Late Friday, the Department of State reported a system wide hardware failure in its databases that is preventing the completion of background checks on visa applicants. As a visa – either immigrant or non-immigrant – cannot be issued without clearance from the database, the DOS has halted all visa approvals as of June 9th. This includes applications submitted prior to the 9th that had yet to be processed through the database. It is unknown when regular processing will resume, although this is obviously a huge priority for the DOS. It is advised that, if you have not yet booked a visa appointment but plan to travel soon, you be aware of this delay and the possibility that your visa issuance will face delays, which may require you to reschedule your return trip.
We will update clients when regular processing resumes. If you wish more information, please read the DOS release with Q&A: http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english/news/technological-systems-issue.html.
** This newsletter/memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **