New Schengen visa rules bring good news for India

New Delhi: Indian nationals can apply for multiple entry Schengen visas to 29 European nations with longer validity, the European Commission has said, easing the notoriously difficult process.

According to the newly adopted visa “cascade” regime for India, Indians can now be issued long-term, multi-entry Schengen visas valid for two years after having obtained and lawfully sed two visas within the previous three years. 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, the statement said.

The European Commission on April 18 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.

The decision comes in the context of strengthened relations under the EU-India Common Agenda on migration and mobility, which seeks comprehensive cooperation on migration policy between the EU and India.

Schengen visas allow the holder to travel freely in the Schengen area for short stays of a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period. The visas are not purpose-bound, but they do not grant the right to work.

The Schengen area consists of 29 European countries (of which 25 are EU states): 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.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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