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US overseas passport, visa requests sidelined by technical problems

June 15, 2015

Technical problems at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs have waylaid overseas applications for visas and U.S. passports, according to the U.S. Embassy in San José.

Passport requests made after May 26 and visa applications after June 9 were affected. The outage affected requests for passports overseas, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, U.S. visas, and international adoptions, among others.

Alexis Sullivan, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, provided the following response to questions from The Tico Times in an email:

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs is currently experiencing technical problems with our overseas passport and visa systems. This issue is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document, or visa category. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working urgently to correct the problem and restore full operability.

Applications for a U.S. visa made after June 8, 2015, are also affected by this delay. Nonimmigrant visa applicants who did not submit their DS-160 online application prior to June 9, 2015, should reschedule their interview appointments. Individuals with urgent travel should follow the instructions for expedited emergency appointment found on this website.

Overseas U.S. passports are now being issued again, according to an update from the bureau on Monday, but visa applications remain delayed.

If someone requested a U.S. passport between May 26 and June 14 and they have travel plans within the next 10 business days, they should consider requesting an emergency passport at the U.S. embassy or consulate at which you originally applied, according to the State Department website.

According to the BCA website, there is no evidence that the technical problems were the result of a hack or malicious act.

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