Do you need a visa to visit the United States of America? If yes, you may be in for a wait. Applicants around the globe were unable to enjoy their summer holidays in the Land of the Free; some had to forfeit their non-refundable airline tickets.
For the last few days, the US Bureau of Consular Affairs has been experiencing technical problems with its passport and visa system. The issue is worldwide and not specific to any particular country.
The database in question, known as the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD), is said to be one of the largest Oracle-based data warehouses in the world. It holds over 100 million records of visa cases and 75 million photographs, and it currently processes around 35,000 new visa cases every day.
The system reportedly crashed following scheduled maintenance earlier last week and was out of operation for as much as a few days. Service has since been restored but only in a “limited capacity,” and the downtime has resulted in a backlog of visa and passport processing that will take some time to work through.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Oracle or the State Department’s IT staff was to blame for the outage.
In the meantime, it’s not known just how many people have been left stranded while waiting for their US visas and other travel documents, but two US officials told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity that as many as 50,000 applicants had been affected in one unnamed country alone.
No updates are available from the US State Department