The State Department's global database for issuing travel documents has crashed, resulting in potential delays for millions of people around the world waiting for U.S. passports and visas, officials said Wednesday.
Unspecified glitches in the department's Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) since Saturday 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 CCD contains tens of millions of records including passport and visa information and is accessible to consular officials worldwide, according to the State Department.
Harf said the problem is 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 back on line.
It was not immediately clear how many people are affected, but two U.S. officials familiar with the situation said some 50,000 applicants were affected in one country alone.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity and did not identify the country because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
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.
Al Jazeera and The Associated Press