The Schengen visa regulations have been revised in light of the enhanced collaboration under the EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility.

The European Commission has approved a new framework for the implementation of Schengen visas for Indian citizens, referred to as the ‘cascade’ system, as reported by REUTERS.

Under the European Union’s revised visa regulations, Indian citizens will now have the opportunity to apply for multiple-entry Schengen visas with extended durations.

The Schengen visa grants access to 29 European countries, encompassing Croatia, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Germany among others.

The European Union’s official website has announced updated rules reflecting the enhanced relationship between the EU and India within the framework of the EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility.

This agenda aims to foster extensive collaboration on migration policy between the European Union and India, emphasizing the crucial role of facilitating people-to-people contacts, given India’s significance as a partner for the EU.

What are the new rules? 

On April 18, 2024, the European Commission introduced the ‘cascade’ regime, outlining new regulations for Schengen visa applications from Indian nationals.

The new regime aims to streamline Schengen visa access for Indian nationals within India, offering multi-year validity for easier travel.

Under the newly implemented visa “cascade” system for India, Indian citizens are now eligible to receive long-term, multi-entry Schengen visas lasting two years, provided they have obtained and lawfully utilized two visas within the preceding three years.

After the initial two-year visa, holders can typically apply for a five-year visa, provided their passport has enough validity. Throughout the validity of these visas, holders have travel privileges similar to those of visa-free nationals.

What is the Schengen visa?

A Schengen visa grants temporary entry to countries within the Schengen area for short visits. It permits unrestricted travel within the area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

Schengen visas are not tied to specific purposes, but they do not confer the right to work.

Which European countries make the Schengen area?

Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, and Sweden, alongside Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

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