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Last week, the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) visa processing database, which controls the issuance of visas and passports at the U.S. consulates abroad, experienced system performance issues (including outages) leading to worldwide delays in visa issuance (both immigrant and non-immigrant). The malfunction in the Consular Consolidated Database stalled the processing of U.S. visas for foreign nationals at consulates around the world.

Although the consular database is back online, travelers should expect lengthy delays in obtaining U.S. visas abroad. As confirmed by DOS officials, consular systems are not fully operational and priority is being given to immigrant visa cases over nonimmigrant visa issuance.  This is resulting in further delays for nonimmigrant visa issuance as these backlogs  have increased visa wait times. In a July 30 update, DOS acknowledged that it anticipates that “it will take weeks to resume full visa processing capacity.” Visa applicants will be notified by the consulate when their passports and visas are ready to be collected.