I am traveling to study in Canada and have obtained a temporary residence permit. My flight would have a 7 hour layover in Amsterdam.

I hold the Lebanese passport, which means that I require a short term visa for Amsterdam. Can I leave the airport (Schiphol) with a Canadian temporary visa during a layover longer than 6 hours?

I have been told that I just have to go through customs and immigration and I couldn't find anything to confirm this.

  • Remember that 7 hours is not really long enough to see the city, you would have only about 1 or 2 hours in the city center. That is when all works with you, a longer wait at exiting the airport will eat in your time.
    – Willeke
    Aug 6, 2017 at 16:01

2 Answers 2


You are holding a Lebanese passport. This means two things:

  1. To enter the Schengen area, you need a visa.
  2. You can transfer at Schiphol airport remaining airside and you do need an airport transit visa.

So "I require a short term visa for Amsterdam" this is entirely wrong: a) there's no such thing as a visa for Amsterdam, if you enter the Netherlands, you entered the Schengen area b) there's no such thing as a short term Schengen visa -- some countries have 24 or 72 hour visas, but the Schengen area doesn't c) again, just to get to Canada you don't require any kind of visa (especially not nonexisting ones).

To leave the airport, you need to enter the Schengen area. Whether that's for six seconds or six hours or six weeks, the rules are the same and you need a Schengen visitor visa.


listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement

Who must apply for a Schengen visa

  • 1
    (+1) The terminology is a bit imprecise but the way I read the phrase is that the OP needs a short-stay visa to enter the Schengen area (i.e. does not hold a citizenship that would allow him to enter without a visa). Which is in fact true and the reason why he cannot go out of the airport as you explain later.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 6, 2017 at 13:31
  • @Relaxed: A short-stay visa for where? There is no such thing when it comes to Schengen. Aug 6, 2017 at 13:49
  • 5
    @Henrik On the contrary, that's (almost) the only thing there is. Short-stay visa = type C visa = uniform visa, i.e. a regular Schengen visa to for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period (it's short in contrast to so-called “long-stay” national visas). “Short-stay” is standard terminology when it comes to the Schengen area and the reason why I suspected that's what the OP meant by “short-term”.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 6, 2017 at 14:01

As stated in Timatic, the database used by airlines, when Canada is set:

Visa required

If there was an exemption for holders of Canadian visas, it would say so, but there isn't. It just exempts people that normally need airside transit visas from needing one.

So no, you cannot exit the airport without a visa.

  • There is no such thing as far as I am aware. You can get an exemption from the airport transit visa based on holding a Canadian resident permit but not the visitor visa. (Also, a Canadian visa is not a resident permit yet. It's a visa which might be followed by a Canadian PR card. Source: I had an IM-1 visa followed by a Canadian PR card.)
    – user4188
    Aug 6, 2017 at 13:08
  • 1
    @chx Canadian visas consitute an airport transit visa exemption too
    – Crazydre
    Aug 6, 2017 at 18:30

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