A technical issue has halted the State Department’s issuing of passports and visas from its overseas offices. According to the department’s guidance, anyone that applied for a passport from outside the US after May 26th is affected by the problem, the root of which is unclear. Simultaneously, but apparently separate to the passport issue, visa applications made on or after June 9th are not able to be processed. At least this time, the department has pinpointed the problem: a hardware failure is preventing biometric clearance requests from making their way to database for processing. In a statement given to The Hill, a spokeswoman said there was “no evidence the problem is cyber security related.”
If you’re waiting for a passport within the US you shouldn’t be affected by the issues. Those that are waiting abroad with travel plans in the next 10 days are being advised to contact their nearest embassy in order to arrange an emergency passport. The State Department expects its systems will be fully operational soon, but has yet to set a date for when services will come back. Even once the technical problems are fixed, there’ll be a sizeable backlog to run through before everything is running at full speed.
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