I hold a US Business visa (Indian citizen). I am travelling to the US from India and taking a layover in Italy for two days. So my travel plan is as follows:

  1. New Delhi to Rome
  2. Will stay in Rome for one day
  3. Flying from Rome to Venice
  4. Staying one more day in Venice
  5. Flying from Venice to US (Seattle)

I can't apply for a Schengen visa due to shortage of time. I searched a little bit on "Italy Transit Visa" and got to know that there are three types of categories:

  • Transit Visa-A: or Airport Transit Visa: If your connecting flight to your destination is in the next couple of hours (not more than 12 hours / Not sure) from the same Airport. You might need to apply for such a visa (Some countries' citizens are obliged to stay in the airport area without having an Airport transit visa).
  • Transit Visa-B: Destined for the travellers planning to travel through different Schengen countries by car or travel through different Schengen airports to a non-Schengen country for as a final destination. Under the transit visa one is allowed to reside in a Schengen area for a maximum of 5 days.

Reference: Information about Schengen Visa

I also read that If you have a valid US visa then you don't need to take an Airport Transit Visa (Same if your citizenship comes into the following cities). Is it also valid for the B-Category as well?

My travel plans won't take more than 5 days. Am I applicable for Transit Visa-B. If yes, then can I apply for this visa on arrival in Italy?

  • When are you travelling? There might still be time... But do not book non-refundable tickets with a two-day layover without the visa!
    – Relaxed
    May 9, 2016 at 10:54
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    Even if his transfers were short his itinary has two changes in schengen which afaict would mean he would need a visa. May 9, 2016 at 11:09
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    @PeterGreen Indeed, good point, that's something to keep in mind. But I assume Amit is contemplating this roundabout way for the sake of tourism and could otherwise get flights in and out of Rome directly...
    – Relaxed
    May 9, 2016 at 11:19
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    I would describe such a long stay as a "stopover" rather than a layover. flyingconsultant.com/2013/06/11/… May 9, 2016 at 19:06
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    @DavidRicherby that's true under the Schengen regulations, but it's not universally true of transit visas. For example, a traveler flying to New York and immediately taking the train to Canada would qualify for a US transit visa.
    – phoog
    May 9, 2016 at 21:02

2 Answers 2


The information you found is outdated. There used to be a transit visa for the Schengen area but this is not the case anymore. And as you correctly surmised, the exemption for US visa holders only applies to the airport transit visa requirement. So you simply need a regular "uniform" short-stay Schengen visa if you want to leave the airport, no way around that.

  • How about a person is holding US citizenship? Is he/she can travel in Schengen country without taking visa?
    – Amit Pal
    May 9, 2016 at 12:25
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    @AmitPal Yes, they can, along with people from 50 or so other countries (almost all of South/Latin America, some non-EU European countries, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, and a few others). This visa exemption applies to all short stays in the Schengen area and is not related to the transit rules.
    – Relaxed
    May 9, 2016 at 12:54

Type B visas were abolished a few years ago. The site you've linked tois unofficial, despite its official-looking appearance. I am afraid you need a normal short-stay visa, type C.

In any event, the application procedure for the two visas was essentially the same; you had to apply at a consulate. So the type B visa wouldn't have helped you anyway.

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