Do you need to change your flight at an airport in Europe to reach a non-Schengen destination? 

Then you may need to apply for a Schengen Airport Transit Visa. 

If you are not clear about this Visa type, below you will find a short definition of the Schengen Airport Transit Visa:

A Schengen Airport Transit Visa (type-A) is an authorisation that enables you to change your flight at a Schengen airport to reach a non-Schengen country. 

The Visa allows you to wait in the airport’s international transit area, but you cannot exit it. You cannot visit the Schengen countries with this Visa type.  

The Schengen Airport Transit Visa is less “popular” than the standard tourist or student Schengen Visa. 

For this reason, you may find less information about it available on the Internet.

Would you like to know the processing time for a Schengen Airport Transit Visa? Or maybe the fees and the requirements? 

We have created this post to provide you with comprehensive details about the type-A Schengen Visa. 

Table of contents:

  1. How to know if you need an Airport Transit Schengen Visa
  2. Airport Transit Schengen Visa: requirements, fees, and information

1. How To Know If You Need An Airport Transit Schengen Visa

Flights For Airport Transit Schengen Visa Holders

First and foremost, allow us to ask you a question: Are you sure you need to get an Airport Transit Schengen Visa? 

You may answer: “I need to pass through a Schengen country to reach my destination. Of course, I need one.”

Well, if you need to pass through the Schengen Territory, you may not necessarily need to get an Airport Transit Visa. 

The Airport Transit Visa is valid for 24 hours and allows you to transit through one Schengen Member State only and wait for your connecting flight. 

Now, suppose you need to transit through more than one Schengen airport and take a “domestic flight” to reach your final destination or to leave the airport and change your flight to another airport in the same country.

Or, what if you need to pass through a Schengen country by car to reach your destination country?

In that case, you are not eligible for an Airport Schengen Visa. You should instead apply for a type-C regular Schengen Visa with the condition “transit”. 

A type-C Transit Schengen Visa allows you to travel within the Schengen Area for up to 5 days.  

Thus, you should clearly understand the difference between a type-A Airport Transit Schengen Visa and a type-C Transit Schengen Visa (short stay Visa).     

Now, there is one step left to figure out whether you need a Schengen Airport Transit Visa depending on your citizenship. 

You MUST apply for an Airport Transit Visa (no matter what Schengen international transit area you are passing through) if you are a citizen of one of these non-Schengen states: 

Afghanistan Bangladesh Democratic Republic Of Congo
Eritrea Ethiopia Ghana
Iran Iraq Nigeria
Pakistan Somalia Sri Lanka

Therefore, if you have found your citizenship country in the table above, it means you need a Schengen Visa for Airport Transit.

If you haven’t found it, you should check in the table below the Schengen airport you will pass through and see if your country of citizenship is listed next to it. If so, you need to get an Airport Transit Visa. 

Austria – Syria
Belgium – Dominican Republic, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Nepal, Palestinian Authority, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen
Switzerland – Syria, Turkey 
Czech Republic – Algeria, Armenia, Chad, Cuba, Egypt, India, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Palestinian Authority, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Yemen

Germany – India, Jordan*, Lebanon, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkey

*You do not have to get an Airport Transit Visa if you hold a Jordanian passport and own a valid visa for Australia, Israel or New Zealand and a confirmed airline ticket or valid boarding pass for a flight to the country in question. Or, you do not need a Transit Visa if you are returning to Jordan after an authorized stay in one of the above countries and accordingly hold a confirmed airline ticket or valid boarding pass for a flight to Jordan. The onward flight must leave from the airport within twelve hours of your arrival in Germany.

Denmark – Syria
Greece – Cameroon, Congo (Brazzaville), Sudan, Syria
Spain – Cameroon, Congo (Brazzaville), Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, Djibouti, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, India, Liberia, Mali, Palestinian Authority, Sierra Leone, Syria, Togo, Yemen

France – Angola, Bolivia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guinea*, Haiti, India, Mali, Mauritania, Palestinian Authority**, Philippines, Russia***, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria

*Holders of Guinean service passports need an Airport Transit Visa as well

**The Airport Transit Visa requirement is only applicable to holders of a travel document for Palestinian refugees

***Only if you are travelling from an airport located in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Turkey, or Egypt

Italy – Senegal, Syria
Netherlands – Cuba, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Nepal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen
Norway – Syria, Turkey
Polonia – Cuba
Portugal – Guinea, Senegal

You can find the full version of the table above on the official website of the European Commission.

