Visa Applicants at Consulates May Expect Delays of 2+ more weeks to Receive Visa Stamps
June 16, 2015 | Written by Laura J. Mazel
It seems that each summer, the spike in international travel causes critical delays for foreign nationals needing visa stamps. Starting in late May, for example, clients report long wait times to secure consular appointments to acquire non-immigrant visa stamps in Canada and Europe if they aren’t nationals of those countries. Once the interview appointment is secured, however, there are potential pitfalls beyond everyone’s control. There can be delays including security background checks or other consular concerns about whether the job triggers a national security issue. And there are always good old fashioned IT issues to contend with.
Last week, the State Department experienced a serious computer glitch on June 9, which still has not been fixed. Clients continue to suffer delays at embassies worldwide, even after attending successful visa acquisition interviews. The systems failure issue appears to deny the ability to perform national security background checks before issuing the visa stamps, and consequently prevent embassies worldwide from being able to print visas. Applicants for both non-immigrant and immigrant visas are reporting problems, regardless whether they submitted their online applications before June 9 or after June 9. The State Department’s update published yesterday confirms it is not a repeat of last summer’s computer system challenges nor it is a result of hackers. The State Department will only rush visa stamps for “humanitarian” concerns, not business travel.
We will keep everyone updated with developments.