Department of State Passport And Visa Issuance Database Crash Has Worldwide Impact

08.13.14 | Archived

The Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs (DOS) is currently experiencing technical problems with its system that issues visas, passports, and related documents. This has resulted in universal delays in issuing visas that are no limited to any particular country or visa type.

DOS’ global database (also known as the Consular Consolidated Database or CCD) holds more than 100 million records of visa cases and 75 million photographs, with links to other federal agency security databases, including the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT). It is also the gateway to the Department of State Facial Recognition system and the NameCheck system used to approve, record, and print visas and other documents. The CCD underwent a software update on July 20th resulting in a catastrophic crash leaving countless people around the world unable to travel for several days in late July. Although service has been restored in a limited capacity, it continues to have significant problems, including outages.

The downtime and ongoing limited use has resulted in a growing backlog of visa and passport processing in the U.S. and at consular posts abroad.  It is not clear just how many people have been impacted or left stranded waiting for their U.S. travel documents, but it is estimated that more than 50,000 applicants have been affected. To learn more about the CCD database, click here.