The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is presently processing clearance requests at a very slow pace and has suspended processing of all nongovernmental fingerprint requests until further notice due to a new computer system at the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Service division. The slowdown is affecting requests pending as of September 7, 2014, and possibly earlier.

The FBI has stated that the current wait time is approximately 12 weeks, which represents roughly a threefold increase from the usual four to six weeks. Applicants should, thus, plan for lengthy delays and backlog given that no date has been announced for the resumption of normal activity and processing times.

However, requests submitted by FBI-approved channelers are still being processed as usual. Channelers are, though, restricted to submitting clearance requests on behalf of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents only. Individuals in nonimmigrant visa categories will simply have to endure the delays.

The FBI has asked that applicants refrain from calling to check on the status of their clearance requests for at least 12 weeks.

*Not admitted to the practice of law.