Wednesday 22 May 2024
 
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Five-year Schengen visas for Saudi, Bahrain, Oman citizens

MANAMA, 29 days ago

The European Union has announced five-year Schengen visas for citizens of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain that allow them to visit the bloc several times during the period.
 
Announcing decision during the opening session of the first high-level Forum on Regional Security and Co-operation between the EU and the GCC in Luxembourg, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said: “I welcome a decision adopted by the European Commission this morning to harmonise the rules for granting multiple-entry visas for the citizens of the GCC countries.”
 
The decision allows citizens of the three countries to visit the EU multiple times over a period of five years with the same visa. During the visa validity period, holders of the visa enjoy travel rights equivalent to visa-free nationals. As per the updated visa code, visa regulations are standardised for all GCC countries whose citizens require visas to access the Schengen Area.
 
The new visa rules are part of a concept known as the “cascade,” a “harmonised approach” to issuing multiple-entry visas with long validity for all eligible applicants, including first-time travellers.
 
Welcoming the move, French Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ludovic Pouille posted on his Instagram account: "Saudi nationals will now be able to benefit from 5-year Schenfen visas from their first application. A European decision welcome and actively supported by France! Saudi friends, we look forward to seeing more and more of you in France, whether for tourism or business! Welcome to France!"
 
The implementation of the five-year visa rule marks a significant step forward in strengthening people-to-people relations between the EU and the GCC. 
 



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