I am an Indian national with a valid D visa issued by Switzerland. I am planning to book tickets with either Air France (DEL - CDG - GVA) or Lufthansa (DEL - MUC GVA). I was wondering where the immigration checks will be for me. I know one of them will be in Delhi, as the first station of the journey.

But will I have to also go through an immigration check-in CDG (or MUC)? The layover time is 3.25 hours for CDG (1.25 hours for MUC). Is that plenty of time?

I am flying internationally for the first time, so I apologise if the questions sound trivial!


For the purpose of immigration all of Schengen can be considered on "country", and flights between countries in within the Schengen area operate pretty much the way domestic flights do elsewhere. Within the Schengen area such flights are called "internal" flights.

Airport in the Schengen zone have usually two areas, an "International Area" and a "Schengen Area". Flights to other destinations within the Schengen zone leave from this Schengen area. Immigration is done between the Schengen and the International areas, and this in both directions (arriving and leaving).

So coming from India and arriving in MUC or CDG you will need to get from the International Zone to the Schengen zone. To do this you will need to pass immigration, where they will check your Visa, and stamp your passport. Arriving with a type D visa from a different country is not an issue. People do that all the time.

You then board your flight to GVA, and then when you arrive there can just go through customs and walk out of the airport after picking up your luggage...

Two further notes:

  • MUC is a much more agreeable place to change planes than CDG. The airport is very efficient, and build to make short transfers feasible. That is why LH offers you this.
  • Currently the COVID situation may mean that you cannot at the moment travel to Europe at all. Do check that.
  • If the OP has items to declare, will they do it in Munich/Paris or in Geneva? If it's the latter, it may be that they can't "just walk out of the airport" when they arrive in Geneva. – Michael Seifert Jul 30 '20 at 17:08
  • Customs will be crossed in GVA, so there you would have to declare them. – Krist van Besien Jul 30 '20 at 17:38
  • I would just note that the information about the international zone and the Schengen zone is helpful for someone trying to understand where passport checks occur and why, but it is not necessary to take it into account when finding one's way through the airport. When making the transfer, it's only necessary to follow the signs to the gate. The signs will lead the traveler to a passport control point if (and only if) it is necessary. – phoog Jul 31 '20 at 3:14

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