The European Commission adopted on 8 September specific rules on the issuing of multiple entry visas to Kuwaiti nationals, which are more favourable than the generic rules that applied to date. This new visa ‘cascade’ regime for Kuwaiti nationals applying for Schengen visas in Kuwait will see all eligible applicants, including first-time travellers, being issued with visas valid for 5 years, if the passport validity allows.

According to the newly adopted visa ‘cascade’ regime for Kuwait, Kuwaiti nationals can now be issued with long-term, multi-entry Schengen visas valid for five years. Where the validity of the visa would exceed that of the passport, a multiple-entry visa shall be issued with a period of validity ending three months before the expiry date of the passport. During the validity period of these visas, holders enjoy travel rights equivalent to visa-free nationals.

This decision is testament to the EU’s strong belief that Kuwait is an important partner for the EU. It also comes in the context of the EU’s Joint Communication on a “Strategic Partnership with the Gulf”, which also covers EU relations with Kuwait. One of the pillars of this EU Strategy is facilitating people-to-people contacts, and this new visa ‘cascade’ adaptation for Kuwait contributes to enhancing relations between Kuwaitis and Europeans.

Schengen area consists of 27 European countries (of which 23 are EU states): Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

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