The Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Austria in Kuwait, Christian Vlazny, has said that a significantly higher number of Schengen visas was issued to citizens of Kuwait this year than last year.
According to Vlazny, the Embassy of Kuwait has issued over 7,000 visas to citizens of Kuwait so far this year.
Such a number of issued visas represents a 40 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2022, meaning that more travellers from Kuwait get to enter Austria and Schengen in general.
Regarding the time that Kuwaiti citizens will be spending in the bloc, Zawya explains that Vlazny said that the duration of stay is expected to be much higher as apart from visiting Austria, those holding a valid visa are likely to visit other Schengen member countries, too.
The Commission of the European Union previously adopted new visa regulations for Kuwaiti applicants.
In line with the decision of the Commission issued on September 8, 2023, member countries can now issue Schengen visas with a validity period of up to five years to Kuwaiti travellers.
This new regulation will allow Kuwaiti Schengen visa applicants to save money and time as they will not have to apply for a visa before every trip.
Commenting on the matter, Zawya notes that Ambassador Vlazny said that the Austrian Embassy has already granted visas with a five-year validity period to Kuwaiti travellers.
At the same time, he emphasised that depending on the validity of the passport, not everyone will be granted a visa with such a long validity period.
We have already granted the new visa for a validity period of five years. However, if the passport is valid for a period shorter than that, the visa will be valid for up to three months before the expiry of the travel document for all applications received since then.
Earlier in August, SchengenVisaInfo reported that Kuwaiti nationals were issued the most visas per capita in 2022.
With 3,203 issued visas per 10,000 inhabitants and an approval rate of 93.4 per cent, Kuwait has the highest number of approved visa applicants for 2022.
Data from Schengen Statistics reveal that around every 31st Kuwaiti Schengen visa applicant received a positive answer on their application.
When applying for a Schengen visa, Kuwaiti nationals are required to submit several documents.
They must submit the visa application form, their passport, two photos, proof of accommodation, proof of having purchased travel health insurance, and a roundtrip flight itinerary, among others.