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July 31, 2014
The U.S. Department of State's global database for issuing travel documents such as visas and passports experienced a significant outage this week. This will result in world-wide delays in visa applications and passport issuance.
The database, known as the "Consular Consolidated Database" (CCD) contains information on applications for passports, visas, and reports of Americans born abroad. It also contains photographs and links to other federal agency security databases which have fingerprints and biometrics of visa and passport applicants. This systems needs to be on-line for consular officers to issue and print visas.
The Department's spokeswoman Marie Harf said that the problem is worldwide and not specific to any particular country, citizenship document, or visa category. “We apologize to applicants and recognize this may cause hardship to applicants waiting on visas and passports. We are working to correct the issue as quickly as possible,” she said. Harf said the problems with the database have resulted in an “extensive backlog” of applications, which has, in turn, hampered efforts to get the system fully back on line.