New Schengen Visa Rules Offer Multiple Entry Options for Indians

The European Commission has announced a new visa regime specifically for India, making it easier for Indian travellers to obtain Schengen visas. This new system offers longer validity periods, with the possibility of acquiring a five-year multi-entry visa.
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Exciting news for frequent flyers! Indian nationals can now apply for multiple-entry Schengen visas with extended validity periods, making travel to Europe significantly easier.

The European Commission announced this welcome change on April 18th, implementing a new “cascade” visa regime specifically for India. This replaces the standard Schengen visa rules with a more favourable system.

Extended Visa Validity with Multiple-Entry Privileges

Under the newly adopted visa regulations, Indian nationals are now eligible to apply for a multiple-entry Schengen visa with extended validity periods. Unlike the standard visa rules, which were in effect until now, the updated guidelines offer greater flexibility and convenience to Indian travellers.

Visa ‘Cascade’ Regime: Key Highlights

According to the latest visa ‘cascade’ regime tailored for India:

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1. Indian passport holders can obtain long-term, multi-entry Schengen visas valid for up to two years after successfully securing and lawfully utilizing two visas within the preceding three years.

2. Following the initial two-year visa, travellers may qualify for a five-year visa, provided their passport maintains sufficient validity.

3. Throughout the validity duration of these visas, holders enjoy travel rights equivalent to those of visa-free nationals, enhancing their mobility and accessibility across the Schengen area.

Also Read: Planning a Europe Trip? Navigating Single-Entry Schengen Visa Rules

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Strengthened EU-India Relations

The decision to revise visa regulations reflects the EU’s commitment to fostering stronger ties with India, particularly in the realm of migration and mobility.

Aligned with the EU-India Common Agenda on migration and mobility, this initiative aims to facilitate comprehensive cooperation on migration policy, fostering enhanced people-to-people contact between the EU and India.

Schengen Area Travel Privileges

Schengen visa holders are granted the freedom to travel within the Schengen area for short stays, with a maximum duration of 90 days within any 180-day period. However, it’s essential to note that these visas do not confer the right to work within the Schengen member states.

Also Read: Navigating Schengen Visa Processing Time in India: A Complete Guide

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Overview of the Schengen Area

The Schengen area comprises 29 European countries, including 25 EU member states. These countries are:

  • 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
  • Sweden

Additionally, the Schengen area includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, collectively providing a diverse and enriching travel experience for visitors.

Also Read: Bulgaria and Romania Join Schengen Zone After 13-Year Wait

Conclusion

In conclusion, the EU’s revised visa policy marks a significant milestone in facilitating smoother and more accessible travel opportunities for Indian nationals, fostering stronger bonds between Europe and India while enriching cross-cultural exchanges.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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