US consular posts around the world are experiencing significant delays in printing nonimmigrant visas because of a software problem. The Department of State advises that visa applicants should expect delays of 10-14 days in the issuance of nonimmigrant visas. This is consistent with our experience; for example, a client was interviewed for a work visa on July 21 and issued his visa on July 31.
The Department of State continues to process immigrant visas, including Diversity Lottery visas and emergency visas, quickly – within 2-3 days. Also, individuals with valid visas are not impacted because they do not need a new visa. Similarly, individuals traveling under the Visa Waiver Program are not impacted by the delays because they do not need a visa. However, nonimmigrant visa applicants will continue to be affected because, according to the Department of State, it will take weeks to rectify the problem. Bottom line: Nonimmigrant visa applicants, particularly students, should apply for visas as far in advance as possible.
The Department of State has posted this FAQ to address any questions.