Multiple entry Schengen visa for Indians: Here's what you should know

Generally, the Schengen visa fee is revised once in three years. Photo: Shutterstock/H_Ko

New Delhi: It was recently announced that frequent Indian travellers to Europe will be able to apply for a multiple-entry Schengen visa of up to five years, with the European Commission effecting certain changes in existing rules. The visa allows the holder to travel freely in the Schengen area for short stays of a maximum of 90 days in any 180 days. The visas are not purpose-bound, but they do not grant the right to work. "On April 18, the European Commission adopted specific rules on the issuing of multiple entry visas to Indian nationals, which are more favourable than the standard rules of the visa code that applied to date," an EU readout said. It said this new visa 'cascade' regime for Indian nationals residing in India who apply for Schengen (short-stay) visas in India will provide easier access to visas with multi-year validity for travellers with an established travel history.

"According to the newly adopted visa 'cascade' regime for India, Indian nationals can now be issued long-term, multi-entry Schengen visas valid for two years after having obtained and lawfully used two visas within the previous three years," the readout said. "The two-year visa will normally be followed by a five-year visa, if the passport has sufficient validity remaining. During the validity period of these visas, holders enjoy travel rights equivalent to visa-free nationals," it said. The Schengen area consists of 29 European countries of which 25 are EU states. The countries are 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, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. For details, check the website.

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