What is the change? Technical problems are preventing the normal handling of visa applications, according to the Belgium Immigration Office. Additionally, Belgian embassies in India and the United Kingdom are unable to issue visas until Jan. 2, 2016 due to technical difficulties. Other embassies and consulates may be affected.

What does the change mean? Visa applicants should plan for possible delays in visa issuance that could extend into the new year.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for Belgian visas.
  • Impact on processing times: Visa issuances may be delayed until Jan. 2, 2016.
  • Business impact: Employers and foreign employees and assignees should anticipate possible delays and may have to rearrange business schedules.

Background: The Belgium Immigration Office has indicated that technical difficulties have been negatively impacting visa applications for several days and that it is working to solve the problem as soon as possible.

Visa provider VFS Global has announced that the Belgian Embassy in the U.K. is unable to issue any visas until Jan. 2, 2016 and that the Belgian Embassy in India and its consulate in Mumbai are unable to issue visas until further notice. According to the announcement, applications for long-stay visas continue to be accepted, but visa issuance is on hold pending resolution of the technical difficulties.

BAL Analysis: Travelers applying for Belgian visas should check with their local Belgian embassy or consulate and plan accordingly.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Belgium. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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