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    “EU Simplifies Multi-Entry Schengen Visas for Regular Indian Travellers”


    EU Introduces New Visa Rules for Indian Travellers, Easing Access to Schengen Area

    In a move aimed at strengthening ties and facilitating travel between India and the European Union (EU), the EU has announced new visa rules that will greatly benefit frequent travellers from India. The adoption of these rules, which allow for multiple-entry Schengen visas with longer validity, was announced by EU ambassador Hervé Delphin on April 18, marking a significant step in enhancing people-to-people contact and easing travel to 29 European countries.

    The new visa rules, adopted by the European Commission, come as a welcome change for Indian nationals seeking to explore the Schengen area, comprising 25 EU member states and four non-EU countries including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Under the previous rules, obtaining a Schengen visa often meant navigating through a complex process with shorter validity periods.

    The EU delegation to India highlighted that the new rules are more favorable than the standard Schengen visa code, particularly for frequent travellers with an established travel history. Referred to as the “visa cascade” regime, Indian nationals residing in India can now apply for long-term, multi-entry Schengen visas with extended validity.

    Here are the key highlights of the new visa rules:

    1. Multi-Year Validity: Indian nationals can now obtain Schengen visas with multi-year validity, up to five years, easing the burden of frequent visa applications for regular travellers.
    2. Visa “Cascade” System: The new system allows for a two-year visa after using two visas within the previous three years. Following this, eligible applicants can obtain a five-year visa, provided their passport has sufficient remaining validity.
    3. Equivalent Travel Rights: Holders of these long-term visas enjoy travel rights equivalent to visa-free nationals during the validity period of their visas.
    4. Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility: The decision to introduce these new visa rules is part of the EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility, aimed at fostering comprehensive cooperation on migration policy and facilitating people-to-people contacts.
    5. Schengen Area Benefits: Schengen visas grant holders the freedom to travel within the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period, enhancing opportunities for tourism, business, and cultural exchanges.

    The EU’s move reflects a commitment to strengthening partnerships with key global partners like India, recognizing the importance of facilitating seamless travel and enhancing bilateral relations. These new visa rules are expected to streamline the visa application process, provide greater convenience for Indian travellers, and promote closer ties between India and the EU.

    Sources By Agencies

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