Indians can now apply for a multiple entry Schengen visa with longer validity

The European Commission's new visa 'cascade' regime simplifies Schengen visa access for Indian nationals, enabling long-term multi-entry visas. This enhances travel flexibility within the Schengen area, reflecting the deepening EU-India relationship and cooperation on migration policy.

The European Commission has introduced a new visa “cascade” regime for Indian nationals seeking Schengen visas, allowing for more straightforward access to multiple entry visas with extended validity periods. This new regime, effective from April 18, replaces the standard rules of the Visa Code and offers significant advantages for Indian travelers.

Under the new rules, Indian nationals residing in India can be issued long-term, multi-entry Schengen visas valid for two years after lawfully obtaining and using two visas within the previous three years. This initial two-year visa can then be followed by a five-year visa, provided the passport has sufficient validity remaining. This extended validity allows travelers to move freely within the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period.

The Schengen area, comprising 29 European countries, including 25 EU states, offers a unique travel experience. The following countries are part of the Schengen area: 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, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

This move is part of the EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility, aiming to strengthen cooperation between the EU and India on migration policy, including facilitating people-to-people contacts. The enhanced visa regime highlights India’s importance as a key partner for the EU and reflects the deepening relationship between the two entities.

While these Schengen visas grant freedom of travel across the Schengen area, they do not permit employment. Therefore, holders must abide by the rules and regulations governing their stay in the Schengen area. As the European Commission implements this new regime, Indian nationals with established travel histories will find it easier to obtain long-term multi-entry visas, making travel to Europe more accessible and convenient.

Source: The Economic Times

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