Applicants can track the status online at -- http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-loc-passportcollection.asp. For those applicants requiring passport back for other urgent upcoming travels, the case would be placed on 'Administrative Hold' for 12 months and the passport would be returned without the US visa.
The technical problems stem from a hardware failure in a US State Department facility since June 9 preventing processing and transmitting biometric data checks at visa-issuing embassies and consulates for applications made from May 26.
"We cannot bypass the legal requirements to screen visa applicants before we issue visas for travel. Each visa decision is a national security decision, and we take our obligation to protect the United States seriously," the statement added.
Emphasising that the issue is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document or visa category, the US authorities have expressed regrets for the hardships caused to those waiting for visas for personal or professional purposes.