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U.S. Embassies and Consulates Have Started Issuing Visas Again Following a Hardware Failure

A passport with the American visa.

A passport with the American visa.

WASHINGTON– More than half of the United States embassies and consulates have started to issue visas again, following a hardware failure earlier this month. But the U.S. State Department says there will still be some backlogs.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby told the media at a press briefing yesterday that the database responsible for handling biometric clearances has been rebuilt and is being tested.

A hardware failure halted the flow of clearance requests from posts to the Consular Consolidated Database on June 9 and individuals who submitted online applications or were interviewed for visas on or after that date were affected by the glitch.

“Thirty-three embassies and consulates, representing 66 percent of our normal capacity, are now online and issuing visas, and we’re looking to restore full biometric data processing worldwide. We issued more than 45,000 visas [Monday],” Kirby said.

“Significant additional numbers will be issued as the backlog clears, and it’s going to take some time here for the backlog to clear as we continue to work the fix.”

The U.S. State Department website provided a timeline of sorts for full restoration.

“We anticipate that the system will be fully reconnected this week. We plan to work over the weekend to clear our backlog,” it stated.

Meantime, Kirby said many embassies were rescheduling interviews, with some becoming available as soon as today.


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