All Indian consulates in the United States are changing their visa service contractor, so applicants for Indian visas should expect significant delays in May and June 2014. Advance planning is strongly recommended by anyone seeking an Employment Visa (EV) or a Business Visa (BV) to India.

Earlier this month, the Embassy of India in the United States announced that it is changing the company it uses for visa application support services. The current service provider, BLS International Limited (BLS), will be closing all Indian visa support services at close of business on May 20, 2014. The Indian government says that beginning May 21, 2014, Cox & Kings Global Services Pvt. Ltd. will provide all Indian visa application support services, but applicants should be prepared for delays as the new company begins accepting applications.

Applicants should pay close attention to the following key transition dates:

  1. From now until Friday May 16, 2014, all in-person and mailed visa applications must be filed with BLS
  2. All applications that reach BLS after Friday May 16, 2014 will be returned to sender
  3. 3. Applicants may check the status of their applications on the BLS website until May 20, 2014
  4. As of May 21, 2014, all applications must be filed with Cox & Kings Global Services
  5. The status of all applications, including those previously filed with BLS, should be available on the Cox & Kings Global Services’ website on May 21, 2014.

Once the change goes through, GT will be closely tracking whether the application process for Indian BVs and EVs, such as documentary evidence, will be modified in any way.