The Transit Schengen Visa is a document that has been established by the Schengen Area Member States with the sole purpose of facilitating traveling for non-EU/EEA nationals who have to land at an airport located in the Schengen Area, in order to take a flight to their non-Schengen destination country.
The document permits its holder to transit through a Schengen country to their non-Schengen destination country, without leaving the transit area of the airport.
However, travelers that need to land in more than one airport of the Schengen territory, should apply for a regular Schengen visa, instead of a Transit Schengen visa.
If the traveler is going to a Schengen member country, i.e in Finland, and has to transit through another Schengen country, i.e. Germany, then there is no need to obtain a Transit Visa, since the Schengen visa already permits the traveler to enter any Schengen country.
Do I Need to Apply for a Schengen Transit Visa for Europe?
Countries whose nationals are required to be in possession of an airport transit visa when passing through the international transit area of airports situated on the territory of each Schengen Member State are the following:
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Sri Lanka
Country specific list of citizens who require a Transit visa
On the other side, the Schengen Territory member states have the right to make the obtaining of a Transit Schengen Visa a must, for nationals of specific countries. Countries as the Czech Republic, France, and Spain have a longer list of countries the citizens of which must obtain this type of visa in order to be able to transit through their airports. Whereas, there are also 14 other countries of the Schengen Zone, which besides the countries listed above, do not require a transit visa from any other country.
|Visa issuing country||Countries whose citizens need an ATV for a specific Schengen member state|
|Belgium||Dominican Republic, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Nepal, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria|
|Czech Republic||Chad, Egypt, India, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Yemen, Palestinians|
|Germany||India, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkey|
|Spain||Cameroon, Côte D'Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Jordan, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Syria, Togo|
|France||Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte D'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Guinea, Haiti, Mali, Mauritania, Philippines, Russia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Palestinians|
|Luxembourg||Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Nepal, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Togo|
|Netherlands||Cuba, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Nepal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria|
Whereas, the below listed Schengen Area member states do not require an airport transit visa from any other country, aside from the common list of third countries:
For more information about the policies of European countries with regard to ATVs, visit the following articles:
- Germany Airport Transit Visa Guide
- France Airport Transit Visa Guide
- Netherlands Airport Transit Visa Guide
- Iceland Airport Transit Visa Guide
- Switzerland Transit Visa Guide
Schengen Airport Transit Visa Exemptions
The Schengen Zone member countries have agreed on common exemptions for Airport Transit Visa for people that belong to one of the below-listed categories:
- Holders of diplomatic passports
- Holders of a valid uniform visa, national long-stay visa or residence permit issued by a Member State,
- Travelers who are third-country nationals and who hold a valid residence permit issued by Andorra, Canada, Japan, San Marino or the United States of America which guarantees the holder’s unconditional readmission.
- Travelers who are third-country nationals and hold a valid visa or residence permit for a country in the Schengen Area, the EU or the EEA.
- Travelers who are third-country nationals and who hold a valid visa for Canada, Japan or the United States of America, or when they return from those countries after having used the visa
- Family members of citizens of the Union as referred to in Article 1(2)(a) of the Visa Code;
- Flight crew members on duty who are nationals of a contracting Party to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation (ICAO).
Where to Apply for a Schengen Transit Visa?
You should apply at the embassy or the consulate of the country in which your transit airport is located.
For a detailed outline of the steps that you need to follow, visit the article.
What Documents Do I Need to Submit to Get the Transit Visa for Europe?
Just like when applying for any other visa, there are a few Schengen required documents that one has to submit in order for is or her application to be considered. Here are the required documents to apply for an Airport Transit Schengen visa in addition to the standard required documents for any Schengen visa:
- Your valid passport.
- Schengen A-Visa application form.
- Two identical photos that meet Schengen guidelines.
- Proof of paid Schengen visa fees. The Schengen Transit visa application costs 60€.
- Biometric Data. Children, handicapped persons and government officials are exempt from this requirement.
- Copies of previous visas if applicable.
- A personal cover letter addressed to the embassy. You should explain the details of your travel plan as to when you plan to visit the country, where you will stay and what you will do.
- Reservation of inbound and outbound flight. Click here to learn more about booking a flight reservation for Schengen visa application.
- Visa for the final destination (if a visa is required)
Can I get Schengen Transit Visa on Arrival?
Visas on arrival are not a regular practice in Europe. Exemptions exist only for emergencies and family members of EU citizens. Therefore the obtaining of a Schengen Transit Visa on arrival is not possible.
Can I Leave the Airport Transit Area?
No, you cannot. However, many airports have waiting areas, lounges, restaurants, and shops before the checkpoint, therefore the travelers can stay there until their next flight. If you have to leave the international transit area at the airport where you have landed in order to make your transfer, you cannot transit without a visa and you need a full short-stay Schengen visa.
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