The Spanish Council of Ministers has given BLS International Limited (BLS) permission to continue processing visa applications for Spain. This follows an agreement reached in February between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation, and BLS to extend their previous emergency deal.
The previous contract between Spain and BLS, signed in December 2016, expired earlier this year. To ensure that visa applications are processed smoothly in the future, the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation approved a resolution to award BLS another visa processing contract.
According to a media report, two special appeals were filed against this decision before the Central Administrative Court of Contractual Appeals (TACRC), and as a result, the award agreement with BLS was suspended on February 25.
Despite the suspension, the Council of Ministers believes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the correct decision in entrusting the processing of visa applications for Spain to BLS.
Failure to establish the contract with BLS at the time would have put consular services at risk, as Spain processes a high volume of Schengen visa applications and is the second Schengen country with the most such visas processed.
The Council noted during a meeting on March 20 that failing to issue visas on time would harm the Spanish tourism industry and its image. After France, Spain is the second most popular country for obtaining a Schengen visa.
According to Schengen Visa Statistics for 2021, Spanish embassies, consulates, and visa processing centres worldwide received 483,469 applications, 377,440 of which were approved, while the remaining 15.5 per cent were denied.
The process to Apply for Spain Visa
The procedures for obtaining a Schengen Visa for Spain are identical to those for any other Schengen Area country.
The applicant must schedule an appointment and gather several documents, including completing the visa application form, purchasing €30,000 in health insurance, and demonstrating sufficient financial means for the planned stay in Spain.
Spain Visa Fee
Every applicant is required to pay a fee of €80, except for those from countries with which Spain has an agreement in place for a reduced visa fee, as well as certain categories, like Erasmus students for short-term exchanges.
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