My route is as follows:

Cairo -> Athens ( Transit ) -> Croatia ( Vacation ) -> Athens ( Rest Of Vacation ). I have a single entry Schengen visa

As per the Airlines instructions I'll be going through passport control at Athens while at transit, will that count as "entering" the Schengen Area ? will my passport by stamped for Entry/Exit ? What does actually happen in the Greece passport control ?

Will I be able to "re-enter" Athens coming from Croatia since the first time should be considered as transit only ?

  • 1
    For completeness, what is your citizenship and do you have a visa for Croatia? If you have to leave the international area to make your transfer, you will be entering Schengen
    – Traveller
    Sep 18, 2019 at 20:50
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  • The entry requirement for Croatia has been misunderstood. The reason why their conditions are so is, however, related to the quoted question. By entering Croatia your are leaving the Schengen Area. Sep 19, 2019 at 10:43
  • Are the two flights Cairo-Athens and Athens-Croatia on the same booking/ticket? Do you have checked luggage? If they're on the same booking you should be able to transit in Athens without going though passport control (though you may need an airport transit visa, depending on your nationality), and your Schengen visa will only be "used" once you come back to Greece and actually enter the Schengen Area. If you do need to go through passport control between Cairo and Croatia (because the two flights are on separate bookings and you have luggage to reclaim and-recheck), you'll need a dual-entry.
    – jcaron
    Sep 19, 2019 at 11:59
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    @jacron the two flights are indeed with the same company "Aegean" , the problem is that at the Airline website, they do mention that I'll be pass by Passport Control, even that they mentioned specifically that it's extra-Schengen to extra-Schengen flights
    – Ramy Siha
    Sep 19, 2019 at 14:48

5 Answers 5


You should be certain that the airline is correct about going through passport control during the transit. Find out which parts of the airport your flights will be using and whether it is possible to pass from one to the other without clearing passport control.

If the information is correct, then you will need another Schengen visa or to book a different flight. The stamp in your passport will use up the single entry permitted by your present visa, and you will not be able to use it again.

If, however, the airline is wrong, you can make the trip using the visas you presently have. The airport's web page seems to suggest that all non-Schengen flights are in the same part of the airport, so the airline's statement is puzzling.

I've been to Athens airport a few times in the last three or four years, but always transferring between a non-Schengen flight and a domestic flight or vice versa, so I have not paid much attention to the non-Schengen-to-non-Schengen situation.

If you check luggage and the airline cannot check it through, you will definitely have to clear passport control to pick up your luggage and transfer it.


Aegean Airlines has a web page about transiting/connecting passengers at the Athens airport. Under Extra Schengen to Extra Schengen:

If you fly to and from airports outside the Schengen Zone, after passing through passport control, head to Gates A1-A23.

That seems to imply that you will enter the Schengen area, if only briefly.

  • Not if coming from Cairo. You do not need to enter Schengen. Sep 19, 2019 at 20:58
  • @KristvanBesien the airline's website explicitly says that people transferring from one non-Schengen flight to another must go through passport control. Do you have specific knowledge that this is incorrect?
    – phoog
    Sep 20, 2019 at 22:02
  • @phoog Like Canada, China, Russia, South Africa and previously Oslo, Athens has transit passport control done by border police. Just wrote an answer
    – Crazydre
    Dec 9, 2019 at 17:32
  • @Crazydre in other words, both are correct: "you do not need to enter Schengen" and "you must pass through passport control."
    – phoog
    Dec 9, 2019 at 18:04
  • @phoog Indeed..
    – Crazydre
    Dec 10, 2019 at 13:37

Unlike at most international airports, transit passport control is performed by border police in Athens. However, passports are not stamped and visas don't get "activated" at this point, so provided your trip is on a single ticket, you can do this trip.

  • Do you have any references to support this? I do not doubt that it is correct, but mostly that's because of your previous contributions to this site, and casual users won't have the benefit of that context. The answer would be more authoritative with some support.
    – phoog
    Dec 9, 2019 at 18:06
  • @phoog Besides having seen it IRL, the Aegean link is the only semi-reference I can find to it.
    – Crazydre
    Dec 10, 2019 at 13:36
  • Then I guess this will have to do for now. I have already upvoted.
    – phoog
    Dec 10, 2019 at 14:15

This is related to My passport was stamped with an exit stamp while transiting to another Schengen country via Turkey. Was this a mistake?

