June 25, 2024
pexels photo 17178100

pexels photo 17178100

European Union adopts more favourable Schengen visa rules for Indians

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 Press and information team of the Delegation to INDIA and BHUTAN

Indian nationals can now apply for multiple-entry Schengen visas with extended validity

On April 18, 2024, the European Commission introduced a set of new, more lenient rules for issuing multiple-entry Schengen visas to Indian nationals. These revised regulations, referred to as the visa “cascade” regime, aim to streamline the visa application process for Indian residents, enabling them to secure visas with extended multi-year validity, provided they have a consistent travel history and their passport maintains its validity.

Under the newly adopted visa “cascade” regime, Indian nationals who have successfully obtained and utilized two Schengen visas within the preceding three years can now qualify for long-term, multiple-entry visas with a validity period of two years. Following the lawful use of the two-year visa, applicants may then become eligible for a five-year visa, contingent on their passport’s validity. During the tenure of these visas, holders enjoy travel privileges similar to those of visa-free nationals, allowing them to move freely within the Schengen area.

This policy change is part of the broader EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility, which seeks to enhance comprehensive cooperation on migration policies and foster stronger people-to-people connections between the EU and India. The facilitation of easier travel is seen as a key element of this agenda, given India’s significance as a strategic partner for the EU.

Schengen visas enable holders to travel within the Schengen zone for short stays, up to a maximum of 90 days within any 180-day period. These visas are non-purpose-specific, meaning they are not restricted to particular types of travel, though they do not permit the holder to work. The Schengen area comprises 29 European countries, including 25 EU member states: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, and Sweden. Additionally, the Schengen area includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

By implementing these new rules, the European Commission aims to simplify the process for Indian nationals seeking to travel within the Schengen area, ultimately fostering closer ties and greater mobility between the EU and India.

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