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Airport transit visas (A visas)

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Schengen visas (type A) can only be applied for through our external service provider TLScontact.

British citizens do not require a visa for any kind of transit through the European Union’s Schengen Member States provided that the duration of the combined transits does not exceed 90 days within any 180 day period.

Individuals who do not require a visa to visit Germany do not require a visa to transit through Germany.

The vast majority of other foreign travellers benefit from what is known as “transit privileges”. If during transit through a German airport, you do not leave the International Airport Area and if your destination is not within the Schengen area, you do not need a transit visa. However, if for some reason you need to enter the Schengen area during transit (for example to change terminals or if your destination is within the Schengen area), you may require a C visa.

You need to apply for your visa well in advance.

Only five airports in Germany have an International Transit Area enabling you to transit without formally entering the Schengen area:

  • Frankfurt International Airport (FRA)
  • München/ Munich International Airport (MUC)
  • Berlin Airport (BER, 6am to 11pm only)
  • Hamburg Airport (HAM, 4:30am to 11:30pm only)
  • Köln/Bonn / Cologne/Bonn Airport (CGN 4:30am to 11:00pm only)
  • Düsseldorf Airport (DUS, 6am to 9pm only). Only if the carrier has arranged for transit facilities with the Federal Police beforehand. Please check with your airline!

Nationals of the following countries do not yet enjoy transit privileges and therefore require an airport transit visa (category A) for transit at a German airport:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jordan (exceptions apply for transits to and from Australia and New Zealand)
  • Lebanon
  • Mali
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Turkey (exceptions apply for holders of official passports)

The following individuals are exempt from airport transit requirements

  • Holders of valid visas and national residence permits issued by any EU and Schengen country,
  • Holders of certain national residence permits issued by the following countries: Andorra, Japan, Canada, San Marino, United States of America,
  • Holders of valid visas issued by an EEA country (the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) or visas issued by Japan, Canada or the United States of America,

Since the end of the transition phase and the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union UK visas and residence permits do not exempt their holders from airport transit requirements.

The following documentation is required for an airport transit visa application:

  • Please complete the online visa application form, print the form including the barcodes and sign the form.
  • Valid passport signed by the holder, issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least 3 months beyond the end date of the trip to the Schengen member states with at least 2 subsequent blank pages.
  • One photocopy of the passport`s bio data page.
  • Current UK visa or residence permit
  • One photocopy of the visa or residence permit (BRP: front and back).
  • A fully biometric passport photo, 35 x 45 mm, no older than three months. Digitally altered passport photos cannot be accepted.
  • Confirmed airline ticket. When reserving/booking a ticket, please be aware that filing a complete application does not guarantee that a visa will be granted. It may be advisable to book a fully refundable ticket.
  • If resident in the UK: proof of address in UK (i.e. latest council tax bill, utility bill, bank statement, pension certificate or similar)

MINORS - Additional documents needed:

  • Separate application form for each child
  • Applications need to be signed by both parents/all guardians. Should one parent/guardian be unable to sign, please provide additional information. If sole custody has been awarded to one parent, please provide evidence.
  • Original passports from both parents and copy or certified copy of the biodata page of the passports.
  • Original birth certificate of each child and copy
  • United Kingdom school certificate, if applicable

Important travel notice for unaccompanied minors: We strongly recommend that a declaration/ letter of consent signed by both parents be provided authorising the minor to travel and stay in the territory of the Schengen member states and appointing a person that will be responsible for them while travelling.

  • Visa fees apply
  • Processing time: For some visa categories, we will require approval from other German government agencies, such as the Federal Employment Agency (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit”) or the local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”). If you have previously lived in Germany this will add to processing times, as the immigration office may need to look into your previous immigration record. Once a decision has been made on your application, we will contact you.

    In this visa category, most applications are typically processed within 2 weeks. This also applies to accompanying family members.

    Although we will provide you with a file number, please understand that we cannot respond to questions regarding the status of your visa application. Should we have any questions or should we require additional documentation to process your application, we will contact you.

Where to book your appointment/ apply for your visa:

All applications for airport transit visas must be applied for through a Visa Application Centre run by our external service provider, TLScontact.

TLScontact operates from both London and Edinburgh with two distinct jurisdictions and your place of residence determines which Visa Application Centre you will need to contact to apply for your visa. Please refer to our consular district map for details.

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