Big Update: Bahrain Citizens Can Now Apply for Five-Year Schengen Visas

The European Union has announced a relaxation of the visa rules for citizens of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. As per the new rules, nationals of these three GCC countries will be eligible for multiple-entry visas, allowing them to visit the EU multiple times over five years with the same visa.

The updated visa code is part of a concept known as the “cascade,” a “harmonized approach” to issuing multiple-entry visas with long validity for all eligible applicants, including first-time travellers.

During the validity period of these visas, holders enjoy travel rights equivalent to visa-free nationals.

This update aims to standardize visa regulations for all GCC countries whose citizens require visas to access the Schengen Area.

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.

The Schengen Area, which includes 29 European countries and is the largest free-travel zone globally, expanded last February to include Bulgaria and Romania, eliminating all air and maritime border controls.

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The Schengen Area is comprised of 29 countries