What happens in cases of force majeure while travelling with a Transit Visa?
International law, as such, does not offer any binding recommendations on how to deal with such situations or what host measures host countries must do.
The present International Passport Recommendations envolved during the
- Paris Passport Convention 1920-10-21
- Geneva Passport Convention 1926-05-18
In general, Visitor and Transit multiple entry Visa's were issued once during the lifetime of a passport that was valid between 2 and 5 years.
This ended in the 1930's when one time entries became the norm. This situation, basicly, still exists today and leaving it up to each country to deside for themselfs if or how much of the recommendations it wishes to follow.
In 1947 further recommendations were agreed to in the area of Aviation (ICAO) which can be seen as a continuation of the Paris and Geneva Conventions since it deals with general travel regulations and Passport standards.
In the case of the given situation between Russia and Turkmenistan, there is no binding protocol that both countries must follow
- such as the usage of common sense
since Convention recommendations are mostly based on a minimal consensus.
The Annex 9 sample below shows that all parties have agreed that in-transit passengers may be allowed to leave the airport
- but does not require a country to issue a needed emergency visa
National regulations implementing Temporary Landing Permit (for Airplanes to land in a country)
- can refuse such a permit based on a negative nationality list or even in cases of a allowed national, but not when that national is of a specific national origin
So in the end, each country can decide how to deal with a specific situation (assuming it wishes to deal with at all).
Never assume that common sense will prevail.
Annex 9 - ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization)
P. Emergency assistance/entry visas in cases of force majeure
3.72 Recommended Practice.— Contracting States should establish measures for authorizing temporary entry for a passenger or crew member who does not possess the required entry visa prior to arrival, due to diversion or delay of a flight for reasons of force majeure.
3.73 Contracting States shall establish measures whereby in-transit passengers who are unexpectedly delayed due to a flight cancellation or delay may be allowed to leave the airport for the purpose of taking accommodations.
3.74 Recommended Practice.— In emergency situations resulting from force majeure, Contracting States, aircraft operators and airport operators should give priority assistance to those passengers with medical needs, unaccompanied minors and persons with disabilities who have already commenced their journeys.
3.75 Recommended Practice.— Contracting States should establish measures to permit the departure from, or the transit through, their territories of passengers holding valid air travel reservations even if their visas have expired due to flight delays resulting from force majeure.
3.76 Recommended Practice.— Contracting States should establish measures to facilitate the entry of personnel required to be deployed at short notice to assist passengers whose flights have been disrupted as a result of force majeure.
3.77 Recommended Practice.— In cases of flight delays or diversions resulting from force majeure, Contracting States should establish measures to permit the transit through their territories of passengers holding valid air travel reservations but who do not possess the required entry
6 points listed, 5 of which are only recommendations
- should not be considered a binding international law
An artical at Schengen Visa Info describes a situation that happened on the 2nd of August 2016
49 passengers, mostly Turks, without Schengen visa stuck in Vienna airport
The incident occurred after the British Airways Flight BA677 between Istanbul and London was forced to make an emergency landing due to a breakdown in Austrian capital Vienna on Friday.
British Airways, the owner of the plane, booked hotels for passengers to stay the night in the city, but 49 of the passengers were not allowed to leave the airport because they didn’t have Schengen visas.
Authorities of the airway company booked hotels in the city for the 249 passengers but the Austrian police didn’t allow 49 of them to stay in the hotels, forcing them to stay stuck in Vienna airport instead.
One of the passengers, Yusuf Sami Kamadan, a correspondent for Turkish state channel TRT, tweeted about the situation on the night. He described how, “We were treated against international law, I will sue the British Airways.”
Beware of people who makes such statements without stating explicitly which international law is meant.
In this case, British Airways cannot be charged because the Austrian Border Police do not follow the recommendation stated in the ICAO Annex 9, 3.72.