I will be travelling from the UK to South Africa, but transiting through Netherlands AMS airport, with a 9hr layover at the airport. From my research, I can tell that I am allowed to transit through Netherlands without a transit visa (I am a Zimbabwean citizen) as long as I remain in the "international transit zone" for those 9 hrs - willing to do that.

What I am not sure of, though, is whether catching my next flight, which will be a Kenyan Airways, would by any chance require me to leave the transit zone? And hence get me into trouble of needing a transit visa. This comes as a result of not knowing in detail how the AMS airport is structured and operates. Would anyone know the specifics of the airport to advise on this?

Well appreciated.

  • 1
    Which airline from UK to Amsterdam? Are both legs of your trip booked under one PNR?
    – Traveller
    Mar 11, 2022 at 21:33
  • As explained in the answers, it ought to be possible but note that if it wasn't and you needed to leave the transit zone, you would require a regular Schengen visa and not an airport transit visa. The airport transit visa is only useful to transit without leaving the international transit zone (but Zimbabwean citizens do not require one).
    – Relaxed
    Mar 11, 2022 at 22:10
  • Thankfully yes, the entire trip is on one booking reference and one ticket...same airline all the way from London to South Africa as well. Thanks a lot.
    – Elias
    Mar 12, 2022 at 2:12

2 Answers 2


Basically you can go from every 'non Schengen' gate to every other 'non Schengen' gate in AMS without having to leave the international zone. Whether you can use that fact depends on whether you travel on one ticket or have to leave the airport to check in on your new flight. If that last you are out of luck, you would not only need a transit visa but a full Schengen visa.

You may get security or even a passport check (in some rare cases) but you do not need to leave the area unless you have to check in anew.
The airport in name has 4 terminals, but in fact they are one big building which has connections both airside and landside, as well as a separate walkway connecting the 'within Schengen' gates.

It is my local airport and I have used it to leave and arrive, never to transfer, but others have confirmed this in earlier questions about the airport.

  • Thanks for the detailed info, I am indeed travelling on one ticket so that's good. I'll relax then, should pass through just fine. Thanks again ;)
    – Elias
    Mar 12, 2022 at 2:16

As Willeke mentioned, you can make this connection without a transit visa. You also don’t have to be uncomfortable. Schiphol airport has a couple of airside hotels; you can get some rest without having to clear immigration. As I recall, the Mercure is reasonably priced (unusual for an airside hotel!) and convenient.

  • 1
    That is as long as you have a single ticket for the whole trip and no other reason to leave the secure zone.
    – Willeke
    Mar 11, 2022 at 22:02
  • Great, I certainly do have a single ticket..and yeah, I'm quite happy chilling at the airport till the next flight. Thanks for the info!
    – Elias
    Mar 12, 2022 at 2:13

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