[author: Danielle Lifrieri]
Multiple reports have confirmed that the U.S. Department of State’s global database for issuing travel documents recently crashed. While the system has been restored, it is operating at reduced capacity and significant backlogs have developed. This system malfunction impacts not only U.S. citizens, but also applicants for U.S. visas waiting to enter the U.S. to work or study.
This global database approves, records, and prints visas and other documents to ensure that national security checks are conducted on applicants.
As we await an update from the State Department on these significant processing delays, we suggest the following:
All U.S. visa applicants should ensure that they have copies of all of the documents that were submitted to a U.S. consulate for processing.
U.S. visa and passport applicants should monitor the tracking of all visa and passport applications.
All applicants should monitor the timing and delivery of individual passports, and any original documentation.
When the passports and visas are received, all applicants should review the documents closely, paying particular attention to critical information: legal spelling of name, date of birth, validity of the approved visa, employer name, and any special annotations.
U.S. visa applicants should contact their U.S. employers about any processing delays.