I'm looking into the cost and complexity, for a colleague, for them to come over to the UK from India during August. Normally, I'd lean towards suggesting they get a UK visa and fly into Heathrow or 2nd choice Gatwick. However, because the Olympics are happening at the same time as the proposed trip, flying into London risks being a lot more expensive than usual.

Because of where they need to get to, flying in Amsterdam may well work out a lot cheaper, and then they could take the train + ferry + train to get themselves over. (They're heading for NE of London anyway, so arriving at Harwich is actually not really a lot out of the way). The cost of train + overnight ferry with cabin + train actually works out at a very reasonable price, especially compared with the costs of getting from Heathrow or Gatwick to the destination by train....

However, if they were to take this route, they'd need to leave the airport in Schiphol, in order to get the train to Rotterdam for the train to the ferry terminal. Since they're an Indian national, that could well prove a lot more tricky visa wise than for an EU passport holder.

Does anyone know what the visa situation would be for an Indian passport holder, in possession of a UK visa, and in possession of train+ferry tickets? Are there any waivers in place for transiting passengers who hold a UK visa? Would a normal Schengen transit visa work? Or would they need a full Schengen visa in order to be able to get to the ferry to come over to the UK? (Let's assume they'd basically go straight from the airport to the ferry, without stopping off, and the same on the return, so they'd be in the Netherlands for under 12 hours each way)

  • When is colleague planning to fly over to the UK? What dates for entry/return? Jul 11, 2012 at 13:25
  • If it goes ahead, let's say a week in the UK, with perhaps 6-12 hours in the Netherlands each way when getting between the ferry and the airport
    – Gagravarr
    Jul 11, 2012 at 15:05
  • Well, I was thinking more in terms of figuring out whether flying via Amsterdam gives any financial advantage at all. Since he'd require plane tickets + train/ferry + Schengen visa fee + UK visa fee. Jul 11, 2012 at 19:33
  • It's bang in the middle of the olympics, so it may do...
    – Gagravarr
    Jul 11, 2012 at 23:12
  • May do. That's why I was asking about an estimate of the dates. Jul 12, 2012 at 8:53

2 Answers 2


There is a uniform airport transit visa policy in the Schengen zone. Only a few nationalities require a visa (“type A”) for airport transit, and India is not in the list for the Netherlands (however Indian nationals do need an airport transit visa for a few countries, including France and Germany). This visa (or visa waiver) is only valid if you don't leave the international zone in an airport; it does not even allow reaching the baggage claim.

There used to be a specific kind of Schengen transit visa (“type B”) which allowed up to 5 days, and you can still find traces of it on the web, but this visa was abolished in 2010. Now there is only the generic short stay (“type C”) visa, allowing up to 90 days in the Schengen area.

Obtaining this visa shouldn't be a problem with the proper forms and fees. Note that your colleague will need a multiple-entry visa. They may need to show the invitation in England, and perhaps the ferry ticket.

You can find generic information about Schengen visa on the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The VFS Global website has more information specific to India, including fees, but beware that the website does not seem quite up-to-date as it still separates transit visas from tourist visas.


If they hold a Long-Stay Visa for the UK which is part of the EU, they are allowed to enter into the Schengen Area for max. 90 days in a 180 day period.

Although The UK (& Ireland) may not be a part of the Schengen Area they are still EU Member states and their respective long-stay/residence visa's are recognized within the Schengen Area.

check out our site for more infomration on the schengen visa

  • 3
    This is incorrect. A UK visa does NOT allow you to enter the Schengen, that needs to be applied for separately. Jul 11, 2012 at 13:17
  • 1
    Correct. Colleagues of mine in London had UK Work Visas but certainly due to their passports were required to get Schengen visas as well (South African, Indian etc)
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 12, 2012 at 0:11

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