If you’re thinking about visiting Europe this summer, here’s some great news! The EU’s new visa rules have introduced long-term Schengen visas for Indian travelers. Indians will be able to travel multiple times for 2 years and the Schengen visa is further extendible by 5 years. This revamped system aims to digitize the Schengen visa application process, streamlining procedures and offering substantial advantages to Indian citizens, granting them access to long-term, multi-entry Schengen visas. These new Schengen visa rules can significantly streamline travel plans and enhance the overall experience for those venturing into the Schengen area.

Understanding the rules of the New Schengen Visa, especially the 90/180 Schengen Visa rule, can be tricky. In this easy-to-follow guide for Indians, we’ll explain the ins and outs of Schengen visa regulations, with a special emphasis on the 90/180 Schengen visa rule, also known as the Schengen 180 Day Rule. Scroll down!

What is the Schengen Visa?

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Schengen visa allows travel across multiple European countries without border controls.
Photo Credit: H_Ko/Shutterstock

A Schengen visa allows travel across multiple European countries without border controls on a single visa. It permits stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period and can be issued for single or multiple entries. If you’re planning to book Europe tour packages, the new Schengen visa rules for Indians now offer a multiple entry option. This means Indian travelers can explore nearly 27 Schengen countries, excluding Ireland and Cyprus, with ease. Whether it’s Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, or other Schengen nations like Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, cultural experiences await without border hassles.

List of Schengen countries

Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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Highlights of the New Schengen Visa Rules:

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The highlights of the new Schengen Visa rules.
Photo Credit: create jobs 51/Shutterstock
  • The “Cascade” regime allows Indians to get two-year multi-entry visas after having obtained and used two visas within the previous three years.
  • Indians can enter and exit Schengen countries multiple times within the validity of the Schengen visa.
  • The EU is moving towards digitalizing the Schengen visa application process.
  • Processing time can be 15 to 20 days or longer depending upon the time of travel, documents submitted etc.
  • The cost is approximately Rs 7,200 for adult and Rs 3,600 for minor.

Impact of New Schengen Visa Rules on Indians:

Indian Flag flying
New regulations for Indian travellers.
Photo Credit: PHOTO JUNCTION/Shutterstock
  • New regulations offer Indian travelers a two-year Schengen visa, an improvement from previous shorter validity periods.
  • To qualify, applicants must have used two Schengen visas within the past three years.
  • Successful use of the two-year visa can lead to eligibility for a five-year visa, provided the passport remains valid.
  • Eligible travelers can move freely within Schengen countries for short stays without additional permits.
  • The ‘Cascade’ system rewards frequent travelers with progressively longer visa durations.
  • These visas don’t allow you to work and earn in the Schengen area.
  • The rule change aims to strengthen EU-India relations.

Also read: Top Places To Visit In Europe On A Schengen Visa From India

What is the 90/180 Schengen Visa Rule? How does it work?

Your Schengen visa permits you to stay in the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within any 180-day period. This means that your stay accumulates across all Schengen countries you visit. For instance, if you spend 30 days each in Germany, France, and Austria, you’ve already used up your 90-day allowance.

The counting of these 90 days starts as soon as you enter any Schengen country and stops when you leave the Schengen Area. Upon exiting, your 180-day period begins anew. This “rolling timeframe” continually shifts with each day spent in the Schengen Area. While booking cheap flights to Europe or hotels in Europe, make sure you plan your trip within the Schengen visa limits.

In summary, the updated Schengen visa rules offer Indian travelers greater flexibility and accessibility when exploring Europe. With options for multiple entries and extended validity, obtaining a Schengen visa for Indians from India has become more convenient, making it easier to embark on unforgettable European journeys. The new Schengen visa regime will give frequent travellers an advantage. If you are planning a trip Europe and looking to apply for a Schengen visa from India, the process is online. After filling the form online, you will be required to visit the Visa application center in person for submission of documents and biometrics.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum bank balance for a Schengen visa?

The minimum bank balance required for a Schengen visa varies. Balance in your account should be equivalent to your trip cost especially at the time of submission of your financial documents for Schengen visa. Generally, having around Rs 4,500 to Rs 9,000 per day per person is recommended, depending on the duration of the stay and travel plans.

Which is the fastest Schengen visa to get from India?

Lithuania has the quickest visa processing time among Schengen countries. Germany and France receive numerous visa applications due to their popularity among tourists and business travellers. However, we’d advice you to apply at the Consulate/Embassy of the country you are planning to visit.

Is the Schengen visa open to Indians?

Yes, Indians can apply for the Schengen visa to travel to the Schengen Area for tourism, business, or other purposes. The Schengen visa process is partially online.

Can I get a 5-year Schengen visa from India?

Yes, Indian citizens can potentially obtain a 5-year Schengen visa, subject to the requirements and discretion of the Consulate or Embassy where they apply.

Who is eligible for a 5-year Schengen visa?

Those with a strong travel history, stable finances, and a valid reason to visit are eligible for a 5-year Schengen visa.

Which country will join Schengen in 2024?

From March 31 onwards, Bulgaria and Romania are Schengen members. This means Schengen rules apply, including visa issuance and the removal of internal air and sea border controls. However, some restrictions do apply.

Which is the hardest Schengen country to get a visa?

Greece, Italy, and Switzerland have slightly stricter requirements. Scandinavia, as well as popular tourist destinations like France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain, are typically the most challenging for Schengen visa approval. As long as your purpose to visit is genuine and documents are in place, you should not have any issue in obtaining the Schengen visa.

Which Schengen country has the highest visa success rate?

Iceland boasts the Schengen region’s lowest visa rejection rate (1.9%), stunning landscapes, and ranks as the world’s most peaceful country according to the Global Peace Index.

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