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  • Visa

    Major Crash Causing Delays for Passports and Visas

    Visa Waiver Program

    October, 2014

    We’re used to telling you about problems with other country’s visa services. It’s no secret that India got fed up with their third-party visa provider and has completely redone their system after countless complaints of long waits and mishandled applications. Brazil also recently suffered from a backlog of applications thanks to the excitement of the World Cup. However, it’s not every day that you hear about a major visa and passport back-up in the US State Department.

    The State Department is being bit foggy about the details, but evidently, unspecified glitches in the department’s Consular Consolidated Database are causing a lot of problems. NBC News reports that the database has experienced outages and other performance issues which have caused significant delays in processing applications for new passports, visas, and reports of Americans born abroad.

    Marie Harf, a spokesperson for the State Department has commented that the problem was a worldwide one and affected the processing of passports and visas for people applying all around the globe. The problem has not particularly affected any one country, citizenship document, or visa category, she told the press. According to Harf, the problem has resulted in a major backlog of unprocessed passport and visa applications, so if you’re waiting on a new passport, it may take much longer than expected.

    Two US officials told reporters that though they did not know how many people were affected by the system glitch overall, about 50,000 applicants from one country alone were affected. The officials did not specify which country, and they disclosed this information under the condition of anonymity.

    If you’re worried that your passport application will get held up due to this issue, contact Swift. If you’ve already submitted your application on your own, there’s not much we can do, but if you’re just about to submit an application, we can help you cut the line by expediting your application. Expediting your passport application is more expensive than waiting in line, but with a line like this, you may not be able to get your passport in time for your next international trip.

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