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I am an Indian national having Valid USA visa. I will be traveling from Bangalore to Washington, DC. My Doubt is I will be transiting through two airports in Germany Frankfurt and Munich. I.e Bangalore>>Frankfurt>>Munich>>Washington DC. Do I need a Transit visa?

My flight details are. Departure airport Bengaluru - Bangalore Int. (BLR)- Frankfurt/Main International Airport (FRA), Terminal 1

Frankfurt/Main International Airport (FRA), Terminal 1 to Munich - Franz Josef Strauss (MUC), Terminal 2

Munich - Franz Josef Strauss (MUC), Terminal 2 to Washington - Dulles International, DC (IAD)

So here I see same terminals. Still do I need transit Visa?

Update: Since I am not able to add comments here it is.. I asked the German Embassy about the visa requirement: they told me, you need a visa. When I asked them which type of visa, they are telling me to get transit visa.

marked as duplicate by Traveller, phoog, Giorgio, Henning Makholm, David Richerby Nov 15 '18 at 10:24

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  • You can merge your accounts (amar, which is registered, and ABH, which is not). That would make your registered account the owner of this question. – phoog Nov 21 '18 at 21:08
  • @ABH Did you tell the embassy that your ticket includes a connection from Frankfurt to Munich? Otherwise they did not have the correct information to answer you correctly. Also, if the airline thinks that you do not have the correct visa, they will not let you travel regardless of what the German embassy told you. An "airside transit visa" will not be enough, you will need a visitor's visa, but for the purpose of your stay you can state that you want to transit. Perhaps this is what the employee of the Germany embassy wanted to tell you? – DCTLib Nov 22 '18 at 13:26
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You don't need a transit visa because it won't help you. You need a visitor visa because you will enter the Schengen zone.

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Your flight from Frankfurt to Munich will almost certainly be classed as a domestic flight.* Thus you must enter the Schengen area in Frankfurt and then exit the Schengen area in Munich. This will require a visitor visa, not just a transit visa, since you are entering the Schengen area to board the domestic flight.

The key difference between transiting between two international flights and what you are doing is that, even if you do not intend to leave the two airports, there is nothing stopping you from doing so. Once you mix with the domestic passengers, you could simply exit the airport. So the authorities must trust you not to abscond. This trust requires a visitor visa. A transit visa entails a lower level of trust, as transiting does not give you such an easy opportunity to abscond.

With only a transit visa (or no visa), you will not be allowed past border control in order to get to the domestic flight. Indeed, you will probably never make it to Frankfurt without an appropriate visa, since the airline will not check you in in Bangalore without one.

*Very rarely, a domestic flight will be classed as an international flight. (I've had this once.) This is convenient for travelers like you or for people who prefer to clear customs at their final destination. But it is inconvenient for domestic travelers who would need to go through passport control twice. Check with your airline if you believe this is the case for your flight from Frankfurt to Munich.

  • Why the downvote? – Thomas Nov 15 '18 at 6:26
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    I didn't downvote, but I suspect that it's because border officer's opinions are entirely irrelevant, because an airport transit visa simply does not allow its bearer to enter the Schengen area. Saying that an officer "may not believe you" suggests that a particularly persuasive person might be able to pursue this itinerary with an airport transit visa, but that is not true. – phoog Nov 15 '18 at 7:00
  • @phoog I simply want to clarify that "I don't intend to exit the airport" is very different from "I will not exit the airport". – Thomas Nov 15 '18 at 7:15
  • @phoog I've edited to clarify. (That said, I have heard many stories of border control agents exercising plenty of discretion.) – Thomas Nov 15 '18 at 7:23
  • Okay, but with an airport transit visa a traveler cannot exit the airport because it's not possible to get past the passport control desk. Pertinent to this question, this also means that the traveler cannot board an internal (intra-Schengen) flight. – phoog Nov 15 '18 at 7:25

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