European Commission To Ease Visa Rules For Travelers To EU

03 Apr 2014


Immigration News

Every year, almost 5oo, 000 Indians apply for a visa to visit European countries for business, studies, and vacations. There was an increase of 40% of visitors from India during 2009 and 2012.

Europe with a wealth of natural, artistic and cultural heritage is the top destination for tourists from all over the world.

Because of long processing time and cumbersome visa regulations, many Indian travelers are discouraged from visiting Europe. At the moment, the European Union is considering making changes to the EU visa rules and making it easier for visitors to travel to the European Union’s borderless Schengen region

The main hurdles in the present system include long waiting times for both to obtain the visa and getting an appointment with consular authorities; moreover an applicant has to prepare and submit problematic supporting documents. A recent study from the European Commission has found that over 30% of Indians have faced problems with complex supporting documents.

With the proposed changes to the new EU visa laws, it is expected that getting a decision on visa application would no longer take 10 calendar days. In addition, it has also been proposed to ease rules regarding required supporting documents, and make the process easier for applicants no matter from whichever embassy or consulate the application is filed from. Minors below 18 years age will no longer be required to pay a visa fee.

Another obstacle for potential Indian travelers to Europe is the inadequate coverage of consular services in some regions. People are sometimes required to travel to far off places to request visa. These difficulties are more annoying for regular and frequent visitors as they are not able get visa for multiple entries.

Therefore, the commission has proposed that those who frequently travel to Europe should be granted multiple-entry visa for numerous years, provided they have obtained the visa at least two times in the last one year period. In the future, as per the proposed measures, it is not required to file an application in person if the applicant is registered with the system already.

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