The EU has eased Schengen visa rules for Indians allowing frequent travellers multi-entry visa for a period up to five years.  

“The EU takes another step towards enhancing people-to-people contact with India. New Schengen visa regime gives Indian frequent travellers access to multi-year visa (up to 5 years.) Europe delivers on the partnership,” said Herve Delphin, EU Ambassador to India, in a social media post on X. 

Standard rules for Schengen visas allow the holder to travel freely in the Schengen area, comprising 29 European countries, for short stays of a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period. The visas do not grant the right to work.

“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 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,” per a statement issued by the EU on Monday. The new rules for India were adopted by the EU on April 18, 2024.

Strengthened ties

This 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, with facilitation of people-to-people contacts being of key aspect due to the importance of India as a partner for the EU, the statement added.

The Schengen area includes 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.