I am an Indian citizen with F-1 status travelling from the U.S. to India. I am going to have a layover of 12 hours in Paris while on my way to India and another layover of 6 hours in Amsterdam while returning from India. Do I need any visas for sightseeing Paris and Amsterdam during the respective layovers?


1 Answer 1


Yes, you need a visa, called the “Uniform Schengen” short-stay visa. You can see all the details on the French Embassy's website, but your case is the following:

  • You wish to visit France and other Member States of the Schengen Area (including France) for a maximum period of 90 days per semester for various purposes (tourism, shopping, business trip, visiting a relative/friend, participation in an exhibition/ fair/ conference, studies, internships, artistic events, research, etc.): “Uniform Schengen” short-stay visa

Note that, even if you didn't leave there airport in Paris, you would still need a transit visa:

  • You simply wish to transit through a French airport (without accessing French national territory): Airport transit visa
  • 2
    Are you sure about that last part? Wouldn't the valid US visa exempt them from the normal airport transit visa requirement they'd otherwise have as an Indian citizen?
    – Gagravarr
    Feb 2, 2015 at 10:13
  • I don't find anywhere a mention that having a valid US visa exempt you from anything… and why should it? It gives you rights to enter US territory, but is not otherwise recognized by France. But it's hard to prove a negative like that :)
    – F'x
    Feb 2, 2015 at 16:11
  • 1
    I'd suggest you read the answer to the canonical Do I need a visa to transit in the Schengen area? question - it covers these sorts of exemptions
    – Gagravarr
    Feb 2, 2015 at 16:18
  • @Gagravarr and the links in the answer you linked (specifically this EU document) confirm that Indian passeport holders need an airport transit visa in French airports, even if then don't exit the international zone.
    – F'x
    Feb 3, 2015 at 19:42
  • 1
    (-1) As @Gagravarr explained, this answer is incorrect with respect to airport transit. The source for that, duly mentioned in my answer to the other question, is the Schengen visa code, specifically article 3(5)(c). But really since you quite obviously haven't read it, it's a bit disingenuous to hide behind your own inability to read and understand the main regulation on the topic to resist making changes to your answer.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 1, 2015 at 16:12

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