The biometric registration of American citizens seeking to move to the UK has been suspended for more than two weeks because the UK government has failed to pay the Department of Homeland Security, as the bureaucratic glitch knows.
Americans applying for a work, study, or settlement visa have been rejected by US application support centers, which are taking the necessary fingerprints and photos as a result of suspending the service.
The UK Department of the Interior described the problem as a "technical problem" but did not specify any further details.
A source familiar with the problem said a UK payment was not cleared on time, and US civil and immigration officials stopped serving at the end of March. Applicants were advised to apply via a private company, VFS Global, which charges nearly $ 2,000 for a fast-track service.
"The Department of Homeland Security's biometric registration service has been temporarily suspended due to a technical problem," a Ministry of Interior statement said Monday. "We are working to restore service as soon as possible and apologize for any inconvenience."
The Ministry of the Interior refused to give more details on the "technical problem".
The statement said that the United Kingdom government was trying to organize vacant appointments for affected US applicants with VFS, and that Americans who are temporarily in the UK are not affected by the problem.
Neither the US Citizenship and Immigration Services nor the Homeland Security Department headquarters responded to a request for comment on Monday afternoon.
"Whether it is a special relationship or the basic functions of a government, this should not happen," said a source whose family was affected by the temporary closure. "It affects many people and costs British citizens and their US partners thousands of dollars."