U.S. Visa Systems Issues

Lusaka. June 18, 2015.

The United States State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs continues to experience technical problems with its visa systems. This is a global issue, and the State Department is working around the clock to fix it. More than 100 computer experts from both the private and public sectors across the United States are working on this problem 24/7. That said, we do not expect the system will be online before next week. The problems stem from a hardware failure in a State Department facility in the United States on June 9. That failure is preventing the Department from processing and transmitting biometric data checks at visa-issuing embassies and consulates. We cannot bypass the legal requirements to screen visa applicants before we issue visas for travel. Each visa decision is a national security decision, and we take our obligation to protect the United States seriously.

We regret the inconvenience to travelers and recognize that this is causing hardship to those waiting for visas, and in some cases, their family members or employers in the United States. The U.S. State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs will continue to post regular updates on its website, travel.state.gov.