US visa system will be down for another week

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018

Embassy, consular offices cancel appointments as hardware snag yet to be resolved

The US Embassy in New Delhi and its Consulate offices in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai have cancelled visa appointments scheduled for the next week with the State Department yet to set right a hardware glitch.

“More than 100 computer experts from both the private and public sectors across the US are working on this problem 24/7. That said, we do not expect the system will be online before next week,” an official release of the US Embassy here said on Thursday.


Non-immigrant visa applicants with appointments scheduled during the period June 22 to June 26 have been asked to reschedule their appointments for biometric enrolment and visa interview to a date after July 6.

Officials in the US Embassy told BusinessLine that at the moment, no further cancellations are anticipated. “Once the systems are fully operational, we will work as quickly as possible to clear the backlog of pending visa cases,” a spokesperson said replying to a questionnaire.

Elaborating on the hardware failure at a State Department facility in the US on June 9 that brought the issuance of visas in all countries to a halt, the release said that it was preventing the Department from processing and transmitting biometric data checks at visa-issuing embassies and consulates.

“We cannot bypass the legal requirements to screen applicants before we issue visas for travel. Each visa decision is a national security decision, and we take our obligation to protect the US seriously,” the statement said.

Despite the technical glitch, the State Department is prioritising urgent humanitarian applications, which are mainly medical cases of life and death, the spokesperson said.

Last year, too, the Consular Consolidated Database had crashed creating a backlog of about 2,00,000 applications. But this year, the problem is different from last year’s, the State Department had said at a press conference last week.

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Published on June 18, 2015
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