Can Indian Citizens Get A Schengen Visa Now?
Last Updated : Sep 4, 2023
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The Schengen Area, a popular destination for tourists worldwide, is slowly opening its borders to Indian citizens.
The global pandemic has been more than frustrating for Indians who travel to Europe frequently.
COVID-19 restrictions have hindered many travel plans. However, there is good news for those planning to travel soon.
Over the past few months, plenty of Schengen Countries have reopened their application centers abroad. Meaning Indian travelers can finally apply for their Schengen Visas.
I should mention that only a hand full of Schengen Member States are open to Indians, and there are still strict COVID-19 requirements travelers need to meet.
One of the main requirements for entering the Schengen Area is a COVID-19 vaccination certificate. Without one, you'll find it pretty challenging to travel.
The most common "accepted" vaccination for Indians, is the Covishield vaccine.
Schengen Countries That Recognize The Covishield Vaccine
First, you need to understand what vaccinations are accepted. The most popular Indian vaccine is Covishield.
If you don't know, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently in the process of getting WHO's approval for the Covishield Vaccine - enabling Indian citizens with this vaccine more freedom when traveling abroad.
Currently, 113 countries recognize the Indian vaccine.
Out of the 26 Schengen Countries, 22 countries recognize the Covishield vaccine. These Schengen Member States include:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Now I should mention that each country has specific COVID-19 requirements for its visitors.
For example, you may find that some countries require you to obtain a vaccination certificate from a specific country.
If you want to enter Sweden, you need to have received a vaccination from "approved" countries (India excluded).
So even though Sweden recognizes the Covishield vaccine, Indian visitors still need to obtain a vaccine from an "approved country".
In addition, depending on the country you plan to visit, you may still need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test (or antigen test) and undergo quarantine.
Schengen Countries That Accept The Covishield Vaccination
The easiest way Indian citizens can travel abroad is to be vaccinated.
The following Schengen Countries will accept the Covishield vaccine:
Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Quick note: Accept, meaning you will be able to provide the vaccination certificate for international travel.
Note that there are only 18 the Schengen Member States that accept the Covishield vaccine
What Schengen Countries Accept Schengen Visa Applications For Indian Citizens?
The constant change of travel restrictions and country bans have been an emotional rollercoaster for Indian citizens.
"Can I apply for a Schengen Visa?"
"When will the Schengen Area open its borders to Indians?"
"What are the current travel restrictions to the EU for Indian citizens?"
And the list goes on...
As you can see, the every changing covid requirements have caused a lot of uncertainty for Indian travelers.
For this reason, I've compiled a list of Schengen countries that provide Schengen Visas to Indians.
Currently, Indian citizens can apply for a Schengen Visa to any of the following states:
Czech Republic (Covishield not accepted)
Denmark (Covishield not accepted)
Lithuania (Covishield not accepted)
Malta (Covishield not accepted)
Slovakia (Covishield not accepted)
Slovenia (Covishield not accepted)
Spain (Covishield not accepted)
You may enter these countries mentioned above, provided your visa application is successful, and you meet all the COVID-19 entry requirements.
Indian Air bubble restricts travel.
Before traveling to your favorite Schengen destination, you need to consider what countries fall under India's air bubble.
Unfortunately, only a few countries fall under this agreement:
Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
In recent years, Indian citizens have had to overcome numerous obstacles regarding international travel. Covid restrictions, country bans, flight restrictions, you name it.
We can only hope for a future that allows more accessible travel for Indians.
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