If you would be traveling through one of the countries in the Schengen Area, you are required to get a Schengen transit visa as a legal move.
The 26” countries in Schengen Area include the Netherlands, Lithuania, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, Slovakia, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Finland, Malta, Portugal, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Estonia, Sweden, Greece, Poland, Belgium, Hungary, Norway, and Iceland.
With a valid Schengen transit visa, you can pass through countries in Schengen Area for a short period. You must prove your purpose for getting this type of visa when applying for it.
To qualify for a Schengen transit visa, you must meet specific requirements, such as possessing a valid passport. In addition, you must also travel through a Schengen Area country to a non-Schengen Area country or another country in the Schengen Area.
Read more about the Schengen transit visa, its requirements, cost, and application steps.
What is a Schengen transit visa?
A Schengen transit visa is a type of visa that allows foreigners to travel through a country in the Schengen Area while on a trip.
The Schengen Area consists of “26” European countries that don’t have a restriction for entry and exit at their common borders.
Schengen transit visa requirements
If you are planning to travel through any of the countries in the Schengen Area, you must qualify for a Schengen transit visa. The requirements for this type of visa vary depending on your destination country.
Here is a list of the requirements to fulfill to get a Schengen transit visa.
- Filled out the application form for Schengen A-Visa
- A valid travel document or passport should have up to 2 pages for visa stamps when traveling through a Schengen Area country to your destination. Remember that your passport must have a validity period of at least three months.
- Two (2) photographs that correspond with Schengen requirements
- Evidence of Schengen visa fee payment, which costs up to €80
- Visa for the country where you are heading to (in case a visa is required at the port of entry)
- Previous visas’ copies (only if necessary)
- Provide proof of travel insurance
- A return flight ticket
- Biometric data (with an exemption for children, government officials, and handicapped persons)
- You wrote a cover letter to the embassy or consulate. Of course, the letter should elaborate on your time of visit, plans for accommodation, and purpose of travel.
Schengen transit visa fee
To get this visa, you must pay an application fee of about €80. However, the application fee for the visa varies depending on the country.
The fee is charged to financial controls and surveillance of borders. Take note that you need to pay the fee in cash upon arrival at the Schengen Area country.
Schengen transit visa processing time
The processing time for this type of transit visa is different, as it can vary depending on the embassy or consulate processing your application. Because of this, we advise that you complete and submit your application within two weeks of when you wish to travel.
In most cases, the visa’s processing time is around 15 days.
How to apply for a Schengen transit visa
Hence, the following are the steps to apply for this transit visa.
- Research the embassy or consulate location of the Schengen Area country
- Apply for the visa after arriving in the country
- Await visa processing by the embassy or consulate
STEP 1: Research the embassy or consulate location of the Schengen Area country
Without a doubt, you must first research the location of the embassy or consulate in the country where you want to apply for its transit visa.
This will make it very easy for you to plan your trip.
STEP 2: Apply for the visa after arriving in the country
The second step in getting a transit visa to enable you to travel through a Schengen Area country involves starting your trip.
Upon arrival to the Schengen Area country, you must find your way to the embassy or consulate to apply for the visa.
STEP 3: Await visa processing by the embassy or consulate
After completing the application process for the transit visa, you need to allow a short time. The embassy or consulate will assess and process your application during this time.
Exemptions for Schengen Airport Transit Visa
If you are a traveler under any of the following categories, you are exempted from applying for this transit visa.
- Travelers who possess a diplomatic passport
- Third-country nationals who have valid American, Canadian, or Japanese visas. You are also eligible under this category if you are a returnee of any of these countries
- Persons who are third-country nationals with a valid residence permit or visa for any of the 26 Schengen Area countries, the European Union, or European Economic Area country
- Third-country nationals who possess a valid American, Japanese, Canadian, Andorran, or San Marinese residence permit
- Persons who hold a valid residence permit, national long-stay visa, or a uniform visa of any of the Schengen Area country
- Family members of a person who is a citizen of the Union as noted in the Visa Code: Article 1(2)(a)
- Persons whose occupation is a flight crew and who are on duty. Moreover, this requires you to be a national of a contracting Party to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation (ICAO)
Countries whose nationals must get a Schengen transit visa
Below is a list of countries whose citizens must obtain a transit visa.
- Central African Republic
- Dominican Republic
- South Sudan
- Sierra Leone
- Guinea Bissau
- The Gambia
- Côte D’Ivoire
Schengen Area countries that do not require a transit visa to travel through them
You don’t have to apply for a transit visa if you intend to travel to your destination country through the following Schengen Area countries. Besides, you still need to obtain a visa to your destination country.
See also: Jordan visa on arrival
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a Schengen transit visa application take to process?
The processing time for a Schengen transit visa application often varies on the embassy or consulate where you complete the application process. However, the entire process should generally take 15 days.
Do I need a transit visa to travel through Schengen Area?
It depends on your situation. Indeed, a transit visa is optional to travel through a Schengen Area country except if you intend to stay in the airport for not more than 24 hours without leaving its premises.
Furthermore, you should confirm whether the embassy or consulate of the country you want to travel through requires a valid transit visa.
Who needs a Schengen transit visa?
A Schengen transit visa is required by citizens of specific countries who are passing through a Schengen Area country on the way to a country in a non-Schengen Area.
Do I need a transit visa for the UK if I have a Schengen visa?
No, you do not need a transit visa for the United Kingdom since you hold a valid Schengen visa. With a Schengen visa, you can travel across the 26 countries in Schengen Area.
Undoubtedly, the UK is not inclusive of these countries but is an EU member. Therefore, if you still have a valid Schengen visa, you can travel to the UK without more applications.
Is a Schengen visa needed for transit in Amsterdam?
If you are not a citizen of a country in the Schengen Area, you need a valid visa to travel through Amsterdam, the Netherlands. As such, a Schengen visa will enable free movement within 26 countries in the Schengen Area.
Where do I apply for a Schengen transit visa?
The only place you can apply for this transit visa is the embassy or consulate you are traveling through to your destination country. But, of course, this means there is only one way to apply for this transit visa.
Can a Schengen transit visa be denied?
Yes, a Schengen transit visa can be denied. This can be because the applicant needs to satisfy the requirements, such as having a valid visa for the destination country.
In conclusion, a Schengen transit visa can authorize you to travel through a country in Schengen Area without requiring more visas to reach your destination country. So ensure that you get a Schengen transit visa if you are traveling through one of the countries in the Schengen area, except when there is an exemption for you.
Above all, it is easy to get and does not require much paperwork, making it perfect for travelers with less time to complete their journey.
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