The US Department of State (DOS) has announced that all consulates are now back online and scheduling visa interviews. The consulates worked though last weekend and have almost cleared the backlog of applications, issuing 410,000 nonimmigrant visa applications in the past 9 days.
The Department states that it is still having problems with some online visa application, and I noticed that their website still has this notice on the J-1 waiver page:
For more details on the current status from DOS, and FAQs, see http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english/news/technological-systems-issue.html
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.