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The European Union made strides towards fostering closer ties with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations as it announced a pivotal decision to ease visa regulations for citizens of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, according to reports by Wego.

Citizens can now obtain multiple-entry visas to visit EU countries with a five-year validity with implementation starting immediately. Note that 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.

About Schengen visa

Schengen visas allow holders to travel freely within the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period. These visas are not restricted to a specific purpose but do not confer the right to work.