Tech glitch at State Dept. halts new visas, passports

Tech glitch at State Dept. halts new visas, passports
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The State Department is suffering technical troubles preventing the agency from issuing visas and passports at its overseas postings.

In a notice on Friday, the department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs said that the glitches were affecting people from all over the globe, and ruled out a cyber attack as the cause. 

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“We are working as quickly as possible to pinpoint the root cause of our technical issues,” the department said. “We apologize to travelers and recognize that this may cause hardship to individuals waiting for visas and passports overseas.”

Because of the “technical difficulties” affecting systems that perform national security checks, the department cannot print out visas, passports or other travel documents at its foreign diplomatic missions, it claimed.

People applying for a passport from within the U.S. should not have a problem, however, nor should those applying for emergency passports for urgent travel.

“There is no evidence the problem is cyber security related,” State Department spokeswoman Julia Straker said in a statement to The Hill. “We are working urgently to correct the problem and expect the system to be fully operational again soon.”

The State Department said that the new incident was unrelated to a technical glitch that had the same effect last summer.

The department could not say when its operations would be back up and running, but hoped to be “fully operational again soon.”

— Updated at 11:40 p.m.