Germany Airport Transit Visa – Eligibility and How to Apply
Imagine you’re making a trip from, say, Ghana to Russia. You may have some quick business to do somewhere in Germany before you continue on to your destination. You don’t intend to stay in Germany for up to 16 hours, so getting a visa would make no sense. What becomes your solution? The Germany Airport Transit Visa is the answer.
In this article, we discuss all that concerns Transit Visa in Germany; why you might need one, where you can get one, what you need to get one, and who does not need one. When you’re done reading, you should have the answer to all of these questions and more.
What is a Germany Transit Visa?
The Germany Transit Visa (also called the Airport Transit Visa) is a sticker or stamp on your international passport that shows approval from the German government to land in Germany for a short while. This visa enables its holder to stop and switch flights within Germany’s international transit area, so long as their final destination is not a Schengen country.
A Schengen country falls under the 26 European Union (EU) passport-free zones. The Schengen Area is the largest free-travel area in the world, allowing people with passports from member states to travel between one another without a visa for extended periods.
The Germany Airport Transit visa typically costs about 80 Euros.
Who Qualifies for Germany Airport Transit Visa?
A more appropriate question here would be, “who needs a Germany Transit Visa?” Germany is at the center of Europe and is open to all. However, there is a relatively small list of countries whose citizens must apply for a Transit Visa. They are;
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
The last two countries listed here (Jordan and Turkey) have certain conditions attached to their eligibility. However, that will be discussed later.
Citizens of the countries listed above qualify for an Airport Transit Visa in Germany except given the following conditions;
- You must stop at more than one Schengen Area country during your journey.
- You will exceed 24 hours in Germany
- You do not have a fixed return date.
- Your destination is a Schengen Area country (unless your visa to the said country is a short-term visa).
- You will land in a part of Germany without an international transit area.
All those who fall into the above five categories need a Schengen visa instead of a Germany Airport Transit Visa.
Germany Airport Transit Visa Exceptions
We have already stated that only a handful of countries require a Germany Airport Transit Visa to stop off and switch planes in Germany. However, even from the countries listed, there are still citizens and situations where Germany makes exceptions. Here, we shall discuss what situations could lead to exceptions by the German government. We will also include the exceptions pointed out earlier from Jordan and Turkey.
You shall be exempt from a German Airport Transit Visa if you;
- Hold a valid visa or resident permit from a member country of the EU or any Schengen Area country.
- Hold a valid visa from any European Economic Area (EEA) country.
- Have been issued and still hold a valid visa from Japan, Canada, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America (USA).
- Have a visa (valid or expired) from a non-Schengen country issued by the USA
- Come into Germany with diplomatic passports
- Are a Jordanian citizen with a visa to any of the following countries; Australia, New Zealand, or Israel
- Are a Turkish citizen with an official passport or a service passport
People under the above categories are exempt from the Germany Airport Transit Visa rule.
Airports Covered by the Transit Visa
If you paid attention while reading the article, you would already have noticed that we mentioned an international transit area. The international transit area is designated for travelers making temporary stops in Germany before changing flights and proceeding to their final destination.
Despite having 30+ international airports in Germany, not all have designated international transit areas. Only 6 German international airports have that. Hence, only those six allow travelers with Germany Airport Transit Visa to come through, then board a different flight to reach their destination.
The airport you choose to stop in has to arrange a flight change before you touchdown. Such arrangements are usually made between the airline and the Federal Police.
Below are the six international airports in Germany that have an international transit area;
- Berlin Airport
- Cologne/Bonn Airport
- Düsseldorf Airport
- Frankfurt Airport
- Hamburg Airport
Requirements for Getting an Airport Transit Visa
As with every other visa, one can only complete the application process for a Germany Airport Transit Visa with certain documents. Therefore, here listed below are the documents required of you when you wish to apply for a Germany Transit Visa;
- Two passport photographs
- A Germany Airport Transit Visa application form; in English or German, having all declarations duly signed. In addition, you will need a Declaration of Accuracy of Information.
- A valid national passport for up to 3 months beyond the said date transit date.
- Furthermore, you will need to present a copy of your final destination’s valid visa or residence permit document. Essentially, this is proof of an onward journey.
- A driver’s license or a utility bill; as proof of residence when applying for the visa.
- A letter from your employer (if employed) or a Biz-File from ACRA (if self-employed). However, if you’re a dependent spouse, the spouse on whom you depend must provide proof of employment.
- Minors will provide a birth certificate, a letter from their school, and a marriage certificate from their parents/guardians. In this case, the parents must accompany the minor to the embassy and sign the application form in person.
- Proof of payment for the Transit Visa (80 EUR)
- An itinerary for the complete journey.
For airline staff who will be switching flights as well and need an Airport Transit Visa, they shall require the following in addition;
- A valid work contract with the airline company.
- An ID Card issued by the company.
- A company-issued letter permitting you to be in that transit.
Where to Apply for Airport Transit Visa
We now cover nearly all you need to know to travel through Germany while you travel internationally. However, an important question remains; where can one apply for a Germany Airport Transit Visa?
The answer is quite simple. You can apply for the Airport Transit Visa at your country’s German Consulate or the Embassy of Germany. In some countries, there is only a Germany Visa application center; hence, you can also apply there. However, processing for this document can take up to 5 working days.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can you transit in Germany without a visa?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors; whether or not you belong to a Schengen Area country, what exemptions are available for people from your country, etc.
If you belong to a Schengen Area country, you can stay as long as 90 days without a visa; this also applies to citizens of Japan, Canada, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America (USA). In addition, if you are a Jordanian national and have a New Zealand, Australian, or Israeli visa, you can stay as long as 12 hours without a Visa. However, those with only a transit visa can stay up to 24 hours in Germany.
Do I need a transit visa for Munich airport?
You need a Germany Airport Transit Visa to stop at Munich airport. That is unless your country is a Schengen Area country or falls under the exempt countries.
Do you need a Schengen visa for transit?
You only need a Schengen Visa if you wish to make a second stop in another Schengen country before reaching your destination. However, if your only stop is going to be an international area airport in Germany, you do not need a Schengen Visa.
Can I get a Schengen transit visa online?
Yes, you can. The form must be completed and signed before being uploaded. The purpose of the visit should be “Airport Transit.”
How can I spend my transit waiting time at Frankfurt Airport?
While waiting to be boarded for the next flight, you can take a meal, tour the airport, connect to the wi-fi, etc. All this, so long as you stay within the international transit area.
The Germany Airport Transit Visa is an efficient method that Germany and other countries use to monitor the international movement of foreign nationals between borders accurately. It enables you to break long flights and take detours for whatever reasons you might have.
If any questions about the Transit visa still need to be answered here, send us an email. We’ll be glad to help.