It’s a hardware, not a hacker problem.

This was the assurance issued by the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) today in response to public concern about the temporary closure and re-scheduling of visa interviews at visa offices worldwide – including the Philippines.

More than 50,000 visa applications are received and would be affected daily worldwide, the BCA noted with more than 1,000 interviews a day at the US Embassy in Manila.

Apologizing for the inconvenience to visa applicants, the BCA explains the technical problems is “not specific to any particular country or visa category,” and that at least a 100 State Department experts are working urgently 24/7 to correct the problem and restore full operability.

The US Embassy in Manila announced the temporary closure of the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit on Thursday (June 18, 2015).  Approximately one-half of all nonimmigrant visa applications are tourist visas. 

On their website the Embassy posted that  “currently, they are unable to print most immigrant and nonimmigrant visas approved after June 8, 2015.

What to Do

For Nonimmigrant Visa applicants who have submitted their DS-160 online on or before June 8, they should have been interviewed Friday June 19 at the same time as the original appointment

For those with visa interview appointments scheduled for June 14 to 20, 2015: Reschedule appointments if the DS 160 form was submitted after June 9, 2015. 

Rescheduling of Appointments: “Appointments can be rescheduled by following the instructions located on (http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/index.html).

Urgent Travel Needs:  If you have an urgent travel, please send an e-mail to CONSManilaNIV@state.gov with the subject line “REQUEST FOR URGENT PROCESSING”. Applicants should follow the instructions for expedited emergency appointment found on http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-expeditedappointment.asp.

Emergency, Medical Treatment.  Expedited requests for urgent medical treatment (including organ donation), visiting a dying immediate family member, or attending the funeral of an immediate family member are being given priority.

Applicant are reminded to “specify the applicant’s complete name, date of birth, passport number, date when the DS-160 form was accomplished, DS-160 barcode number, and anticipated date and reason for travel. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit will advise all requestors accordingly. Those scheduled from June 15 to June 26 may, alternatively, reschedule their appointment at a later date.”

For DS-160 submitted on or after June 9 (see the date in the “Completed On” section of your confirmation page), the Embassy instructs applicants to return on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, at 12:00 noon.

On the date of the new appointment, applicants must “bring  the appointment confirmation letter for June 18, along with your DS-160 confirmation page, passport, photo, and applicable supporting documents. Appointments may be rebooked by contacting the Embassy call center at (02) 976-8500 to 02 (open from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm) or go to the online appointment website, www.ustraveldocs.com/ph.

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