e.g Spain -> Switzerland -> North Korea

I don't think Switzerland is part of Schengen, right? So how does this work?

I have a Schengen residence permit

  • 6
    And yet a quick Google would show that Switzerland is in the Schengen area. If it wasn’t you would not enter through it.
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 17, 2023 at 0:45
  • "I don't think Switzerland is part of Schengen, right?": It joined in December 2008, nearly 15 years ago. Before then, a traveler on this itinerary would have received an exit stamp from Spain and no stamp from Switzerland (unless leaving and reentering the airport during the layover, in which case the traveler would have received an entry and an exit stamp). Since then you receive an exit stamp from Switzerland.
    – phoog
    Sep 17, 2023 at 11:08
  • Oh, I usually look up stuff
    – oooooo
    Sep 18, 2023 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


You’ll get a stamp from Switzerland.

Switzerland is not in the EU but it is a full member of the Schengen area.

As a side note, Switzerland is not in the European Customs Union so there may be checks on your bags even when travelling from an EU country, but that’s about your luggage rather than you as a person.

  • If a traveler with this itinerary doesn't leave the airport, the traveler will not enter Swiss customs territory but instead remain in the international zone. Switzerland surely reserves the right to inspect bags as you note but the traveler will not pass through a customs checkpoint and any inspection of checked bags will happen during the transfer. I don't know what the procedures are for this but I suspect that checked baggage isn't routinely inspected.
    – phoog
    Sep 17, 2023 at 11:05
  • In my experience in most Schengen countries customs is "very relaxed" to the point that its sometimes hard to find a customs officer if you actually have something to declare. At one point I had to travel on short notice with some expensive measurement gear. Not enough time to file the "normal" paperwork so I called the consulate and asked what to do. The answer I got was "just bring it, no one is going to look at or check it"
    – Hilmar
    Sep 17, 2023 at 19:09

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