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I have already booked the flight tickets (10.12.22). The first leg of travel is Frankfurt-Dammam via Istanbul with Pegasus airlines. They however do not provide any visa assistance whatsoever. In that case, I will need to apply for a transit visa or transit without approval myself, and this is where the challenge lies, the visa procedures are confusing. The second leg, Dammam-Delhi with Air India. I will have around 02:20 hours to make this connection. I have emailed Saudi Embassy in Germany about the situation, but haven't received any response yet. I want to know how can I make this journey happen. How can I apply for a transit visa?

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    2h20 for a self-connection? That's extremely risky. Will you have checked luggage? Remember that you need to have checked in for your flight to Dehli 60 minutes before departure, so in effect that leaves you 1h20 to deplane, go through immigration, get your luggage, go through customs, find your way to departures and to the check-in counter for Air India. Very tight in normal circumstances, virtually impossible if there is any delay at all. I would be you I would be trying to find out if you can cancel those bookings.
    – jcaron
    Nov 24, 2022 at 14:52
  • What's your citizenship? Do you have a Schengen visa or residence permit?
    – jcaron
    Nov 24, 2022 at 14:56
  • Also if you do intend to keep this route, if the first flight is on 10 December, make sure the flight from Dammam is on 11 December!
    – jcaron
    Nov 24, 2022 at 15:47
  • For future readers, who stumble upon the same problem, it would be great to know how it went. So how did it go?
    – GRASBOCK
    Sep 17, 2023 at 10:25

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First of all, let's note that a 2h20 self-connection is extremely risky, especially with passport control involved, visa-on-arrival procedures, etc.

Air India's check-in deadline is 60 minutes before departure, so you have 1h20 to:

  • deplane
  • get to passport control, queue, and be processed
  • get your luggage
  • go through customs
  • find your way to departures and to the check-in desk for Air India

That's probably already quite tight in normal circumstances (though I don't know how fast you can get through passport control), but if your incoming flight is late or there are any delays going through passport control or processing your visa on arrival, that quickly becomes impossible.

Remember that if you don't show up in time at the Air India check-in desk, you'll be considered a "no show", your booking will most likely be cancelled (usually all subsequent flights on the same ticket, like a return flight, will be cancelled as well), and you'll have to book and pay for a new flight, at the last minute, which usually means a lot more expensive. You may also have to find and pay for a hotel, meals, etc.

Now, if you still want to do that, what you are looking for an actual visa to enter Saudi Arabia. Remember also that for the first airline (Pegasus), your destination is Saudi Arabia. They don't care about your next flight, they are very likely not to let you board your first flight if you can't show them you can enter Saudi Arabia.

I see two options in your case:

  • If you have a residence permit from a Schengen country, you should be allowed to get a visa on arrival. This page states you would be eligible (scroll down to FAQ, select "Visa on arrival for the UK, US & EU country residents"). Bizarrely Timatic has different conditions (visa rather than residence permit, they mention residence permits only for family members...), though, so I would urge caution, as airlines check Timatic, and in FRA they will not necessarily be aware of the subtleties for Saudi Arabia. Note that these rules have changed several times over the last few months, which makes it even more likely that people are not familiar with them.
  • Or you could get a visa in advance. If you are an Indian citizen you are not eligible for a e-visa, so you need to apply for a visa at the relevant consulate or embassy. However it seems visas are not issued to individual applicants directly, you need to go through an agency for that.
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  • Thanks for the elaborate information. I am Indian and hold a German residence permit. I plan on taking only a cabin bag. I talked to a representative from Saudi Embassy over the phone today and he said a transit visa is not required, and I can make the transfer without any additional documents. I totally acknowledge all the points you mentioned, esp with 1h20 min to make the transfer. I just hope I make it happen.
    – Goru
    Nov 24, 2022 at 18:29

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