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Transit Schengen Visa

A Transit Schengen Visa is a permit for persons who only need to enter the Schengen territory in order to change their means of transport. There are two types of Transit Schengen Visas:

  • Airport Transit Schengen Visa
  • Transit Schengen Visa for Seafarers

What is an Airport Transit Schengen Visa?

An Airport Transit Schengen Visa is a permit designated for travelers that have to change flights at a Schengen airport. It enables them to stop and wait in the international transit area of a Schengen airport for their flight to their destination country.

However, this visa does not permit its holder to leave the international transit area of an airport, even if the traveler has to wait overnight.

Do I need an Airport Transit Schengen Visa?

The nationals of the following countries need an airport transit visa when passing through the international transit area of any Schengen country airport:

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

In addition, most Schengen states have added some extra countries in the list of those who need an airport transit visa, when traveling through their airports. Following, find the list of the Schengen states and the countries, the nationals of which need a transit visa when passing through their airports:

Austria

  • Syria

Belgium

  • Dominican Republic
  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Nepal
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria

Switzerland

  • Syria
  • Turkey

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

Denmark

  • Syria

Greece

  • Sudan
  • Syria

Spain

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

France

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

Airport Transit Schengen Visa Exempt Categories

You may be exempt from the airport visa requirement, even if you belong to any of the above listed countries, if you:

  • hold a diplomatic passport
  • are a family member of a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland
  • hold a valid visa issued by a Schengen state, a Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area, Canada, Japan or the United States
  • hold a valid residence permit issued by a Schengen state, a Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area, the Principality of Andorra, Canada, Japan, Republic of San Marino, or the United States
  • are a flight crew member national of a contracting party to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation

What Documents Are Required When Applying for an Airport Transit Schengen Visa?

The required documents to apply for an Airport Transit Schengen Visa are as following:

  • Visa application form. A regular short-stay visa application form, fully completed, printed and signed at the end.
  • Two recent photos. Taken within the last three months and according to the requirements for a Schengen visa photo.
  • Valid passport. With at least two blank pages in order to be able to affix the visa sticker in it. It must be no older than ten years and with a validity.
  • Documents related to the onward journey to the final destination
  • Travel insurance policy. That covers any medical emergencies with a minimum of €30,000.
  • Proof of paid visa fee. Which costs the same as a short-stay visa, that is €60.

What is a Transit Schengen Visa for Seafarers?

A Transit Schengen Visa for Seafarers is a permit for seaman to disembark in one of the Schengen seaports. It enables them to leave their vessel at a Schengen seaport, and remain there for a limited period, until they get their next means of transport to a non-Schengen country.

Do I need a Transit Schengen Visa for Seafarers?

You will need a Transit Visa for Seafarers if you are the national of a third world country to which visa requirement applies, and you intend to:

  • Join a vessel that is (or will be) in a Schengen port
  • Transfer from one vessel to another vessel which is (or will be) docked in a Schengen port
  • Disembark due to end of contract, sickness, repatriation, urgent family matters, holiday etc.

What Documents Are Required When Applying for a Transit Schengen Visa for Seafarers?

The required documents to apply for a Transit Schengen Visa for Seamen are as following:

  • Visa application form. Duly filled in and signed by the applicant.
  • Two recent passport-size photos. According to the criteria for Schengen visa application photos.
  • Valid passport. Issued within the last ten years, and valid for three more months beyond your planned departure from the Schengen territory.
  • Copies of passport data pages.
  • Original and photocopy of Seaman’s book.
  • Letter from the inviting Shipping Company. Issued by the inviting Shipping Company in the Schengen country in which the seafarer will disembark.
  • Travel medical insurance. Valid for all Schengen-countries with a minimum coverage of €30,000 of all health emergencies, including repatriation in case of death.
  • Flight reservation (if applicable).
  • Employment contract. Contract with the navigation company / ship in order to board the ship.
  • Proof of paid visa fee.

How to Apply for a Transit Schengen Visa

To apply for a Transit Schengen visa, follow the steps listed below in the given order:

  1. Check if you are required to hold this visa.
  2. Complete the application form.
  3. Collect the required documents. You can find the required documents for a Schengen visa listed and explained above in this article.
  4. Make an appointment.
  5. Attend your appointment to submit the required documents.
  6. Pay the fee. The fee for a Transit visa is €60. Still, you should check the list of Schengen visa fees since you may have to pay a reduced fee instead, or no fee at all.

Where to Submit the Transit Schengen Visa Application

You will have to submit your Transit Schengen Visa application at the representative visa authority of the country where the airport / seaport where you will change flight / vessel is located. This representative authority may be:

  • The embassy of the country where the airport / seaport is located
  • The consulate
  • A visa center of a third party to which this country has outsourced visa submission
  • The embassy / consulate of another country to which this country has outsourced visa submission

For more information, read How to Choose the Right Embassy or Consulate to Submit the EU Visa Application.

When to Apply for a Transit Schengen Visa

Submit your Transit Schengen Visa application at least 15 days prior to your trip towards the Schengen Zone. It is highly recommended to submit your application as soon as possible, though you cannot do it more than three months prior to your planned departure date.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Transit Schengen visa?

You will receive an answer on your Transit Schengen Visa application within two weeks approximately.

In case of specific or extraordinary situations, this period may extend up to 30 or 60 calendar days. That is why you are highly suggested to lodge your application well in advance. However, you still cannot submit an application more than three months prior to your trip.

How Long Is the Transit Schengen Visa Valid For?

An Airport Transit Schengen visa is valid for 24 hours, and only in the international transit area of a Schengen airport. If you need to leave this area, or to remain there longer than one day, then you will have to apply for a regular Schengen visa instead.

On the other hand, a Transit Schengen Visa for Seafarers permits its holder to stay a maximum of five days in the Schengen territory, before leaving to a non-Schengen country.

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