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EU Relaxes Schengen Visa Rules for India, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia


In a significant move, EU relaxes Schengen Visa rules for nationals from India, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. Indian nationals residing in their home country now have access to a multi-entry, two-year Schengen visa, subject to specific conditions.

The Schengen visa, issued by the European Union, allows travelers from eligible countries to visit multiple Schengen Area countries for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. It facilitates seamless travel across 26 European countries, promoting tourism, business, and cultural exchange.

New Visa Regulations for Indian Nationals

Under the revised guidelines, Indian nationals based in India can obtain a multi-entry, two-year Schengen visa. If they have previously acquired and lawfully utilized two Schengen visas within the last three years. Furthermore, those holding the two-year visa can subsequently apply for a five-year Schengen visa, provided their passport remains valid. These adjustments deviate from the standard rules outlined in the Visa Code.

Expanded Visa Opportunities

Additionally, citizens of Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia are now eligible to apply for a five-year, multi-entry Schengen visa. The European Commission’s decision on April 18, 2024, introduced specific regulations for issuing multiple-entry visas to Indian nationals, offering more favorable terms compared to the previous Visa Code.

Facilitation of People-to-People Contacts

The decision reflects the EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility’s objectives, emphasizing enhanced cooperation on migration policy and promoting people-to-people interactions. This initiative underscores India’s significance as a key partner for the European Union.

Schengen Visa Privileges

Schengen visas enable holders to travel freely within the Schengen area for short stays, not exceeding 90 days within a 180-day period. While these visas are not restricted to specific purposes, they do not confer the right to employment. The Schengen area encompasses 29 European countries, including 25 EU member states, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

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