Schengen Visa Rules Eased for Indians: Multiple-Entry & Longer Validity Visas Now Available

The European Union has adopted more favourable Schengen visa rules for Indian nationals, allowing them to apply for multiple entry visas with a longer validity period.

– Advertisement –

The eased rules were adopted on April 18, 2024, by the Commission, and under the new regime, Indians applying for Schengen visas will have access to multiple entry visas that remain valid for an extended period of time provided that they meet certain conditions, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Travel to Europe made easy! EU takes another step towards enhancing people-to-people contact with India.

Hervé Delphin, Ambassador, Delegation of European Union to India

Longer Validity Multiple-Entry Schengen Visas Will Only Be Granted to Indians With Established Travel History

As the EU authorities have explained, under the newly adopted rules, Indians can now obtain long-term multiple-entry visas with a validity period of up to two years.

However, in order to be eligible for this type of visa, Indians must have obtained and lawfully used two Schengen visas in the last three years.

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.

Delegation of the EU to India

The two-year visa will then most likely be followed by a five-year Schengen visa if the passport has sufficient validity remaining.

This means that Indians who have travelled more frequently to the EU and who have an established travel history will enjoy easier access to extended validity visas.

During the time that the multiple-entry Schengen visas that Indians hold are valid, the holders will have the same privileges as those who are permitted visa-free entry to the bloc.

Holders of multiple-entry Schengen visas with a longer validity will be able to enter the Schengen member states multiple times within a year. However, the 90/180-day rule still needs to be followed.

On the other hand, the other applicants who have not obtained two visas in the last three years will continue to be granted Schengen visas with a shorter validity until they create their own travel history and prove that they have no other intention but to enter the Schengen Area for travel or business purposes and return to their home country.

Indians Were Granted Over 541,000 Schengen Visas in 2022

Data from Schengen Visa Statistics show that in 2022, a total of 671,928 Indians applied for a Schengen visa, and 541,094 of them were granted the document.

Of those who were granted a visa, 296,964 received a multiple entry visa, whereas the remaining applicants received a single entry visa.

While data for 2023 is yet to be revealed, it is expected that a higher number of Indians applied for a visa compared to 2022.