The European Commission adopted updated rules on Schengen visas for nationals of Bahrain, India, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Key Points:

  • The standard rules of the EU visa code have been updated for Indian nationals who reside in India and who have already obtained and lawfully used two Schengen visas within the preceding three years. These individuals are now eligible for a multiple-entry, two-year Schengen visa.
  • Additionally, Indian nationals who have held that multiple-entry, two-year visa can now apply for a multiple-entry, five-year Schengen visa with a valid passport.
  • It was also announced that nationals from Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia can now apply for a multiple-entry, five-year Schengen visa as well.

Background: The Schengen area consists of 29 European countries (25 EU states), and Schengen visas allow for free travel within the area for short stays of a maximum of 90 days within any 180-day period.

BAL Analysis: The updated visa code should provide easier access for nationals with an established travel history and the ability to obtain multi-year validity during which holders enjoy travel rights equivalent to visa-free nationals.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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