We're traveling to Croatia in May and have some questions about the passport control procedures we'll encounter.

Our flight itinerary to Dubrovnik is as follows:

  • Chicago --> Vienna
  • 1h 25m layover in Vienna
  • Vienna --> Zagreb
  • 3h layover in Zagreb
  • Zagreb --> Dubrovnik

Our flight itinerary home is as follows:

  • Dubrovnik --> Vienna
  • 2h 45 m layover in Vienna
  • Vienna --> Munich
  • 1h 35 m layover in Munich
  • Munich --> Chicago

My questions are as follows:

  • Are our planned layovers sufficient to allow for the border control procedures we'll encounter at each stop.
  • As U.S. citizens, do we need airport transfer visas to make our connecting flights?

Thanks in advance! Kayla

  • As US citizens, you won't need any visas unless you plan to spend more than 90 days in Croatia.
    – phoog
    Feb 13 '18 at 21:12

On your outbound trip you will probablly not pass through passport control at Vienna since both your incoming and outgoing flights are outside Schengen.

In Zagreb you will be entering Croatia, so you will need to pass through their controls. Your flight from Zagreb to Dubrovnik will then be a domestic flight.

On your return trip you will be leaving Croatia in Dubrovnik. I'm not sure if Croatia does exit checks.

You will then enter the Schengen area in Vienna to catch a Schengen internal flight. So you will have to go through Schengen entry checks and will leave it in Munich so you will have to go through Schengen exit checks.

And finally when you arrive back in the USA you will meet US border control.

In addition to government run immigration controls it is likely that at least some of the airlines will check your passport before letting you board the flight.

As a US citizen under normal circumstances you will not need a visa for any of this.

  • 2
    The last time I flew out of Croatia, they did do exit checks. I would be surprised if this has changed, seeing as how they are in the process of harmonizing their border control regime with that of the Schengen area.
    – phoog
    Feb 13 '18 at 21:14
  • @phoog Certainly Croatia does exit checks, as do all European countries except the UK and Ireland
    – Crazydre
    Feb 19 '18 at 11:23

Going from Chicago to Dubrovnik, the only border check will be entering Croatia in Zagreb.

Going from Dubrovnik to Chicago, you will clear a Croatian exit check in Dubrovnik, a Schengen entry check in Vienna, a Schengen exit check in Munich, and finally the US entry check in Chicago.

You will not need any visas, and should you miss any connection due to delays you'll be re-booked onto the next one, assuming the whole trip is in a single booking.


You do not need a VISA to travel to Europe. Your passport will be checked twice. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/schengen.html

Unfortunately Croatia is not yet part of the Schengen Agreement.

Onwards, when you arrive Vienna and when you leave Vienna. That 1:25 is a bit short, but under normal circumstances it should be enough. If you're travelling with one ticket, you should ask your airline / agency if they provide support or what kind of rights you have with that ticket.

In Zagreb, there is no passport control for internal flights, but you should have your passport with you all the time, it is also needed when you show your boarding card.

Flying home, your passport will be checked first in Dubrovnik, than in Vienna and depending on your ticket and airways company maybe in Munich. If you have a trasfer ticket, probably won't.

  • The flight from Vienna to Munich is an internal Schengen flight, while the flight to Vienna and the flight from Munich are both external flights, so the travelers will need to go through entry checks in Vienna and exit checks in Munich.
    – phoog
    Feb 13 '18 at 21:16
  • But in Vienna they may do entry check for a plane arriving from Croatia.
    – Mcload
    Feb 14 '18 at 10:06
  • They don't check planes; they check people. People arriving in Vienna from Croatia will need to pass the entry check to get to internal Schengen flights or to leave the airport. They will not need to pass the entry check to change to another external flight (for example, to the UK). I've done both dozens of times.
    – phoog
    Feb 14 '18 at 13:10
  • This answer is quite wrong. See mine: that's how it is and nothing else, provided the trip is in a single booking with all luggage checked through
    – Crazydre
    Feb 15 '18 at 5:24

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