These visas serve to pass through a German airport transit area, without entering into the territory of Germany, to join a ship in Germany, to stop as an aircraft staff member. In this article we will go through these types of visas, requirements, fees and more details
Airport transit visa “A-visa”
This visa is meant for foreigners who have to land at the German airport for stays not more than 24 hrs. /1 day, without exiting the “airport international transit area”.
“A-visa” is not intended for foreigners who have to exit the airport transit area when changing flights for travelling towards a non-Schengen country. In such case, they should get a Schengen regular short-stay visa.
Citizens of the following countries are required to have an airport transit visa when passing through the international transit area of airports in Germany:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Jordan *
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- Turkey **
* Jordanian nationals do NOT require an Airport Transit Visa:
- If you hold a visa for either Australia, Israel or New Zealand and the confirmed flight ticket or boarding card for the flight. This applies only to flights to the above mentioned countries and return flights from these countries to Jordan.
- On your return to Jordan from the above mentioned countries: Confirmed flight ticket or boarding pass is compulsory.
- Transit time in Germany is not to exceed 12 hours.
** Turkish holders of Service and Official passports do NOT require an Airport Transit Visa for Germany.
Different from any other Germany visa, this visa cannot be considered a residence permit, as it does not authorize the holder to enter and stay (reside) in the territory of Germany.
On the other hand, foreigners whose last destination is another Schengen country, they do not qualify for an “A-visa”, and instead they must get a regular Schengen visa instead.
Airports with an international transit area
There are only 6 airports in Germany with an international transit area:
- Frankfurt Airport (24 hrs.)
- Munich Airport (24 hrs.)
- Hamburg Airport (30 a.m. – 11.30 p.m.)+
- Düsseldorf Airport (6.00 a.m. – 9.00 p.m.) only upon an organized transit of airline company with the Federal Police
- Cologne/Bonn Airport (4.30 a.m. – 11.00 p.m.)
- Berlin Airport (06.00 a.m. – 11.00 p.m.) at Berlin-Tegel, for Air Berlin passengers, and only upon an organized transit of airline company with the Federal Police
On the other hand, the following foreigners do not need a a German “A-visa”, such as:
- Holders of an any valid short or long stay visa, or a residence permit from another Schengen state
- Holders of any residence permit of the EU or EEA countries
- Holders of any valid visa from the EU, EEA countries, Japan, Canada, or the US
- Holders of certain permanent residence permits from Andorra, Canada, Japan, Monaco, San Marino, or the US with an infinite right of return
- Foreign family members of the EU, EEA or Swiss nationals
- Holders of foreign diplomatic passports
- Flight-companies’ staff members if they are citizens of a signatory state of the Chicago Convention on the International Civil Aviation
Seafarer’s transit visa
This visa is for foreigners wishing to join a foreign ship having stopped in Germany, to work/engage as a seaman (seafarer).
- A cover letter from the applicant to tell the reason for traveling (signed)
- A document showing the right for entering into the territory of final destination (if appropriate)
- A valid visa/residence permit – issued from the country of final destination
- Documents showing the reason for traveling
- A work contract revealing the ship’s ensign (nationality), or a letter of appointment
- A letter of invitation from the cruiser company or a port agent in Germany – where the candidate will join the ship (signed with the steal of the company or agency, with landing and sailing dates)
- A confirmation letter from the shipping company hiring the candidate – showing that the reason for the candidate’s travel is to complete a job duty (signed and stamped)
- Candidate’s records book as a seafarer
- Candidate’s valid seafarer’s certificate
- Previous visas held within the past 3 years with entry stamps
- Schengen visa
- US visa
- UK visa
- Canadian visa
- A document showing the health situation
- A medical certificate – showing a healthy candidate, having no transmittable, or otherwise dangerous illness that could be of danger to the public, or any illness that could prevent the candidate to pursue seaman activities
Air-companies’ staff members visa
This visa is for foreigners working in a foreign air company (excluding pilots and flight attendants), whose airplane has to land in Germany, and they have to remain there until getting the onward flight.
- A document confirming that candidate is an employee of the airline company
- Airline company staff member ID Card
- An official letter from the airline company – confirming that the visa candidate their worker
- A valid work contract of the candidate with airline company
Nationals of the above named countries Do NOT require an airport transit visa if:
- They hold a valid visa for the United States of America, or
- They hold a used valid or expired visa issued by the USA and returns from the USA and travel to a non-Schengen Member State, or
- They hold one of the following residence permits:
- Form I-551 permanent resident card (valid for 2 to 10 years),
- Form I-551 Alien registration receipt card (valid for 2 to 10 years),
- Form I-551 Alien registration receipt card (no expiry date),
- Form I-327 Re-entry document (valid for two years — issued to holders of a I-551),
- Resident alien card (valid for 2 or 10 years or no expiry date. This document guarantees the holder’s return only if his stay outside the USA has not exceeded one year),
- Permit to re-enter (valid for two years. This document guarantees the holder’s return only if his stay outside the USA has not exceeded two years),
- Valid temporary residence stamp in a valid passport (valid for one year from the date of issue).
- Please note that the advance parole (I-512) and the approval notice (I-797) are not valid documents for visa free airport transit on your way back to the United States of America.
- They hold a valid visa for a Schengen Member State, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Japan, Romania or UK, or
- They hold a used valid or expired visa issued by Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus,
Ireland, Japan, Romania or UK and return from the country of visa issuance and travel to a non-Schengen Member State.
Airport transit privilege does not apply and you will need a visitor visa if
- You have to pick up your baggage and/or have to check-in again (please verify with your airline) or
- You are transiting through two or more airports in the Schengen Countries (for example: London-Frankfurt-Paris-India or New York-Frankfurt-Munich-China) or
- You hold an open ticket.
Required documents to apply for a German Airport Transit Visa:
- A passport or travel document (recognized by the German authorities, not older than 10 years, with a validity not less than 3 months of the visa validity, undamaged, and with at least 2 empty pages) + a photocopy of passport data page
- A duly completed a German short-stay visa application form. You can fill the visa application online here!
- Two recently made passport sized photos (biometric)
- A visa or other authorizing document to enter in the final destination (valid) + a photocopy
- A round-trip flight ticket reservation
- An official cover letter from the employer saying that the reason for traveling to the final destination is related to the candidate’s work (signed and stamped) + the complete travel itinerary – if traveling for work
- A cover letter written by the candidate telling the reason for traveling to the final destination – if traveling for private issues
- A completed list of children or family members living out of the home country of the candidate (if required)
Germany Airport Visa Fees
Generally, visa candidates will be required to pay the following fee after submitting the application for getting the German Airport Visa:
- Airport transit visa (ATV) – 60 Euros
Please note that these are the standard required documents. The Germany Embassy maintains the right to ask for further documents or information if necessary. Visit this page for more information about generally required documents.
Please consult the Germany Embassy in your country for the updated requirements!