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Overseas Processing of U.S. Passports and Visas on Hold

The Department of State (DOS) has announced that its overseas embassies and consular posts halted the issuance of passports and visas on Friday, June 12, 2015 due to technical problems with its Consular Consolidated Database.  Until this is corrected, U.S. passport applications accepted overseas on or after May 26, 2015, and U.S. visa applications of individuals who either submitted applications online or were interviewed on or after June 9, 2015 will not be issued except in cases of an emergency or urgent humanitarian need.  This problem prevents the completion of required security checks and affects all U.S. embassies and consular posts and all visa categories.  Domestic issuance of U.S. passports is not affected. 

Limited provisions exist to assist those affected by this suspension or delay in service.  For those with passport applications accepted on or after May 26 who have imminent travel plans, DOS suggests applying for an Emergency Passport at the embassy or consulate where the application was filed.  Affected nonimmigrant visa applicants with an urgent humanitarian need to travel to the U.S. are urged to contact the closest U.S. embassy or consular post to request special assistance.

At this time, DOS does not have a timeline for fixing the problem but is “working urgently” to getting passport and visa processing back to normal.   

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About this Author

Kevin R. McNamara, MintzLevin, Immigration, Labor, Employment

Kevin has 20 years’ experience in immigration and nationality law, and his practice is focused on employment-based immigration matters. His clients range from major corporations and institutions to individuals, including scientists, artists, athletes, academics, investors, and entrepreneurs. Kevin has served as immigration counsel to schools, universities, and research institutions as well as companies in the high-tech, pharmaceutical, biomedical, engineering, and financial services industries.

Before joining Mintz Levin, Kevin was an...