I have a flight from Edmonton Canada to Zurich (2-hour layover) to Dubai. I am Tanzanian. Is a transit visa required?


Airline passengers on authorised regular services in principle do not require an airport transit visa providing they fulfill the following cumulative requirements:

  • they are in possession of a valid and recognized travel document;
  • they do not leave the transit area;
  • they are in possession of the travel documents and visa required for entering the country of destination;
  • they possess an airline ticket for the journey to their destination;
  • and they have booked their connecting flight prior to their arrival at a Swiss airport.

Exceptions: Visa required for the airport transit Citizens of the following states are required to hold an airport visa:

  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq
  • Bangladesh
  • Nigeria
  • Congo (dem. Republic)
  • Pakistan
  • Eritrea
  • Somalia
  • Ethiopia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Ghana
  • Iran
  • Syria
  • Turkey

The following categories of persons are exempted from the requirement to hold an airport transit visa:

1) Holders of a valid diplomatic, service or special passport

2) Holders of a valid visa issued by one of the following states:

  • Schengen member state
  • Bulgaria*
  • Cyprus*
  • Croatia*
  • Great Britain*
  • Ireland*
  • Romania*
  • Japan*
  • Canada*
  • United States of America*

  • Remark:

If, after the expiry of the visa, the aforementioned third country nationals do not travel back from one of the listed countries, but from any other third country, the airport visa exemption shall not apply.

3) a. Holders of a valid residence permit, issued by one of the following states:

  • Schengen member state
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Croatia
  • Great Britain
  • Ireland
  • Romania

b. Holders of a valid residence permit according to annex V of the visa code, issued by one of the following states:

  • Andorra
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • San Marino
  • United States of America

4) Family members of citizens of the EU

5) Flight crew members who are nationals of a contracting party to the convention on International Civil Aviation dated 7 December 1944

You can read up on it at the official Swiss government website.


No, you do not need a transit visa, if you do not exismt the transfer area (non-Schengen) of Zurich Airport. @DaanvanHoek wrote about the official regulation. In any case, you can stay in the non-Schengen area on transfer. Probably both your flights will be scheduled in Terminal E, so no problem. In any case you can also reach Terminal D (also non-Schengen) without showing the passport (check carefully the transfer signs).

Note: the main shopping area is in the Schengen area, so you might miss most of the "attraction" to pass time. But with just a 2-hour layover, you can remain in the terminal area without problems.

  • I don't know, why he removed the demand for a complete list of nations, requiring a transit visa. But with the new question, this ansswewr is probably simpler and easier to read. – Daan van Hoek Jun 22 '18 at 10:28

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