Computer Crash Halts U.S. Visa, Passport Operation

People around the world waiting for U.S. passports or visas can expect delays due to a computer problem. The State Department said its global database for issuing travel documents has crashed.

The unspecified problems in the Consular Consolidated Database have resulted in "significant performance issues, including outages" in the processing of applications for passports, visas and reports of Americans born abroad.

Spokeswoman Marie Harf said the problem has affected the State Department's consular offices all over the world since Saturday. Harf said the problems with the database have resulted in an "extensive backlog" of applications.

It was not immediately clear how many people are affected.

The database is the State Department's system of record and is used to approve, record and print visas and other documents to ensure that national security checks are conducted on applicants.

Harf said, "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."

VOA News / Jul. 25, 2014 08:10 KST