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Washington, D.C.– House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Member Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) issued the following statement on the State Department’s continued prolonged travel documentation processes. For certain classes of visas, routine appointments are sometimes taking a year to a year-and-a-half to be scheduled, passport processing has still not returned to pre-pandemic rates, and as of March, only 42 percent of the D.C. area workforce was coming to the office for as little as one day a week. 

“We are frustrated that the State Department continues to blame the COVID-19 pandemic for not reopening every possible domestic and international facility. Our offices and many others on the Hill are repeatedly contacted by American citizens with friends or family members around the world, with pressing cases in many countries including Nigeria and Kenya, who have been waiting patiently for certain visa services that remain suspended. Further, we have major concerns over the State Department’s excessively low staffing levels. The State Department must recognize that these issues are unacceptable.”