Schengen Airport Transit Visa

Europe is a major travel hub in the world. And quite obviously, a large number of flights land and depart to other parts of the globe through Europe. As a result, if you require to transit through the airport of a Schengen country, you will require something known as a Schengen airport transit visa. Although there are several countries that don’t require Indians to possess this, a few certain countries such as Germany, France, etc will require you to possess a Schengen airport transit visa from India.

Schengen Airport Transit Visa

What is Schengen Airport Transit Visa?

The Schengen airport transit visa, also known as the ‘A’ category is a visa that allows individuals to pass through the International terminals of a Schengen airport without entering the Schengen region. The permit allows you to wait and change flights in the International transit area. 

Note that if you require to change airports within the country, you will require a ‘C’ category visa instead of the transit as you would technically be entering the Schengen lands. An airport transit visa will not let you exit the transit area.

  • How to apply for Schengen Airport Transit Visa?

The process for a Schengen airport transit visa application is similar to the application for other categories of the Schengen. Although the procedure can vary based on the exact country you are applying to, most applications follow a general pattern. The process can be explained as follows -

  1. The first step is to determine where you have to lodge your application. Depending on the country you are applying from and to, you may be able to submit the application directly at one of the embassy/consulate situated in the country or at one of the visa application centres (VAC).
  2. Proceed to make your application. You must apply at least 15 days before your intended travel date, but not more than 3 months before the expected date of travel.
  3. Fill in the Schengen application form. The form is the same as the ones used for other types of Schengen visas. However, certain countries may provide facilities for online applications.
  4. You must then book an appointment for the document and biometric submission. The appointment can be at an embassy/consulate or a VAC depending upon the particular embassy requirements.
  5. Attend the visa appointment along with the documents and the fees. You must submit the application and pay the fees here. As a mandatory requirement, all applicants for the visa will have to submit their biometrics at the centre.
  • Who should apply or eligibility for Schengen Airport Transit Visa?

Not everyone requires a transit visa and even the ones who require a Schengen visa to enter the specific country may not need the transit permit to pass through the airport.

Let us first take a look at the list of countries whose nationals will require an airport transit visa regardless of the Schengen country they are visiting -

    • Afghanistan
    • Bangladesh
    • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Eritrea
    • Ethiopia
    • Ghana
    • Iran
    • Iraq
    • Nigeria
    • Pakistan
    • Somalia
    • Sri Lanka

Now, apart from these, the Schengen countries have their own regulations regarding additionals nationals who will need the airport transit permit to enter the respective nation. The following are the list of countries and the nationals who will need the visa for transit to the respective nations -

Austria -

  • Syria

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

Denmark -

  • Syria

France -

  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo 
  • Côte D’Ivoire
  • Dominican Republic
  • Guinea
  • Haiti
  • India 
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Palestinians

Germany -

  • India
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Mali
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Turkey

Greece -

  • Sudan
  • Syria

Italy -

  • Senegal
  • Syria

Luxembourg -

  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Nepal
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Togo

Netherlands -

  • Cuba
  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Nepal
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria

Portugal -

  • Guinea
  • Senegal

Spain -

  • Cameroon
  • Côte D’Ivoire
  • Cuba
  • Djibouti
  • Gambia
  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Jordan
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Sierra Leona
  • Syria
  • Togo

Switzerland -

  • Syria
  • Turkey

You must also meet the eligibility criteria as follows  -

  • You must be in your home country while lodging the application. If you are residing in a residence permit in a foreign nation, you can apply it to the embassy/authority over there. 
  • You must possess a valid passport.
  • You must possess visas (if required) and flight tickets for your onward journey.
  • Your only reason for the visit must be to board another flight in the Schengen country as a transit.

As an important part of the application, there are certain documents that will need to be submitted as per the Schengen airport transit visa requirements for Indian citizens. The following are the list fo documents required for the transit permit - 

  • A fully filled and signed Schengen visa application form.
  • 2 photos as per the required specifications. 
  • A valid passport meeting the regulations.
  • Onward flight tickets proving the ongoing journey to a third country.
  • Visas for the third country, if applicable.
  • Medical travel insurance covering a minimum of €30,000.
  • Visa fee payment receipt.
  • Photo specification of Schengen Airport Transit Visa

While submitting the photos for the airport transit visa, you must ensure that they meet the following specifications - 

    • Dimensions:  35mm X 45mm
    • Colour: Coloured 
    • Head must occupy the central position
    • Must be recently captured within the last 3 months
    • Background: Solid, plain white or grey
    • 80% face coverage
    • Neutral expression
    • Glasses: Non-thick framed and prescription are permitted
    • Headgears are allowed only for religious reasons
    • Facial hair - permitted

Schengen Airport Transit Visa Fee

The fees for this category depends on the foreign exchange rates and the age of the applicant. The application fees for an adult is 60 Euros. However, since the fee is paid in the currency of the home country, it can vary slightly based on the currency rates. Apart from the application fee, there will be biometric charges, express processing charges (if any), as well as any additional charges. As a result, you must check the exact amount before starting the application.

After Submission

Once you have submitted the Schengen airport transit visa application, it is then processed. If you have submitted the application at a VAC located across the country, they will be forwarded to the respective embassy for processing. The VAC has no influence over the processing of the application.

If your visa has been approved, you can collect it directly from the respective VAC or embassy, or you can have the VAC deliver it to you for an additional charge.

  • Processing Time of Schengen Airport Transit Visa

Despite the short stay duration of 24-hrs, the processing time for the airport transit visa is the same as the other categories. This again depends on the volume of applications at the embassy and your previous travel history. Normally, your application will be processed within 15 working days. However, this can take longer in certain cases. As a result, you must apply for the visa well in advance. However, you cannot apply more than 3 months before your intended travel date.

  • How to check Schengen Airport Transit Visa status

The Schengen visa status tracking facilities depend on the country you are applying to, as well as the country you are applying in. Usually, if you have applied at one of the VACs, you will be able to track the status using their online portal. Certain embassies provide this facility as well. You can also contact your respective travel agency to have them track it for you.

  • When You have Schengen Airport Transit Visa

Once you obtain your transit visa, you must keep in mind the following points to ensure that you don’t face any difficulties and have a pleasant trip.

Before travelling - 

Before you travel to the Schengen country, you must note the following -

  • You must carry all your travel documents. These include the passport, your onward flight tickets, the visa for your onward destination, and the copy of the documents you have submitted during your visa application.
  • You must travel to the country within 6 months or as mentioned in the visa sticker.

At the border -

Once you are at the border control of the Schengen port of entry, you must keep in mind the following -

  • You may have to show your travel documents to the officers at the port of entry.
  • You will be stamped with the date of entry in your passport. Your stay duration cannot be more than 24 hrs from this date.

In the Schengen country -

Once you have entered the Schengen nation, you will have to keep in mind the following points -

  • You must not leave the international transit area of the Schengen airport under any circumstances. Even if you have an overnight stay, you will have to spend it within the airport.
  • If you require to stay for more than 24 hrs, or if you have to leave the airport to go to another airport, you will need the ‘C’ category visa.