Which Countries Require Transit Visa?

Which Countries Require Transit Visa?

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If you’re preparing for a journey and maybe wondering whether a Transit Visa is necessary, this article will provide you with a detailed answer.

Many countries have different requirements concerning how travelers can layover in their country. For some countries, you might be required to obtain a Transit Visa in order to pass through depending on some factors, while others do not.

Continue reading this article to find out more about this.

What is a Transit Visa?

A transit visa is a type of visa that gives you permission to pass through or en route to another country while moving to your final destination.

These non-immigrant visas are important if you are traveling for a long journey and you need to transit to other countries for a short period of time.

Now, whether or not you’d need a Transit Visa depends on the country you’re traveling through as well as what your final destination is.

Some factors that’d play into this include the nationality of the travelers, the duration of your transit, your final destination, and many more.

Hence, this leads us to the main topic of the day…what countries require transit visas?

List Of Countries That Require Transit Visa?

Transit Visas are required across many countries in Europe, Africa, North America, and Asia.

However, you need to be aware that specific countries might have slightly different requirements for travelers regarding transitions.

Below is the list of countries where you are required to obtain a Transit Visa in order to layover during a flight.

1. United States

The United States of America is an example of a country that requires foreigners to have a Transit Visa.

In the United States, even if you have a Transit Visa – you are not allowed to extend your stay in the country for more than the approved period of time – 29 days.

It’s worth mentioning that if you’re a national of one of the 40 allowed countries under the US Visa Waiver Program, you may not need a transit visa.

Citizens of countries under this program are permitted to pass through the country for up to 90 days without a Transit Visa.

Amongst these 40 allowed countries includes:

  • New Zealand
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Portugal
  • Hungary
  • Norway
  • Greece
  • Poland
  • France
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Italy

Nonetheless, if you are not a citizen of these countries above or perhaps an Indian citizen you will likely need to apply for a Transit Visa.

2. United Kingdom

If you are traveling through the UK and are not a citizen of certain joint countries, you will need a Transit Visa in order to stay for a layover.

And even with a UK transit visa, you only have 48 hours to stay while waiting for your flight to arrive.

However, there are some countries whose citizens will need a visa in order to transit to the United Kingdom.

  • Palestinian Territories
  • North Macedonia
  • South Sudan
  • South Africa
  • Bangladesh
  • Cameroon
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Pakistan
  • Jamaica
  • Belarusians
  • Nigeria
  • Sudan
  • China
  • Syria

Note that there are many other countries but the aforementioned list above is just a few you should be aware of.

3. Australia 

An Australia Transit Visa is necessary if you’re traveling from a particular country and you need to pass through Australia for a stay. This visa allows you to pass through Australia for up to 72 hours before flying to your next destination.

Note that you might not be required to have a Transit Visa if you are from some nations that have a good relationship with Australia.

Example of these lists of countries includes:

  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • New Zealand
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Canada
  • Norway
  • France
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Cyprus
  • Oman
  • Palau
  • Chile

You can do more research to find out if your country is not among the list of those that are required to obtain a Transit Visa.

4. Japan

Japan is also another country that makes use of a Transit Visa policy.

If you are embarking on a long journey that requires going through Japan before arriving at your destination, you might want to consider having a Japan Transit Visa.

However, only citizens of countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Italy, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, and Belgium amongst others do not need a Transit Visa.

5. Schengen Area:

Comprising 26 European countries, the Schengen Area requires an Airport Transit Visa (ATV) from certain non-European nationals.

This visa allows travelers to change planes within the Schengen Area without officially entering the territory. However, it doesn’t permit travelers to leave the airport’s international transit zone.

Depending on nationality, the duration of transit, and the nature of the journey, visa requirements can vary. Always consult the relevant embassy or consulate for accurate and current information.

6. China

China’s transit visa policy varies depending on travelers’ nationality and specific transit conditions.

Take for instance, China offers a 144-hour visa-free transit policy to citizens of 53 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and several European countries.

So, let’s say a U.S. citizen is traveling from New York to Bangkok, with a layover in Beijing. They plan to stay in Beijing for three days before continuing their journey to Bangkok.

In this case, under the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, the U.S. citizen doesn’t need a visa, as long as they have valid travel documents, confirmed air tickets, and meet other relevant requirements.

Contrast this with a citizen from a country not included in the 53 eligible nations for this policy. In a similar scenario, they would require a transit visa to stay in Beijing, even if it’s just for a layover.

Hence, as policies can change and exceptions exist, always consult the Chinese embassy or consulate, or your airline, for the most updated and accurate information.

7. Canada

Canada’s transit visa policy often requires travelers from specific countries to obtain a transit visa, even for brief layovers where they do not leave the airport.

However, exceptions exist: travelers heading to or from the United States with a valid U.S. visa may not require a Canadian transit visa.

The nuances of these policies underscore the importance of understanding your specific visa requirements based on nationality, destination, and the nature of transit.

For the most accurate information, consult the Canadian embassy, consulate, or official immigration website before your journey.

How to Apply for a Transit Visa?

Perhaps you are looking forward to traveling to a country that requires a transit visa, you must first need to apply for one. 

Note that the application process might be different for specific countries.

Nonetheless, the following are the general procedures to follow:

  1. Determine the type of transit visa you need
  2. Make preparations for the required documents
  3. Fill out the visa application form
  4. Pay the visa fee and submit your application
  5. Wait for approval

Nevertheless, applying for a transit visa is a straightforward process as long as you follow the instructions that have been highlighted carefully for you above.

Final Thoughts

As we come to the end of this article, you should remember that travelers need to get a Transit Visa if they will be passing through some major countries.

While some countries allow travelers to transit without a Transit visa, others have strict rules and require a visa.

Make sure to research the specific requirements of each country and plan accordingly to ensure a smooth journey.

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