The U.S. Department of State (DOS) Bureau of Consular Affairs is reporting that they are again experiencing technical problems with the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD). This is the same database that crashed last summer causing the U.S. passport and visa system to go down worldwide. The Department of State has said, however, that the current problems with the CCD are not the same as those previously experienced.
The systems used to perform national security checks have been affected and, as a result, the DOS is unable to print visas, regular passports overseas and other travel documents, or reports of birth abroad.
The DOS is currently working to determine the cause of the technical issues. There is no indication at this time that the problem is related to cyber security.
Passport applications accepted overseas on or after May 26, 2015 are affected. The DOS is advising that if you applied for a U.S. passport during this time frame and have travel plans within the next 10 days, you should consider requesting an emergency passport at the U.S. embassy or consulate at which you originally applied.
Domestic passport operations have not been affected at this time.
Individuals who submitted online applications or were interviewed for visas on or after June 9 may experience a delay in processing due to a hardware failure on that date that stopped the flow of biometric clearance requests from posts to the CCD. As a result, there is a backlog of visas waiting to be processed.
These technical issues have also disrupted or prevented some of the Department of State's data-share partners from accessing visa records.
There is currently no timeline being given for restoration of full system functionality. Service will be interrupted until the system is brought back online. The DOS states that they are working as quickly as possible to resolve the issues. It is possible, however, that residual delays may go on for days or weeks due to the growing backlog.
As always, if you are planning to apply for a U.S. visa or a U.S. passport, you should plan to apply as far in advance as possible and take into consideration that there may be delays in the process.
Please contact our office if you have any questions.