U.S. visa system not expected to be on-line before next week: State Department

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 17, 2015 2:30 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department does not expect to resolve a technical problem affecting travel visas before next week, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

"Our Bureau of Consular Affairs continues to experiences problems with the visa system. This is a global issue and we're working around the clock to fix it," State Department spokesman John Kirby told a regular press briefing. "That said, for all the hard work, don't expect the system will be on-line before next week."

Kirby said more than 100 experts from both the public and private sectors were trying to fix the problem and that he could not provide any more details on timing.

The department announced on Friday it was having technical problems with its overseas passport and visa systems. A State Department official said the passport system was now functioning and passports were being issued overseas again.

"Once the systems are fully operational, we will work as quickly as possible to clear the backlog of pending visa cases," the State Department said in an update online.

It said it does not believe the problems stem from any cyber-security hacking issues.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Lesley Wroughton; Writing by Lisa Lambert and Mohammad Zargham)