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Business News/ News / India/  New Schengen visa rules for Indians: This is how you can get multi entry two-year visa for 29 European countries
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New Schengen visa rules for Indians: This is how you can get multi entry two-year visa for 29 European countries

Under the cascade regime, you can stay in Switzerland, Amsterdam, and/ or any other European countries such as Austria, Hungary, Poland, Belgium, Germany, France, among others, on a 2 year visa with multiple entry option.

You can not work and earn like a local citizen in Europe under the Schengen visa. Premium
You can not work and earn like a local citizen in Europe under the Schengen visa.

With the European Union (EU) adopting favourable Schengen visa rules for Indians, the strength of Indian passports is arguably set to grow with travel to 29 European countries getting seamless and hassle-free.

Incidentally, Indian passports are currently ranked at 85, as per Henley Passport Index for 2024 that ranks 199 nations based on the strength of their passports. Our neighbouring country Pakistan is ranked at 106, while Bangladesh at 102.

Under the new Schengen visa regime, Indians will now be able to enter any of these European countries multiple times for two years, which is further extendable by 5 years, and stay there like visa-free nationals.

This is a stark departure from the current practice. Until now, when Indians intend to travel to one or more European countries, they are meant to apply for the much sought-after Schengen visa, which is given for a maximum of three months.

ALSO READ: Indians can now apply for multiple entry Schengen visa with longer validity. Check details

But now, under the cascade regime -- guess what? You can stay in Switzerland, Amsterdam, and/ or any other European countries such as Austria, Hungary, Poland, Belgium, Germany, France, among others, for as long as two years, which is extendable, without any hiccups.

According to a report in Aug 2023, Scandinavian regions in Europe saw a substantial growth of 140 percent as of August 2023 in comparison to pre-COVID levels in 2020, according to insights from MakeMyTrip.

Let us understand how this will work:

How will this work?

This is primarily beneficial for those Indians who frequently travel to one or more European countries. And if you have travelled to Europe on a Schengen visa for two times in the past three years, then you are eligible for this new visa category ‘cascade regime’ under which you will be given two-year multi entry visa and you can travel and stay in any of these countries just like an individual who does not require a visa to be there.

But the only catch is that you won’t be allowed to work and earn there like a local citizen.

This two-year visa will then be followed by a five-year visa so long as the passport has sufficient validity. For example, if the passport is set to expire three years later, then the visa seeker won’t be able to get the Schengen visa extended by five years.

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 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," reads the statement shared by Herve Delphin, Ambassador, Delegation of European Union to India on ‘X’ Platform.

5-year post-study visa in France

This Schengen move is testimony to the growing partnership between Europe and India. Last year, France also eased its visa rules for inbound Indian students.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited France in July 2023, the European nation extended a five-year post-study visa to Indian students who had completed their master's degree there.

Earlier, Indians were given two-year work visas after completing their master's degree.

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Published: 23 Apr 2024, 06:15 PM IST
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