A hardware problem in the State Department’s computer system has hit America’s visa issuing processes across the globe, an official has said.
“The Bureau of Consular affairs is facing some technical problems with the visa systems. This is a global issue, and we’re working around the clock to fix it,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday.
In fact, more than 100 computer experts from both the private and public sectors across the US are working on this, he said.
“We don’t expect that the system will be online before next week,” he said.
The problem stems from a hardware failure. “That failure right now is preventing the Department from processing and transmitting the mandatory security-related biometric data checks at our embassies and consulates,” Kirby said.
“Certainly we regret this inconvenience to travelers, recognize that this is causing hardship for those that are waiting for visas, and in some cases their family members or employers in the United States,” he said.
Noting that it is very much a security issue, he said, “That’s why we’re taking it so seriously. So we’re going to get it done, we’re going to get it done right, and we’re not going to rush as well.”
“We’re working on this as fast as we can, but it’s important to get it done right. Of course, we’re going to continue to post regular updates on our website,” Kirby said.