You should apply for a double entry Schengen visa. This allows you to enter Greece and exit it two times even if only for transit. This will be suitable for both your transit and visit.

As you leave the transit areas you need a full visa according to Do I need a visa to transit (or layover) in the Schengen area? so this option is suitable.

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    This is not exactly the same case, since in my case I'm traveling from a non-Schengen to another non-Schengen area , with just the layover in a Schengen area I've already checked with the Embassy and I do not require a transit visa, yet the problem is that I do have a single entry Schengen Visa that I wish to use later on in my trip
    – Ramy Siha
    Sep 18, 2019 at 21:57
  • @Ramy Siha Did you ask the Embassy about both legs? Your single entry Schengen visa allows you to complete the outbound journey. The problem will be your return trip. Try putting your trip details into Timatic, the system used by airlines timaticweb2.com/integration/…
    – Traveller
    Sep 18, 2019 at 22:20
  • @David that's not true. We know it's an annex I nationality that does not require an airport transit visa in Athens. No more information is needed.
    – phoog
    Sep 19, 2019 at 15:46
  • @phoog It's not mentioned explicitly, and I don't understand (maybe not enough coffee yet) how it's to be inferred from the OP's comments. Sep 19, 2019 at 16:08
  • @Traveller the airline has said that it will be necessary to clear passport control on the outbound flight. I doubt that that is correct, but if it is then your statement "your single entry Schengen visa allows you to complete the outbound journey" is not correct.
    – phoog
    Sep 19, 2019 at 16:13

A single entry Schengen Visa may not be used to enter Croatia

  • a dual or multiple entry is required

MVEP • Visa requirements overview

Third-country nationals who are holders of:

  • uniform visa (C) for two or multiple entries, valid for all Schengen Area Member States;

You may be refused to board the plane in Athens to Croatia, since you do not fulfill the requirement of being allowed to return back to the Schengen area.

When entering the Schengen Area at the airport you will recieve an entry stamp

  • general A-Visa (Transit) are no longered issued by Counslates

When leaving Greece, you would recieve an exit stamp, thus your single entry visa has been used and cannot be used for reentry, whereas a dual or multi-entry can.

In cases where the traveler has a Croatia Visa together with a Schengen Single entry Visa

  • only 1 entry into the Schengen Area is allowed
  • either entering or leaving Croatia once directly from/to a non-Schengen Country is needed

It would be wise to prepare a valid answer for the question that the Croatia Immigration may ask

  • when and how will you be leaving Croatia?

Especially when you do not have a Schengen Visa that can be used.

It is very likely that when the Airline used the word transit, they indended it to be understood in the context of transfering from one flight to another and not in the context of an immigration status.

  • 2
    The OP may have other means of entering Croatia, such as a Croatia visa. The key question is whether the OP will get an entry stamp on going through passport control on first arriving at Athens. If so, the Schengen visa has been used and, regardless of visa for Croatia, cannot be used again to return from Croatia to the Schengen zone. Sep 19, 2019 at 11:10
  • @PatriciaShanahan answers can only be given based on the supplyed data, otherwise novels would have to be written to deal with all possible combinations. Based on the given data boarding the plane to Croatia would be refused due to Croatian Immergration rules. Sep 19, 2019 at 11:28
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    If the two flights Cairo-Athens-Croatia are on the same booking, OP should actually be refused boarding in Cairo.
    – jcaron
    Sep 19, 2019 at 12:01
  • @jcaron could be, but could claim to be allowed to proceed to Athens with the intention of skipping the second portion. For that the Airline would not get into trouble. Sep 19, 2019 at 12:10
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    @markJohnson I do actually have a seperate Croatian Visa, my concern is that I will not be able to travel back from Croatia to Athens with a single entry Schengen visa
    – Ramy Siha
    Sep 19, 2019 at 14:46

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