Muscat: The European Union (EU) announced on Monday its decision to grant a five-year valid multiple-entry visa to citizens of the Sultanate of Oman and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

In his opening speech high-level EU-GCC Forum on Regional Security and Cooperation in Luxembourg, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, “I welcome a decision adopted by the European Commission this morning to harmonize the rules for granting multiple-entry visas for the citizens

of the GCC countries,” he said.

The decision allows Omani citizens to visit the EU multiple times over 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 standardized for all GCC countries whose citizens require visas to access the Schengen Area.

GCC citizens can now obtain multiple-entry visas to visit EU countries with a five-year validity with implementation starting immediately. Note that the validity of the passport needs to be more than 5 years to enjoy the full benefit of this new policy.

The revised visa rules, known as the “cascade,” provide long-term multiple-entry visas for all eligible applicants, including first-time travelers.

Standardizing visa regulations for GCC countries marks a milestone in EU efforts to strengthen people-to-people ties and streamline travel. Aligned with the EU’s strategic vision for a partnership with the Gulf, the move is seen by experts as a potential precursor to a Schengen visa waiver, signaling deeper convergence between the EU and the GCC.

The European Union has introduced a new visa scheme for Indian citizens residing in India applying for Schengen visas.

Under this scheme, Indian travelers can now obtain multiple-entry visas with longer validity. The aim is to facilitate easier access to visas for those with a proven travel history, as long as their passport permits it.

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