apply to foreign
nationals who are entitled to automatic visa revalidation under 22 CFR
§41.112(d). According to 22 CFR §41.112(d), certain
non-immigrants in the United States who travel solely to contiguous
territory (i.e. Canada or Mexico) for a period of 30 days or less
may be readmitted and their expired visas will be deemed
revalidated for that one entry.
DOS officials have stated that they are
hoping to have their visa systems working again sometime this
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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