Please note that you may not need a Schengen Airport Transit Visa if you: 

  • Hold a valid residence permit issued by a Schengen country or a valid short or long-stay  Schengen Visa
  • Hold a residence permit issued by Andorra, Canada, Japan, San Marino, or the U.S.A
  • Hold a valid Visa issued by a Member State of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), Canada, Japan, or the United States
  • Show proof of having a spouse or close family member who is an EU, EEA, or Switzerland citizen
  • Hold a diplomatic passport
  • Are a flight crew member national of a Contracting Party to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation

If you haven’t found your country of citizenship in any of the tables above, it means you don’t need an Airport Transit Visa (you probably feel relieved!). 

Even so, we still recommend contacting the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country you will transit through as rules can always change. 

Thus, it would help if you asked the Embassy officers to confirm you do not need an Airport Transit Visa to change your flight. 

2. Airport Transit Schengen Visa: Requirements, Fees, And Information

Man With Schengen Airport Transit Visa

Below you will find the standard mandatory documents required when applying for an Airport Transit Schengen Visa: 

  • Visa application form fully completed and signed (where you must indicate “airport transit” as the primary purpose of your journey)
  • Two recent photos that meet the Schengen Visa photo requirements 
  • Valid passport not older than ten years and with at least two blank pages. The passport must be valid for at least three more months beyond your departure from the Schengen Area
  • Round-trip flight reservations of bookings showing you will be travelling to a third country 
  • Your bank statements of the last six months (if you do not hold enough funds in your account, you can also submit a  sponsorship letter)
  • Documents showing your employment background

➢ If you are employed

Employment contract 

Leave permission from the employer 

Payslips for the last six months

No Objection Certificate (NOC) Letter from Employer 

Certificate of Employment (COE) 

Personal Income Tax Return (ITR) 

➢ If you are self-employed

Business Registration Certificate 

□ Business license

Business Income Certificates 

Company Bank Statements for the last six months

Company Income Tax Return

➢ If you are retired

Pension statements for the last six months

➢ If you are a student

Proof of School Enrolment

No Objection (NOC) Letter from your School or University

  • The Visa or residence permit issued by the country that is your final destination (if applicable)
  • Copies of previous Visas (if you have any)
  • Proof of paid Schengen Visa fee
  • Cover letter addressed to the Embassy
  • Copies of all documents
Changing Flight With An Airport Transit Schengen Visa

However, please note that every Mission has its own requirements, and the documents that you must submit may vary according to the Embassy.

Below you will find some examples:

For example, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Yerevan does not require applicants to submit documents showing their employment background.  

Embassies can issue two types of Airport Transit Visa:

  • A Visa that authorises a one-way transit through a Schengen country
  • A Visa that allows you to transit through a Schengen country when taking your return flight

The Schengen Visa Airport Transit Fees are the same as the standard type-C Schengen Visa fees, meaning:

  Schengen Visa fee in EUR
Applicants older than 11 years 80 
Children between 6-11 years  40
Children under 6 years Free

Also, the application process for a Schengen Airport Transit Visa is the same as the application process for a type-C Schengen Visa, meaning you have to:

  • Find out where you need to apply 

As a general rule, you must apply at the Embassy of the Schengen country you will transit through. However, some Embassies have outsourced the Visa submission to other Embassies or outsourcing companies. 

  • Decide when to apply

You can submit your application:

➢ Not more than six months before the date you plan to travel to the Schengen Area (the earliest date).

➢ Not less than 15 working days before the date you plan to travel to the Schengen Area (the latest date).

  • Book an appointment 

Most Embassies allow you to book your Visa appointment online.

For further details about the Embassy appointment, please check out this link. 

  • Collect the required documents 

We strongly recommend you start collecting the documents mentioned above well in advance. 

  • Hold the Schengen Visa interview and pay the fee

During your Embassy appointment, you will have to answer a set of questions and pay the Visa fee. You will also have to provide your biometric data (your fingerprints).

  • Wait for an answer from the Embassy

Typically, Embassies take up to 15 days to process applications. 

Airport Transit With A Schengen Visa

We hope that this post has helped you clearly understand your Airport Transit Schengen Visa application process. 

 If you have any questions concerning this topic, do not hesitate to contact our team. In case you are still unsure whether a Transit Visa suits you, we can also provide you with a free Schengen Visa consultation. Our report will help you figure out if you are applying for the right Visa type!