I was filling out the Schengen application form and was wondering what the difference between transit and airport transit is in the "Purpose of Visit" section.

I need my visa to change airports from BOS - FRA - MUC - BOM.

I know it's not airport transit since I will need to go through passport control. What is transit visa?

  • The "purpose of visit" isn't necessarily the same as the type of visa. It describes why you are going to be in the Schengen area. Whether your purpose of visit is transit, tourism, or business travel, you require a type C "short stay" visa.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


Airport transit visa = Airside transit, you will not enter the country, no passport control, you can't leave the airport. It's required for some nationalities. You won't need it if you are:

  • If the nationals of these countries hold a valid/unexpired USA Visa;
  • If the traveler is returning from a legit stay in the USA and the trip takes at least 4 days prior to the visa expiration date.
  • If the traveler holds a valid residency permit allowing him to move in and out of the USA.
  • If the traveler holds a residency permit that allows unrestricted return from Andorra, Japan, Monaco, Canada or San Marino.
  • Holders of a valid uniform visa, national long-stay visa or residence permit issued by a Schengen state.

Transit = landside transit, you will enter the country by passing the passport control, you can leave the airport to catch your flight in another Schengen area airport. This is basically a Schengen type C short visit visa. Unless of course you do not originally need a visa to visit the Schengen area.

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