Spanish visa for Algerians: BLS and the business of appointments

Spanish visa for Algerians: BLS and the business of appointments

Like the majority of embassies, the Spanish Embassy has outsourced the collection of visa applications for several years. The international company BLS takes care of this: making appointments, collecting files, recording biometric data, returning passports after processing. It’s the same case for Algeria, Morocco, China…

To make an appointment, you must create an account on the BLS website and go through the following steps: entering information, selfie, payment of fees by credit card, confirmation. However, making an appointment becomes hell (especially since Spain grants a large number of visas): making a slot is almost impossible without going through an intermediary, and the price is beyond crazy; 40,000 DA in Oran (one month's salary) and around 100,000 DA in Algiers (two months of work).

Thus, Algerians find themselves facing a serious crisis, knowing that some are obliged to travel for personal or professional reasons. After research and investigation, here are the details.

1-Computer scripts and programs

Computer experts create scripts (computer language codes) which are installed on the Tampermonkey extension. They are used to save time through various tasks such as automatic identification without entering data, automatic filling of information, etc. So, by the time a single user starts to set a slot, the other has already set three or four thanks to the scripts and then resells them.

In addition, programmers have created highly developed programs to earn more money from visa applicants. These are a kind of parallel sites that even manage to modify the functioning of the BLS source site. The most famous is Fast-Book which comes at a considerable price (300 euros and more) and allows you to set around ten slots in a few minutes.

The program performs the tasks on its own and even goes beyond the selfie step thanks to fake webcam programs like Splitm or Manycam.

Just go to Youtube or Telegram and type “BLS scripts”: dozens of people offer the tools for sale, even displaying their phone number.

2- Travel agencies

Moreover, lately, even with scripts and programs, making appointments has become almost impossible because another problem has arisen. According to testimonies, certain travel agencies have contact with the site administrators, which allows them to easily set around a hundred slots. At a time when others have been waiting for months without getting anything.

Some agency employees declare it frankly: “we have direct contact with the site administrators. We send the list with customer emails, photos and credit card details. The list will be ready the next day.”

What illustrates this phenomenon well is the fact that, during the launch of slots on the site, it prevents users from accessing them due to abnormal errors. Often the site is blocked (blank page) for hours: when it is available again, the dates are all in red. That explains everything.

Just go see one of these agencies and see the quantity of appointment cards scattered around. And ask this question: how do they access the site when it is blocked for hours and prevents operations with errors?

Finally, it is a very profitable business for these people who make money on the backs of the applicants (billions come into play), preventing people from traveling while creating an unhealthy crisis, even a dictatorship.

Solutions exist: create a category on the site dedicated to renewal for applicants who already have a visa; create new centers in other wilayas (case of VFS Italy); the Embassy must intervene and open an investigation within BLS; update the site frequently; take legal action against criminals who divert the normal use of the site…

To conclude, applicants for other visas (France, Portugal, Holland, etc.) also suffer similar suffering: slots are snatched up in a few seconds, sites operate abnormally.

The only victim of this trade is the visa applicant who saves for a year to be able to travel and finally finds that the price of a meeting is more expensive than a plane ticket. As the saying goes: “One man’s crisis is another man’s happiness”.


Writer, columnist. Founder of the magazine Lecture-Monde. His latest book: “Migrants without names” (Casbah 2021). First Senghor Poetry Prize (2022).