Airport transit visas (A visas)
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 airports or if your destination is within the Schengen area), you may require a C visa.
Only five airports in Germany have an international transit zone 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)
- 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 even if they remain airside and do not have to enter the country:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Ghana (except holders of diplomatic and service passports)
- India (except holders of diplomatic passports)
- Jordan (exceptions apply for transits to and from Australia and New Zealand)
- Pakistan (except holders of diplomatic passports)
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- Turkey (except holders of diplomatic, service and special passports)
The following nationals of the countries listed above are nonetheless exempt from airport transit requirements, if they are
- 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 (all EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) or visas issued by Japan, Canada or the United States of America,
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.
- Proof of a valid residence permit for the United Kingdom:
- Biometric residence card (BRP) or residence permit endorsed in the passport and one photocopy of the BRP (front and back) or endorsement.
- If you hold a UK Residence Card for EU/EEA family members issued before Brexit: please provide a printout of your EU Settlement Scheme status online.
If you have not been issued a biometric residence card, please provide a printout of your EU Settlement Scheme status online or your immigration status online.
In all other cases, the biometric residence card must be submitted.
- A fully biometric passport photo, 35 x 45 mm, no older than three months. Digitally altered passport photos cannot be accepted.
Please ensure that your photo adheres to German biometric requirements and is taken in front of a white/ bright background.
- 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.
- 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.
The processing time for a Schengen visa is 15 calendar days according to the Schengen Visa Code. Please arrange your appointment to submit your application as early as possible.
You may apply up to six months before the start of the intended visit.
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.