An airport transit visa allows you to have a stopover at an airport in the Schengen area. When using one of the Schengen airports in order to change their plane for onward travel to a destination (Schengen state or non-Schengen country), citizens of some countries will need to present a transit visa in order to be permitted to do so. It is a document that has been established by the Schengen Area Member States with a purpose to facilitate smooth and hassle-free traveling.
A permit, usually in the form of a stamp or a sticker is affixed to the passport of the traveler, that allows its holder to get out of their plane in one of the Schengen airports, remain there for the transit period, and thereafter, board the other flight that will take them to their destination country. The Airport Transit Visa allows the traveler to transit through a Schengen country without leaving the Transit Area of the airport, even if the traveler has to wait overnight. However, if a traveler has to transit in more than one airport of the Schengen area, then he/she will be required to apply for a regular Schengen visa (Type C)
For example: If you travel from India via French airport, let’s say Charles de Gaulle to enter the United States, and you are going to wait for a few hours at the airport, then you will need to apply for an airport transit visa depending on your country of citizenship. Please keep in mind that if you want to change airports in France you will need to apply for Schengen visa type ”C”, which allows you to stay in the Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This visa is issued for purposes such as business, tourism or family visits.
Who needs an Airport Transit Visa?
An airport transit visa may or may not be required depending upon the country of your citizenship and whether you have residence permits or visas of certain countries or kind of passport you hold. Nationals of the following countries require an airport transit visa to transit through a Schengen airport: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Congo (The Democratic Republic), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Sri Lanka.
Indian nationals may not require an Airport transit visa for all Schengen member states. It is important to check with the Embassy of the specific Schengen state before applying for the visa.
Can you leave the Airport Transit Area?
No. Many Schengen territory airports have waiting areas, lounges, restaurants and shops before the checkpoint; therefore, travelers can wait there until their next flight. Hotel accommodations are only available outside the transit area, and you would need a short-stay schengen visa if you want to stay in the hotel overnight.
Also Read: How To Apply For Schengen Visa
Airport Transit Visa Exempt Categories
If you belong to any of the following categories, you may be exempt from the airport transit visa requirements:
- hold a diplomatic passport
- hold long-stay visa or residence permit issued by any Schengen area country
- hold a Schengen short-stay visa
- hold a residence permit issued by Andorra, Canada, Japan, San Marino or the United States
- hold a visa for a member state of the European Economic Area, Canada, Japan or the United States
- are a family member of a European Union citizen
- are a flight crew member and national of a contracting Party to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation
Regardless of whether or not you need an airport transit visa, it is the airline that decides to allow you onto the flight or not. Even if you have the necessary documents for your journey. So, in your best interests, always take assistance of a reliable travel agency to guide you correctly.
Documents Required when applying for Schengen Airport Transit Visa
If you have a stopover in a Schengen country, then you will be required to have a set of documents with you in order to apply for a Schengen Airport Transit Visa. Here is a document checklist:
- A valid passport with at least 6 months of validity and minimum 2 blank pages
- Two recent color photographs
- Visa application form
- Confirmed flight ticket to your country of destination
- Valid visa for the country which is your main destination
- Travel Insurance
Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list. The Embassy officials reserve the right to ask for further documents. For complete list of documents, click here.
What is the processing time for the Airport Transit Visa?
Typically, an Airport transit Schengen visa takes anywhere from 5 to 15 days to process in the Embassy/Consulate. However, the processing time is dependent on several factors and can change without notice at the embassy or consulate’s discretion.
How to apply for a Schengen Airport Transit Visa?
The Schengen countries have a strict visa criterion and if not applied correctly, you may be denied a visa. Thus, it is essential to get the right advice and there could be no better source than the Visa Experts at Akbartravels.com (https://www.akbartravels.com/visa). With over 40 years of experience, we have been prominent in providing all-round visa assistance when it comes to global tourism & travel. For tens of thousands of tourists we have become the prime solution for getting visa processed faster and with added efficiency.
Also Read: Tips to get Schengen Visa for Indians
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