The US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs’ visa system is currently experiencing a global outage. The outage does not appear to be related to issues of cyber security, according to the Department of State. However, Acting Assistant Secretary Michele Bond has indicated that she does not expect the system to be back online until next week at the earliest.
Due to the outage, some consulates are canceling appointments, others are rescheduling for September and October, and still others are holding passports pending the restoration of the system.
If you are in the process of scheduling a consular appointment or if you have already confirmed a consular appointment, it is imperative that you contact the Embassy/consulate to determine how your appointment or travel plans may be affected. Visa applicants can expect significant delays in receiving visas and scheduling appointments even after the system is restored.
For the US Embassy in Dublin, the relevant webpage is http://dublin.usembassy.gov/vis.html. The consular services section of the Embassy may be reached at (01)903-6255, Monday through Friday 07:00-20:00.
For the US Consulate in Belfast, the relevant webpage is http://belfast.usconsulate.gov/visas.html. The Consulate in Belfast notes that it is currently unable to print any nonimmigrant visa approved after June 8, 2015. In addition, the Consulate is unable to process any online visa application form DS-160 submitted prior to June 9, 2015 with a processing location other than Belfast (e.g. London or Dublin), or any online visa application form DS-160 submitted on or after June 9, 2015 (even with Belfast as the processing location). If you are applying for your visa in Belfast and your DS-160 falls into either of the above categories, the Consulate cannot currently process your application. They recommend, therefore, that you continue to monitor the above-referenced page for updates and only attend your appointment if the situation has been resolved. Individuals who submitted their DS-160 applications prior to June 9, 2015 and chose Belfast as the processing location should attend their scheduled visa appointment.
Feel free to contact me–and AGG’s terrific Global Migration Team–if you have any questions.