Saudi nationals can now get visas lasting five years under the latest EU-Schengen update

The European Union (EU) has made travel to Europe significantly easier for citizens of Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Bahrain by implementing a visa relaxation program. This initiative, announced in April 2024, streamlines the Schengen Area visa application process for these countries. Previously, obtaining a Schengen visa might have involved a shorter validity period and potentially single-entry restrictions. Under the new program, citizens from Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Bahrain are now eligible for multiple-entry visas valid for five years. This means they can enjoy the freedom to travel throughout the Schengen zone, encompassing 26 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Bulgaria, and Romania, for multiple trips over a five-year period with just one visa.

Visa Changes

Visa duration:

The visa relaxation marks a significant change in travel rules. Now, people from these Gulf countries can get multiple-entry visas, allowing them to travel seamlessly to the Schengen area, which includes the EU's member states, Bulgaria, and Romania. These visas offer holders the freedom to travel within the Schengen territory multiple times during the specified period (5 years), providing unprecedented flexibility for tourism, business, and personal trips. This move reflects the EU's commitment to promoting cultural exchange and connectivity between different regions, streamlining procedures and fostering a more inclusive global community. Overall, it represents a step towards stronger ties and better understanding between the Gulf nations and the EU, promising enriched experiences for travelers and host communities alike.

Validity period:

The visa policy change simplified travel for citizens of Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Bahrain by granting them five-year multiple-entry visas to the Schengen area, encompassing EU member states, Bulgaria, and Romania. This extended validity period streamlines travel logistics, allowing for multiple visits within the five-year timeframe without the hassle of frequent visa applications. It demonstrates the EU's commitment to fostering closer ties with these Gulf nations, promoting seamless mobility, and facilitating long-term collaboration across diplomatic, commercial, and cultural domains. This policy update marks a significant step towards enhancing connectivity and promoting mutual understanding between the EU and the Gulf region.

Travel privileges:

During the validity period of the visa, holders will enjoy travel privileges akin to those granted to nationals who do not require a visa. This means that individuals from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman holding these visas can enjoy the same ease of travel within the Schengen area as citizens of countries with visa-free access. They can explore various destinations, engage in business activities, and immerse themselves in cultural experiences without facing additional restrictions or limitations typically associated with visa requirements. This provision reflects the EU's commitment to promoting seamless mobility and facilitating equal opportunities for travelers from different parts of the world, fostering inclusivity and openness within its borders.

French Envoy Endorses Visa Relaxation for Saudi Nationals

Ludovic Pouille, the French envoy to Riyadh, has expressed his enthusiastic support for the recent decision regarding visa relaxation, emphasizing the significant benefits it brings to Saudi nationals. He highlighted the opportunity for Saudi visitors to obtain five-year Schengen visas from their initial application, warmly inviting them to France for tourism or business purposes. This endorsement underscores the positive impact of the policy change on facilitating travel and fostering cultural exchange between the Gulf nations and the European Union. Overall, this development is seen as a positive step forward in promoting closer ties and cooperation between the two regions.