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Major Technical Issue Slows Down U.S. Visas Around the World

When the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State (DOS) adopted cloud computing technology a few years ago, they expected that this major upgrade would unify their worldwide operations and make their visa and passport issuance process more efficient.

As many other organizations have learned since the cloud computing paradigm took hold in the early 21st century, major technology issues can still strike at anytime. In mid-July, a news report from the Associated Press (AP) published by online news publication The Huffington Post indicated that a global database system used to upload, store, retrieve, manage, and issue travel documents suffered a massive and critical crash.

The DOS refers to the affected system as the Consular Consolidated Database. As its name implies, this document system is used to hold documents across many countries. The documents held in this database include passports, visas, birth certificates of baby Americans born outside of the U.S., and many other types of documentation used by the USCIS. On the first day of the outage, a spokesperson from the DOS told the AP that a significant backlog of visa applications could be expected, and that technicians working to resolve the issue had attempted to get the system back to normal operations without success. The AP also cited anonymous sources that explained that 50,000 applications from a single country had already been affected by the issue.

By August 4th, the problems continued with the system’s “cloud print” feature that allows DOS personnel to send a document to the print queue of approved devices around the world. Foreigners who had already filed DS-160 or DS-160 or DS-260 applications, and who were waiting for the final interview to take place before their passport could be stamped, will be required to wait until the issue has been solved before they are allowed to enter the United States.

As of August 21st, the DOS was still trying to deal with the backlog of visa transactions affected by this glitch. It is important for visa applicants to not many any non-refundable arrangements to travel to the U.S. until their passports have been formally stamped. For more information or for help with a visa application, reach out to the professional immigration lawyers San Diego residents trust at Kazmi and Sakata. Call 858-874-0711 and schedule a free consultation today.


April 2024