I'm travelling from Saudi Arabia to London through Amsterdam. Do I need a visa for a 2-hour layover in the Amsterdam airport?

Do I need a Schengen visa?

I travelled to USA many times through Amsterdam airport and never needed to get a visa, but things may have changed.

  • 1
    Even though it is a duplicate, the Netherlands and Benelux actually have extra nationalities needing an airport transport visa in addition to the nationalities that require it in all Schengen countries -- see linked PDF on this Dutch government site: government.nl/topics/… – EMotion Sep 14 '16 at 15:31
  • I have a Saudi passport and Saudi Arabia is not in the list ,, guys it's just 2 hours layover to change aircraft,, I travelled to America through Netherland and I didn't need visa ,, but Now I have British visa ,, just want to make sure that I'm in the safe side... – Eidan Sep 14 '16 at 15:44
  • 1
    @Eidan in any event, your valid British visa would exempt you from the need for an airport transit visa, if you needed one. But you don't, so you're doubly fine. – phoog Sep 14 '16 at 16:07
  • 1
    @EMotion Most Schengen countries do, that's detailed in the answer to the other question. – Relaxed Sep 14 '16 at 16:09
  • I'd say this is not a duplicate of this question because it asks about specific airport. The other answer even mentions that "Whether you can transit without leaving this area will depend on your specific connection (airport/terminal, airline, time). For example, some German airports close at night, so that it's not possible to remain in the international area for an overnight transfer" - thus the actual answer would depend on the airport (and airport layout and sometime airlines). – George Y. Sep 14 '16 at 16:53

Assuming you're flying through Schiphol airport, it has the airside transit, so you will not need to go through Schenghen area. All UK flights in AMS depart from a non-Schenghen zone (D-E-F-G gates), as well as the rest non-Schenghen flights. You'd only have a (rather long) walk from D gates to F gates or so.

As @phoong mentioned in comments, this only applies to citizens of the countries who do NOT need a transit visa for Netherlands. Saudi Arabia citizens do not.

Also, while this is the case with Schiphol, this is not the case with all airports. For example, my flight from Bucharest to Berlin (TXL) dumped us straight into the passport control, even though my next flight was outside EU, thus requiring me to go through passport control twice.

Regarding H/M gates mentioned below, there is a passport control booth, but an hour ago it was completely ummanned, so my idea of asking them how it worked failed. Most likely it worked similar to many Asian airports, where a passport booth is only manned when the gate is turned into "international" (in this case Schenghen) departure, and otherwise people just go to the gate without passport control.

  • Yes, through schiphol airport by KLM. – Eidan Sep 14 '16 at 15:55
  • 1
    It would be good if this answer noted that it doesn't apply to those who require an airport transit visa in the Netherlands. Nationals of the following countries need one, according to amsterdamairport.info/visa.html: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Colombia, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana**, Guinea , Guinea Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Nepal, Nigeria*, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria. – phoog Sep 14 '16 at 16:09
  • Sure, I'll add it. Didn't do it first because the OP explicitly asked whether he needs a Schengen visa; feel free to edit. – George Y. Sep 14 '16 at 16:10
  • Technically, some UK-bound flights (low-cost flights) depart from the H/M gates (IIRC H, M being the name the same gate get when they host a Schengen flight). Not sure whether a visa-free transit is possible in this case (with online check-in and hand-luggage only, it might be). – Relaxed Sep 14 '16 at 16:12
  • AFAIR (haven't been there a few weeks) only B and C gates host Schengen flights in AMS. But I will confirm on Fri, as I'm flying through AMS. – George Y. Sep 14 '16 at 16:13

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.