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U.S. Visa Applications Are Experiencing Delays

The United States Department of State (DOS) announced that it was experiencing technical difficulties with its visa issuance. The problems are not specific to any particular country or visa type. Unfortunately, this means that individuals seeking non-immigrant visas and immigrant visas at the US Embassy in London and the US Consulate in Belfast will be affected.

Who is affected by the DOS technical problems?

All individuals seeking US visas are unfortunately affected, including:

  • Applicants for a non-immigrant visa (tourist visa applications, visitor for business visa applications, etc);
  • Applicants for an immigrant visa (those seeking to obtain Lawful Permanent Resident status aka a 'green card');
  • US citizens applying for a US passport outside the United States whose overseas passport application was accepted on or after 26 May 2015.

What do the technical problems mean for me?

At a minimum, the technical difficulties mean that there will be delays in visa issuance and may mean that your visa interview at the US Embassy may have to be rescheduled for some time after the resolution of the technical problems. The United States Embassy in London specifies that a non-immigrant visa applicant who submitted Form DS-160 on or after 9 June 2015 will be unable to have their visa application processed at this time and should check the Embassy's website for further updates in this regard. Immigrant visa applicants should monitor the Immigrant Visa updates available on the US Embassy in London's website.

What if I have an emergency need to travel to the USA?

The DOS indicates that the local US Embassy may be able to help visa applicants with an urgent humanitarian travel needs and US passport applicants with travel plans in the next 10 days.

How do the technical difficulties impact the US Embassy in London's ability to issue visas?

When a person applies for a US visa, his or her fingerprints (biometrics) are taken. This information must then pass some national security checks that are completed through the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD). On 9 June 2015, there was a hardware failure in the CCD's ability to carry out those checks and visa forms (DS-160, DS-260 etc) submitted on or after this date have not been able to secure the needed clearance. Due to security issues, the US Embassy is unable to issue a visa or a US passport until these mandatory checks are carried out.

The American Immigration Law Office LTS is a US immigration law firm near beautiful St. Paul's Cathedral. Limiting its practice to US immigration law, the firm's US immigration lawyer in London regularly assists US visa applicants with non-immigrant and immigrant visa applications. Contact the firm today to see how we can help.