ATTENTION – Travelers and U.S. Citizens Abroad! Embassies Suspend Giving Visas and Passports

If you are a U.S. citizen living in a foreign country and need your passport renewed, or if you plan to visit the United States and need a visa – take note! ALL U.S. Embassies and Consulate Offices in ALL countries have temporarily suspended issuing these documents.

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Per a News Release from the US State Department – June 12, 2015

Passports and Visas:

The Bureau of Consular Affairs is currently experiencing technical problems with the overseas passport and visa systems. This issue is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document, or visa category.

The Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) problems we are experiencing are not the same challenges we overcame last summer. We are working urgently to correct the problems and restore our system to full operational status as soon as possible.

We apologize to applicants who are experiencing delays or are unable to obtain a passport overseas, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or U.S. visa at this time.

Passport applications accepted overseas on or after May 26, 2015 are affected. Individuals who submitted online applications or were interviewed for visas on or after June 9 may experience a delay in the processing. The systems in place to perform required national security checks before we issue visas are experiencing technical difficulties. Domestic passport issuances are not affected at this time.

We are able to issue emergency passports to U.S. citizens overseas for urgent travel. We are seeking to assist non-immigrant visa applicants with urgent humanitarian travel. Travelers with an urgent humanitarian need for travel should contact their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

We are aware of pending overseas adoption cases, including in China. We are prioritizing these cases and seek to issue these visas with few delays.

We regret the inconvenience to travelers, and remain committed to facilitating legitimate travel while protecting our borders. We are working urgently to correct the problem and expect our system to be fully operational again soon.

We will post updates to http://www.Travel.State.Gov as more information becomes available.

Click to download a copy of the news report: US State Department – Technological Systems Issue

Notice of Comprised Personal Information:

The U.S. Department of State mailed letters on June 9 to a limited number of U.S. passport customers whose personal information may have been compromised. The letter provides specific details regarding the breach of personal information, how to contact us for further assistance, and guidance on how to protect yourself from identity theft.

The Department has taken immediate action to help protect you. The letter mentions an offer from the Department to sign-up for one year of free credit monitoring services. This service monitors your credit records at all 3 credit reporting agencies and notifies you when there are certain changes to your credit bureau file(s). In addition, the identity theft insurance policy will reimburse you for certain out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages in the event you are a victim of identity theft. We have also flagged your U.S. passport record in our databases to prevent others from using your identity to renew or replace your passport. Your U.S. passport is still valid for international travel.

We apologize for any inconvenience and concern this incident may cause you. We are thoroughly examining our information security systems and procedures to safeguard against unauthorized access of passport records.

Click to download: Letter Regarding Compromised Personal Information

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