When using one of the German airports in order to change their plane, citizens of some countries will need to present a visa in order to be permitted to do so. The Airport Transit Visa, also referred to as the “A” visa is a Schengen visa category. A permit, usually in the form of a stamp or a sticker affixed to the passport of the traveler, that allows its holder to get out of their plane in one of the German airports, remain there for 12h at most, and take the other flight that will take them to their destination country.

Located in the heart of Europe, Germany is a very frequented transit country. The vast majority of travelers do not need a visa when in transit through German airports. However, the nationals of certain countries need an Airport Transit Visas for Germany in order to be permitted to transit through German airports. These countries are as following:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Mali
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sri-Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Turkey

Still, there are some categories of people, who may be nationals of the above-mentioned countries, but if they belong to one of the following they do not need to obtain a visa of this kind:

  • holder of a US valid visa
  • holder of a valid or expired non-Schengen country visa issued by the US
  • holders of a valid visa for a Schengen Member State, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Japan, Romania or UK
  • Turkish holders of Service and Official passports do NOT require an Airport Transit Visa for Germany
  • Jordanian nationals who hold a visa to Australia, Israel or New Zealand
  • partners (married, common-law or same sex) or child of an EU/EEA/EFTA national and hold a British “Residence Card of a Family Member of an EEA National”
  • holders of Diplomatic Passports

German Transit Airports

The Federal State of Germany has around 300 active airports spread throughout its whole territory. However, not all of them can be used for transiting.  In these five airports in Germany, you can stay at the International Transit Area without a visa:

  • Frankfurt/Main airport (open 24 hours)
  • Munich Airport (open 24 hours)
  • Hamburg Airport (4:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. only)
  • Düsseldorf Airport (6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. only) and if the airline has arranged the transit beforehand with the authorities responsible for cross-border security (the Federal Police)
  • Cologne/Bonn Airport (4:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. only)
  • Berlin Airport (06:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. only) at Berlin-Tegel, for Air Berlin passengers only.

Whether you need a transit visa to Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg or other, the airline you are traveling with still  has to arrange the transit beforehand with the authorities responsible for cross-border security (the Federal Police). The connection time must be at least 75 minutes.

KEEP IN MIND that the airport transit privilege does not apply in the following cases and you will need to get a visitor visa if:

  • You have to pick up your luggage and/or have to check-in again
  • You are transiting through two or more airports located in the Schengen Member States
  • You have an open ticket
  • Your stay in the international transit area is longer than 12 hours

Required Documents to Apply for an Airport Transit Visa in Germany

To get an Airport Transit Visa you will need some specific documents. Compared to the other types of visas, there is a slightly lower number of documents required for this one. To apply for a transit Germany visa you will need the following documents:

  • Complete application form (in English or German only) & declarations duly signed
  • 2 passport photographs (there are strict requirements, see our page about photo requirements for more info)
  • Valid passport for at least three more months beyond the date of your transiting through Germany, and no older than ten years. Is must have at least one blank page in order to be able to affix the visa sticker. It also must be undamaged.
  • 1 copy of your passport’s data page (A4 size copy)
  • Confirmed airline ticket to final destination and one copy
  • Copy of the valid visa / residence permit for your final destination, if applicable
  • Your driver’s license and/or utility bill in your name as proof of residence in the consular where you plan to apply
  • If employed: letter by your employer confirming your employment, the beginning of your employment, your monthly salary, the beginning of vacation and resumption of work. Original letter signed with blue ink.
  • If self-employed: Biz-File issued by ACRA
  • If student: university letter. Original letter signed with blue ink.
  • If dependant spouse without own income: letter by your spouse’s employer confirming the employment, beginning of employment and monthly salary and marriage certificate
  • If minor child: birth certificate, school letter and marriage certificate of parents (originals with one copy).
  • Both parents have to sign the application form personally at the Embassy!

You will also need to submit photocopies of all these document and pay the visa fee. Remember that the embassy where you are applying has the right to require extra documents from you. Take care to submit all of them on time in order to be able to obtain the visa.

Where to apply?

You will have to apply at the Germany visa application center, embassy or consulate in your country of residence. Usually the process for a Transit Visa lasts around five working days at most. Do not submit your application earlier than three months before your planned date of transiting through Germany.

Do not forget to pay the visa fee and save the receipt to present alongside the other documents, since without proof that the fee has been paid, your application will not be processed.

Germany Airport Transit Visa Fee

Just as for every other type of visa, when applying for an Airport Visa, the candidate will have to pay a fee in order for their application to get processed.

For now the fee is 60 euros, however it may change within this year to 80 euros due to the new visa code endorsed by the EU ambassadors recently.

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