Transit is not limited to flight travel alone. In a lot of cases, seafarers will have to pass through a Schengen seaport on a transit. However, in circumstances such as these, they will require something known as the Schengen transit visa to enter the respective country.
Through the following sections, we shall be looking into the Schengen transit visa requirements and the different factors such as the procedure, fees, and so on.
What is Schengen Transit Visa?
A Schengen transit visa is a permit that is issued for seafarers who are entering the Schengen region to disembark their vessel at the respective seaport. The visa is issued for a maximum stay duration of 5 days and lets the seamen leave their vessels and stay in the country for the duration until their onward journey to a non-Schengen country.
How to Apply for Schengen Transit Visa?
Similar to the airport transit permit, the transit visa for seafarers has the same application procedure. Even though the process for the Schengen transit visa application can vary based on the destination country, most of the steps involved are the same. The process can be explained as follows -
- The first and foremost step is to find out where you will 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 respective country or at one of the visa application centres to whom the embassy has outsourced the visa applications. (VAC).
- 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.
- Fill in the Schengen transit visa application form. The form is the same as the ones used for the general Schengen visas. However, for certain countries, you may be able to apply online.
- You should book an appointment for the document and biometric submission. The appointment can be at the respective embassy/consulate or a VAC depending upon the specific embassy requirements.
- Attend the visa appointment along with the documents and the fees. You must submit the application and pay the fees here. It is mandatory that you will have to submit your biometrics at the centre as well.
Who should apply or eligibility for Schengen Transit Visa?
All the third-country nationals who require a Schengen visa to enter the region will require the transit visa. However, you will need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for this specific category -
- You must be in your home country while applying for the visa. If you are residing on a residence permit in a foreign nation, you can apply it to the embassy over there.
- You must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel.
- You must be a seafarer entering the Schengen country for one of the following purposes -
- .To join a vessel that is docked at a Schengen seaport.
- To change vessels at the seaport.
- To disembark a vessel in the country due to holiday, end of a contract, sickness, etc.
Documents Required For Schengen Transit Visa
As per the Schengen transit visa requirements, you must submit the following documents in order to apply for the permit -
- A fully filled and signed Schengen visa application form.
- 2 photos as per the required specifications.
- A valid passport meeting the regulations.
- Seaman’s book copy and the original.
- Letter of invitation from the Schengen shipping company.
- Employment contract with the shipping company.
- Flight reservation (if applicable).
- Medical travel insurance covering a minimum of €30,000.
- Visa fee payment receipt.
Photo Specification of Schengen Transit Visa
The 2 photos required for the application must 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 Transit Visa Fee
The Schengen transit visa cost depends on the foreign exchange rates and the age of the applicant. However, since the fee is paid in the home currency, it can vary slightly based on the currency rates between the Euro and the other currency. Apart from the application fee, there will be biometric charges, express processing charges (if any), as well any additional service charges. As a result, you must check the exact amount before making the application.
Once you have submitted the Schengen transit visa application, it is then processed by the embassy/consulate. If you have submitted the application at a VAC, they will forward it to the respective embassy/consulate for processing. The VAC has no power over the processing of the application. This is solely in the hands of the embassy/consulate.
If your visa has been approved, you can collect it directly from the respective VAC or embassy/consulate, or you can have the VAC deliver it to you for an additional charge.
Processing Time of Schengen Transit Visa
The processing time for the transit visa is the same as the other Schengen categories. This also 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 much longer in certain extreme 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 Visa Status?
The Schengen visa status tracking options depend on the country you are applying to, as well as the country you are lodging the application. If you have applied at one of the VACs, you will be able to track the status using their online portal by simply using your application number and date of birth. Certain embassies/consulates also provide this facility as well. You can also contact your respective travel agency to have them track the status.
When You have this Visa
Once you obtain your transit visa for seafarers, you must keep in mind the following points to ensure that you have a pleasant journey to the Schengen.
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, visa, and 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 seaport, 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 5 days from this date.
In the Schengen country -
Once you have entered the Schengen nation, you will have to keep in mind the following points -
- If you require to stay for more than 5 days, you will need the ‘C’ category visa.
- You must strictly abide by the immigration laws and customs of the country.
- You cannot take par tin any paid work during your stay.