What is the change? Spain has announced that it has signed a contract with BLS International to provide visa-application services worldwide on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. BLS International replaces the previous provider, VFS Global, whose contract ended Dec. 15.

What does the change mean? Applicants applying for Spanish visas should expect to redirect their applications to BLS International. Since Dec. 15, applicants in many countries were told to apply directly with a Spanish embassy or consulate.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All Spanish visas.
  • Who is affected: Applicants applying for Spanish visas.
  • Impact on processing times: There may be delays as the visa-application services transition to the new provider.
  • Next steps: Applicants may wish to contact their nearest BLS International visa application center for information on individual locations. BAL can assists in the process.

Background: The Spanish ministry announced in October that VFS would stop accepting visa applications on its behalf. The change was delayed until earlier this month when applicants in India were directed to file visa applications with the Spanish Embassy in New Delhi or the consulate in Mumbai.

The Spanish Embassy in India has now posted information on its website for submitting visa applications with BLS International or contacting BLS via phone or email.

The Spanish Embassy in the United Arab Emirates has similarly posted BLS contact information and the BLS visa application website, which appears to be operational.

BAL Analysis: Companies and individuals applying for Spanish visas should anticipate delays and plan accordingly in light of the transition in visa service providers as well as the year-end holiday slowdown.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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