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My husband and I travelled throughout Spain and Portugal for 90 days then went to Morocco for a month. We want to travel back to U.S.for 2 months (to visit terminally ill family member) before returning to EU. Our plane has connecting flight in Paris and 7 hour layover. Are we allowed to do this, are we violating Schengen rules or do we need a "transit waiver"?

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    Do you plan on leaving the airport? – Burhan Khalid Dec 9 '18 at 10:58
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    Do you plan on leaving the international transit zone at the airport. In particular, will you need to claim and recheck any checked bags? – Patricia Shanahan Dec 9 '18 at 13:28
  • We will not need to check bags through only will be taking carry on luggage. We would not have to leave the international transit zone if it means NO checked bags. We do not know how the international transit zone worked. Thank you – Jamie Dec 9 '18 at 13:58
  • @Jamie will this be on the same ticket/booking or as separate tickets? Which airlines and which terminals? – jcaron Dec 9 '18 at 16:02
  • @Jamie What airport in Paris – Crazydre Dec 9 '18 at 16:05
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Even though you plan to buy both legs in a single transaction, Kiwi.com is known to sell separate tickets as if they were a single ticket, and as I doubt Tuifly and French Bee interline, it is nearly certain that they are really two different bookings, and you won't be able to do through check-in (getting both boarding passes at once, and having hold luggage transferred to the next flight for you).

However, given that:

  • you will be arriving at Orly Sud
  • you will be departing the same day from Orly Sud
  • you won't have any checked luggage, only carry-on (max 10 kg, 55 x 40 x 20 cm, total of 115 cm)
  • there is apparently sterile transit at Orly Sud
  • you can apparently check-in online for the outbound flight

There should be no need for you to got landside, and you should be able to remain airside (in the "international zone" / "transit area"). You shouldn't have to go through immigration (passport control), and shouldn't need a valid visa for France.

As you are US citizens, you don't need an airport transit visa either.

I would however double-check:

  • that you can indeed check-in online for your flight to the US. Some airlines have specific policies for US-bound flights and won't issue online boarding passes for those flights. Call the airline to check. Alternatively, they may have transfer desks in the transit area which would allow you to get a boarding pass once you get to Orly. Again, check with them if that's needed and available.

  • that there is indeed sterile transit at Orly Sud in your situation. It should be the case according to the airport operator's site, but there's always a possible exception (I believe Orly sees a lot less international-to-international transit than CDG does, so you never know if some works or changes could make it more difficult). You can reach ADP here or by phone: +33 1 70 36 39 50.

Note that when you board the first flight, the airline will consider that your final destination will be Paris. I don't think they would go as far as counting the days you spent in the Schengen Area, but just in case, make sure you have documentation available to show you have an outbound flight the same day from the same airport and terminal.

  • "This ticket would be same booking through Kiwi.com": online check-in shouldn't be an issue since the initial check-in should apply to both legs. The last paragraph also does not apply for this reason. – phoog Dec 10 '18 at 13:23
  • @phoog Kiwi.com is known for selling separate tickets for a single trip. I doubt Tuifly and French Bee interline. – jcaron Dec 10 '18 at 13:32
  • Hm, probably so. This probably deserves mention in the answer, then, since some will not know that, or, like me, will not pay attention to the details beyond "same booking." – phoog Dec 10 '18 at 13:36
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If you connect from an 'international' flight (outside Schengen area) to another 'international' flight in the same airport, you can stay within the International Transit Area. Your luggage will be checked through, if your flights are booked on one ticket.

You do not have to leave the international transit zone - it would be a voluntary decision by you to walk out of it (and there is immigration control at the exit, so you can't accidentally walk out). The Transit area is legally considered to not be a part of France, so you never 'enter' France if you stay in it.

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    I am not sure about the airports in Paris, but it is not self-evident that non-immigration, 'sterile' transit is possible at all airports in the Schengen area. E.g. in Germany, a sterile transfer is only possible at six airports, four of which have further restrictions and there are non-schengen flights to many other airports. Your answer is phrased as if it applies to any airport in the Schengen area. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Dec 9 '18 at 15:57
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo CDG has transit, ORY does if not switching terminals (there's South and West) – Crazydre Dec 9 '18 at 16:06
  • Obviously this won’t work for transit between different airports (Orly/CDG), but even at CDG you can’t transit airside to/from terminal 3. Also, if the flights are on separate tickets, the airline of the inbound flight can consider that the final destination is Paris and thus require the necessary paperwork to enter France. Don’t think they would be able to check whether passengers have reached the 90 day limit though. And even without checked luggage there’s the issue of boarding passes, though most airlines will have airside transit desks for that. – jcaron Dec 9 '18 at 16:16
  • Thanks for the collaborative info...I am new to this and missed the responses back initially. Thanks! – Jamie Dec 9 '18 at 17:23
  • @jcaron. Both airlines operate out of terminal S south – Jamie Dec 9 '18 at 18:13

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