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In a testament to the enduring ties between Austria and Kuwait, the Austrian Embassy in Kuwait has recently made headlines with a remarkable achievement in 2023.  As reported by Wego, the Embassy proudly affirmed that it granted over 7,000 visas during the year, marking a significant increase of nearly 40 percent compared to the preceding year.

Christian Vlazny, the Chargé d’Affaires at the Austrian Embassy in Kuwait, has confirmed that in 2023, the Embassy granted over 7,000 visas. This marks a substantial increase of approximately 40 percent compared to the previous year. He further emphasized in a press statement that Kuwaiti citizens are likely to prolong their stays in Austria due to the convenience of the Schengen visa, which permits travel to multiple countries within the Schengen region.

The European Commission’s regulations pertaining to Schengen visas for Kuwaiti citizens are mutually advantageous for both Kuwait and Europe as the European Commission recently introduced a set of tailored regulations governing the issuance of multiple-entry visas to Kuwaiti nationals.

Under this visa ‘cascade’ system, all eligible applicants, including those venturing into European travel for the first time, will now receive visas with a remarkable validity of 5 years. Hence a single application can lead to the immediate issuance of a five-year Schengen visa for Kuwaiti nationals. Within each six-month period, they are allowed to spend up to 90 days within the Schengen area.

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The updated arrangement provides Kuwaiti citizens with increased flexibility for their travel plans, eliminating the need for repeated visa applications before each trip. Over a five-year period, this modification is anticipated to result in significant savings in terms of both time and expenses. These advantages will not only benefit travelers but also have a positive impact on the entire Schengen region and the tourism sector in Austria.

Ambassador Vlazny additionally pointed out that the Embassy promptly implemented these new regulations in accordance with the decision made by the European Commission on 8 September 2023, stating, “We have already commenced the issuance of these new five-year visas.” Moreover, it is worth noting that these visas can remain valid for up to three months beyond the expiration date of the traveler’s passport if the passport’s validity period is shorter.