In recent months, various countries have introduced significant changes to their visa policies and requirements. These modifications can greatly affect Indian citizens planning to travel internationally for business, leisure, education, or other reasons. Staying updated on the latest visa regulations in popular destinations is crucial for Indian travelers to ensure they have the necessary documentation. Here are five countries that have recently made noteworthy changes to their visa policies.


According to recent reports, Australia has significantly increased the fees for student visas for international students, with the cost now set to rise from AUD 710 ($473) to AUD 1,600 ($1,068) starting July 1. Additionally, certain temporary visa holders, including those on Temporary Graduate, Visitor, and Maritime Crew visas, will no longer be eligible to apply for a student visa while in Australia. The required minimum savings for student visas has also been elevated from AUD 24,505 ($16,146) to AUD 29,710 ($19,576). These changes are expected to affect Indian students particularly, as they represent the second-largest group of international students in Australia.

New Zealand

On June 26, 2024, New Zealand introduced revisions to its visa policies impacting certain foreign workers and their families. These updates are designed to make the visa process more efficient and in line with the country’s economic and immigration goals. The primary alteration is that holders of Accredited Employer Work Visas (AEWV) classified under ANZSCO skill levels 4 and 5, who do not have a pathway to residency, will no longer be able to sponsor their partners or dependent children for work, visitor, or student visas. Nevertheless, partners and dependents remain eligible to apply for their own visas if they meet the necessary criteria. Applications already in progress will be evaluated based on the previous regulations.


Italy has recently launched its digital nomad visa, now open for applications, which permits non-EU remote workers to reside and work in the country for up to one year, exceeding the usual 90-day stay limit. With this move, Italy becomes one of over 50 nations offering such visas. Eligible applicants include self-employed freelancers and corporate remote workers classified as ‘highly skilled.’ To qualify, applicants must have a remote job, earn a sufficient annual income, possess a clean criminal record, maintain valid health insurance, and provide proof of accommodation.


The European Union has recently revised its visa regulations, enabling Indian nationals to apply for multiple-entry Schengen visas with extended validity. The European Commission has implemented the ‘cascade’ regime specifically for Indian nationals seeking Schengen visas. This new system facilitates the acquisition of multi-year visas. Indian nationals who have lawfully utilized two Schengen visas in the last three years are now eligible for a long-term, multiple-entry visa valid for two years. Subsequently, they can obtain a five-year visa, provided their passport remains valid.


Germany has recently revised its skilled worker visa regulations to attract more professionals in engineering, IT, and healthcare sectors. According to reports, the country requires approximately 400,000 skilled workers annually to tackle labor shortages. Beginning June 1, 2024, the new ‘Opportunity Card’ permits non-EU citizens to move to Germany for a year to search for employment. To qualify, applicants must have a minimum of two years of vocational training or a relevant degree, along with proficiency in German or English.

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