Do i require a transit visa during my 19 hr layover in Frankfurt? Travelling with family to Toronto. Having valid US Visa also. We are Indian family.

  • Can we go out of Airport during long layover and if yes do i require transit visa for it or not? Or just hotel booking will help us getting shore pass like that given in Japan?

  • Secondly if we don't go out what are options on airport for 19 hrs layover?

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As noted in the linked duplicate question, your visa for Canada exempts you from the requirement to hold a transit visa. However, you cannot leave the international zone of the airport unless you hold a regular (type C) Schengen visit visa.

The legislation creating the transit visa exemption is Schengen Visa Code Article 3(5)(c):

  1. The following categories of persons shall be exempt from the requirement to hold an airport transit visa provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2:


    (c) third-country nationals holding a valid visa for a Member State which does not take part in the adoption of this Regulation, or for a Member State which does not yet apply the provisions of the Schengen acquis in full, or for Canada, Japan or the United States of America, or holders of a valid visa for one or more of the overseas countries and territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), when travelling to the issuing country or to any other third country, or when, having used the visa, returning from the issuing country;


(emphasis added)

The exemption is also reflected on the European Commission's page Who must apply for a Schengen visa.

The fact that an airport transit visa does not allow you to leave the international zone of an airport follows from its definition in the Schengen Visa Code (Article 2(5)):

‘airport transit visa’ means a visa valid for transit through the international transit areas of one or more airports of the Member States;

Nineteen hours is a long time to wait in an airport. It might be worthwhile to try to get a regular Schengen visa to allow you to visit the city, but with a whole family it is also perhaps less likely to be worthwhile than for a single traveler.

The useful site Sleeping in Airports has a helpful page on Frankfurt noting that it has good options for food, that there are airport lounges with single-visit passes available, and that you can use a shower for a small fee.

They also mention airport tours, but it is not clear whether you would need to be able to clear passport control to book such a tour. They do mention passport control and security in discussing the option of going to the city, so the tours may indeed be an option for you. If you find out while you're there, please come back and post an answer.

Finally, there is a transit hotel in case you want to sleep more comfortably than you otherwise would be able to.

A similar article at trip101.com notes some of the same things, but also mentions that there is a children's play area.

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    Good answer. Just as a note, the play-areas at the airport are only really good for very young kids. – jason.kaisersmith Mar 12 at 15:58

As an Indian citizen, you are exempted Schengen airport transit visa (ATV) due to your US and Canada visas.

To enter the Schengen Area (i.e. leave the Airport) you would need a regular Schengen C-Visa.

Since passenger data, on flights to Canada, is shared with the US when flying through US airspace and the full details of how these restrictions will be implemented are not yet known (or if Canada will follow suit), one should be aware that travel to Canada may also be effected under these conditions.

It would be wise to follow the lastest news.

Assume also, that you may not be allowed to use the US-Visa until 14 days after leaving the Schengen Area.


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    The OP’s final destination is Toronto, they have a visa for Canada. They mention having a US visa but do not intend to transit in the US, as far as I can see. – Traveller Mar 12 at 9:22
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    So you’re saying that the OP could be refused an ATV even if they have a direct flight Frankfurt>Toronto, in case their flight routes over US airspace? I get the point (possibility of the flight being forced to land in the US, for some reason) but your answer focuses on the US and doesn’t even mention Canada being their final destination. – Traveller Mar 12 at 9:54
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    Final comment - your answer reads as if the OP’s final destination is the US. I am just asking you to insert a reference to Canada somewhere in it. – Traveller Mar 12 at 10:33
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    @MarkJohnson I'm pretty sure phoog is reading it the same way as you, that an ATV is required for Indian citizens in the general case. But that doesn't matter, because OP's possession of a Canadian visa means they are exempted from that requirement by article 3(5)(c). – Chris H Mar 12 at 15:17
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    @ChrisH is correct. The fact that India is checked for Germany means that an Indian falls under 3(2) when transiting through Germany. The fact that these Indians have visas for Canada means that they fall under 3(5)(c), and consequently that 3(2) does not apply to them. Mark Johnson: you cite the handbook's section 3.3, but ignore 3.3.1: "The following categories of persons are exempt from the obligation to hold an airport transit visa: ... b) holders of a valid visa issued by ... Canada ..." I again invite you to consult TIMATIC or other air travel document-checking services. – phoog Mar 12 at 15:29

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