My friend is travelling from India to Canada with an Indian passport via Amsterdam (Schiphol airport). Is it possible for me to meet her with a Schengen visa? If yes then how?


1 Answer 1


If your friend is travelling with two connecting flights on a single ticket, without a visa, then she has to stay in the "international area" of the airport. She is not allowed to pass border control and enter the Netherlands.

The only way for you to enter that area is to have a ticket for a flight leaving the Schengen Area, possibly departing from the same terminal (I'm not familiar with the current layout of the airport), and then leave that area again.

So your options are:

  • She gets a Schengen visa to be able to exit the international area, enter the Netherlands, and meet you in the "landside" area (outside security and border control). If she has separately booked flights (a self-transfer) she needs one anyway. She will need to go through border control (enter the Netherlands), then after you meet go through border control again (exit the Netherlands) and security. This may take quite a bit of time, so she needs to have enough time between her flights.
  • Or you get a ticket to a place outside the Schengen Area, departing from the same terminal. You will need to go through passport control (exit the Netherlands) and security. After you have met her, you will probably need to ask to be let out again (you're not supposed to leave the departures area once you've gone through security), then go through border control again (enter the Netherlands again). Of course you need to have the right citizenship or a residence permit or a valid multiple entry visa to be able to do that. Getting a refund on your flight may be possible on very very flexible tickets, but in most cases it's highly unlikely. Or you could actually fly to the place you bought a plane ticket to. Note that you must be able to enter the destination country, so that may require a visa as well.

In short: it's theoretically possible, but quite difficult and costly. I would not recommend it.

  • A lot of airlines offer a refund on all tickets within 24 hours of booking, and some offer refunds even after check-in. I think it would be possible to find one that does both.
    – Obie 2.0
    Dec 8, 2023 at 13:24
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    @Obie2.0 refunds within 24 hours are mandatory in the US, I don’t think they are very common elsewhere. Full refund after check-in usually requires a fully flexible ticket on a traditional airline, which can be VERY expensive, but YMMV.
    – jcaron
    Dec 8, 2023 at 14:07
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    It's an option that is available, at least. It could be under 1300 euro for a next-day flex trip on KLM to a place like Qatar that has visa on arrival for Indian citizens (if the poster is an Indian citizen). As low as 750 if the ticket is bought months in advance instead.
    – Obie 2.0
    Dec 8, 2023 at 14:17
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    The US 24 hour rule only applies to tickets that are bought 7 days before departure. You would need a fully refundable ticket and CAREFULLY study the rules for refund. They tend to be complicated.
    – Hilmar
    Dec 8, 2023 at 15:25
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    "you will probably need to ask to be let out again": there's nobody to "ask" to get from the international departure area (which is also the international arrival area) to passport control. Just follow the signs to baggage claim and the airport exit. Also the last ticket I bought was from Europe to the US and back on a US airline, purchased on their local site, and they did offer the 24-hour refund, so that might be the way to go.
    – phoog
    Dec 9, 2023 at 23:46

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