INDIA – New Application Procedure for U.S. Based Applications
Effective 21 May, all India visa applications submitted in the U.S. will be processed via a different visa agency, called Cox & Kings Global Services. The current provider, BLS, will cease to provide India visa processing services in the U.S. Delays as a result of this transition are expected.
Who are Cox & Kings?
Cox & Kings is a visa processing agency which has won the contract for the management of Indian visa applications handled in several countries.
Handling over the management of visa applications to a visa processing agency is fairly commonplace – many governments elect to do this, to minimise the number of incomplete and faulty applications they need to review.
Since July 2013, Indian applications in the US have been handled via BLS, but that contract has now been taken over by Cox & Kings.
The Embassy of India in Washington, D.C. announced the change on 7 May, and provided the following details of the handover of services to the new provider:
- The current service provider, BLS, will accept mailed applications posted up to 13 May and arriving by 15 May. Applications likely to arrive after 15 May should be sent to Cox & Kings and will be processed from 21 May.
- BLS, will accept in-person applications until the afternoon of 16 May at all its US locations.
- BLS will accept only Emergency Visa applications until 20 May.
- The progress of pending applications with BLS can be checked on the BLS website until 20 May, and on the Cox & Kings website thereafter. Details of the Cox & Kings applications website and office locations will be published shortly.
- Note the new provider for U.S. based Indian visa applications and the transition plan.
- Anticipate some delays in visa processing for applicants based in the U.S. in coming weeks