Enhanced Travel Ease: Indian Nationals Eligible for Long-term Schengen Visas

Indian nationals received a significant boon for their travels to Europe as the European Commission introduced new rules on April 18, allowing for more favorable conditions for multiple entry Schengen visas. The press release from the delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan highlighted that this change in the visa regime aims to streamline the process, particularly benefiting frequent travelers with a proven travel history. Under the newly adopted “cascade” regime, Indian citizens residing in India can now apply for long-term, multi-entry Schengen visas valid for up to two years, with the possibility of extending to five years based on previous visa usage and passport validity.

Herve Delphin, the Ambassador of the European Union to India, emphasized the significance of this development in fostering closer people-to-people ties between Europe and India. The adoption of this new visa regime underscores the commitment to strengthening cooperation on migration and mobility between the EU and India, aligning with the EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility. This initiative recognizes India’s importance as a strategic partner for the EU and seeks to facilitate easier travel for Indian nationals, enhancing bilateral relations.

Schengen visas grant holders the freedom to travel within the Schengen area for short stays, allowing for a maximum of 90 days within any 180-day period. The visas are not restricted by purpose but do not confer the right to work. The Schengen area comprises 29 European countries, including 25 EU member states, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, providing Indian travelers with expanded opportunities for exploration and engagement across Europe.

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