Airport transit visa
If you will be making a short stop at a Dutch airport you may need an airport transit visa.
What is an airport transit visa?
An airport transit visa allows you to change planes at a Dutch airport for onward travel to a destination outside the Schengen Area. The visa (also referred to as an 'A' visa) does not allow you to enter the Netherlands or another Schengen country. This means you cannot leave the airport.
Changing planes for onward travel within the Schengen Area: short-stay visa
If you are travelling to another Schengen country via the Netherlands, you will need a short-stay Schengen visa. Airport transit visas are not valid for this purpose.
Do I need an airport transit visa?
You only need an airport transit visa if your nationality appears on the list of countries whose nationals require a visa (PDF, 74 KB).
If your nationality appears on this list, check whether you have an exemption. An airport transit visa is also not required if you:
- have a visa or residence permit for a country in the Schengen Area, the EU or the EEA
- have a visa for Canada, Japan or the United States
- have a residence permit guaranteeing unlimited return for Andorra, San Marino, Canada, Japan and the United States
- are a family member of a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland
- hold a diplomatic passport
- hold a service or official passport. Please note: this only applies to nationals of certain countries on the list
- are on-duty aircrew and a national of a country that is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Regardless of whether or not you need an airport transit visa, it is the airline that decides to allow you onto the flight or not. Even if you have the necessary documents for your journey.
Applying for an airport transit visa
Procedures for applying for a transit visa vary from country to country.