Most Indians Drawn To European Destinations This Summer, Thanks To New Schengen Visa Rules, Reveals Study

After the new Schengen visa rule came in, several Indians are now interested in heading to European destinations.
New Schengen Visa Rules
Travel, Indians, Europe, Summer, New Schengen Visa Rules

According to a recent study by Policybazaar, thanks to the new Schengen visa rules, a whopping 82 per cent of Indian travellers are drawn to destinations in Europe like France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain in the upcoming season.

Says Manas Kapoor, business head - travel insurance, Policybazaar: “Following the recent changes in visa regulations, Indian travellers now have the opportunity to obtain extended Schengen visas spanning two or five years, particularly if they have a history of Schengen visa travel. As a result, we have seen an uptick of three per cent in Indian tourists purchasing travel insurance policies with durations exceeding 45 days in April 2024 compared to last month. We expect this trend to further pick up as more travellers would want to capitalize on the eased visa requirements.”

New Schengen Visa Rules: 

According to the new Schengen visa rules, Indian passport holders can now secure long-term multiple-entry Schengen visas for two or five years, especially if they've previously traveled on a Schengen visa. 

The European Union (EU) has recently launched a new visa scheme, called ‘cascade,’ for Indian citizens staying in India applying for Schengen visas. Indian travellers can get longer multiple-entry visas through this, with longer validity. This recent step by the EU signals a shift from the traditional visa code regulations for Indian nationals. Such updated regulations offer better terms for getting multiple entry visas, showing the EU’s commitment to improving the relations with India and encouraging tourism and business interactions between the two regions. 

Indian nationals are eligible for long-term, multi-entry Schengen visas with extended validity, in the new “cascade” visa system for India. To be eligible for a two-year visa, individuals must have obtained and lawfully used two visas within the previous three years. They can receive a five-year visa if their passport still has sufficient time left before expiration. 

While these visas are valid, holders are granted travel rights equivalent to those of visa-free nationals. This means they can come and go from Schengen countries multiple times without the need for separate visas.

The EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility includes implementing a new regime to enhance cooperation between the two regions. This highlights the significance of encouraging direct interactions between people to strengthen connections between the EU and India across different fields.

Schengen visas let you travel without restrictions within the Schengen area, which consists of 29 European countries, including 25 EU member states and four non-EU countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland). Such visas will allow you to stay for a short duration of up to 90 days within any 180 days. 

It's worth mentioning that Schengen visas aren't limited to a specific purpose, meaning they can be used for tourism, business, or visiting friends and family. However, they don't allow you to work within the Schengen area.

This visa aims to simplify travel within Europe, as travellers can visit multiple countries within the Schengen area with just one visa, rather than getting separate visas for each country. 

Insurance Policy Demand: 

According to Policybazaar study, there's already a three to four per cent increase in users booking travel insurance policies exceeding 45 days in April 2024, a trend expected to rise further due to the relaxed visa norms. Schengen destinations also see a 100 per cent jump in senior citizen travellers and a notable uptake in travellers declaring pre-existing diseases. According to the study, Schengen destinations also see a 100 per cent jump in senior citizen travellers and a notable uptake in travellers declaring pre-existing diseases. 

The study further added that not just this, this year also saw a notable 15 per cent increase in travellers declaring pre-existing conditions (like diabetes, hypertension, etc) when travelling to Europe as compared to last year. Also, this year, travellers have shown a remarkable interest in selecting appropriate add-ons for their travel insurance. Riders covering baggage or belongings loss, trip cancellation, adventure sports coverage, and pre-existing disease (PED) coverage emerged as the most sought-after add-ons for travel insurance. Another intriguing trend noticed was a 40 per cent drop in users buying travel insurance in Euros, which can be attributed to the fact that embassies now accept coverage in dollars. This trend indicates a growing level of consumer awareness and knowledge.

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