Which European Countries Do Not Require Transit Visa?

Which European Countries Do Not Require Transit Visa?

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Your travel itinerary might involve stopping in one country before jetting off to the next. If that country is in Europe, you may be wondering if a transit visa is required. Because, of course, transit visas are required by most countries.

Fortunately, many European nations offer the freedom to transit without needing this extra documentation. In this blog post, we share a list of European countries where no transit visa is required.

When won’t you Require a Transit Visa when passing through some European countries?

To be honest, most travel documentation can seem as complex as a spaghetti junction! The rules, regulations, and fine print that can leave even the most seasoned travelers scratching their heads.

Anyway, let’s take a look at this…

First things first, let’s clarify what a transit visa is.

In simple terms, a transit visa is a document that allows you to pass through the country (or countries) you’re traveling to reach your final destination. Imagine it as your passport’s ‘backstage pass’ that lets you get from Point A to Point B via Point C.

Now, back to our main question.

In Europe, particularly the Schengen Area, the requirement for a transit visa largely depends on your nationality.

You see, the Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and other types of border control at their mutual borders.

They work like a friendly neighborhood where you don’t need to knock on every door when passing through. But this isn’t the case for everyone.

According to the rules as of 2023, nationals from a list of specific countries need a transit visa when passing through the Schengen Area.

The list includes countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, and a few others. So, if you’re from one of these countries, you’ll need that ‘backstage pass’ to transit.

For instance, if you’re from India you don’t need a visa in the UK — one of the countries not in the list.

But generally, what if your home country isn’t on this list?

Well, that’s when things could get a bit brighter. The next section would take a better explanation of this.

Which European Countries Do Not Require Transit Visa?

For the most part, transit visas in the Schengen area, which includes most European countries, are not required for travelers from many countries.

However, there are exceptions, so it’s crucial to check the specific requirements for your nationality and the country you’re transiting through.

To begin with, as we said earlier, countries like – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sri Lanka – are all required to get transit visa regardless of the European country they intend transiting through.

Read Also: Countries that Require Transit visa For Indian citizens

Secondly, almost every Schengen member has its own separate list of third countries, travelers from which would need a transit visa to transit the territory of that particular Schengen country.

The lists are quite different across countries, so it’s a bit vague to cover.

For instance, Austria has only Syria on its list, while Belgium’s list includes nine countries – the Dominican Republic, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Nepal, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Palestinians​.

This means if you’re a citizen of Syria, you can’t transit through Austria. But for other Schengen countries, you can easily transit through them.

Hence, it’s usually best you check the actual policy of the Schengen country you wish to transit through.

What Countries are White-Listed from Transit Visas in European Countries?

Generally, European Union (EU) member states, along with countries within the Schengen Area, have a common policy that nationals from fellow EU or Schengen Area countries are exempt from transit visas. This includes 26 countries like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and more.

Aside from EU and Schengen member states, several countries also enjoy transit visa exemptions.

This “white-list” is primarily made up of nations with high Human Development Index (HDI) or strong diplomatic ties with the EU.

For example, citizens from countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, among others, can travel through European countries without the need for a transit visa. Also, countries like Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and a few others are part of this list.

Other countries may also be white-listed based on various bilateral or multilateral agreements. This includes countries like South Korea, Singapore, and Israel. It is, however, essential to understand that visa regulations are subject to change, and it’s always recommended to check the latest updates from official sources before planning any travel.

Furthermore, holders of a valid residence permit or a valid long-stay visa issued by a Schengen Area country, the UK, or Ireland are also exempt from the transit visa requirement, regardless of their nationality.

Lastly, remember that these exemptions only apply if your transit time does not exceed 24 hours (or 48 hours in some cases) and you do not leave the transit area of the airport. If your layover requires a stay beyond these limits or you wish to exit the transit area, you may need to apply for a short-stay visa.


Transit visa requirements can vary across European nations, and a significant number of countries are exempt from these obligations. From the EU and Schengen member states to countries like the United States, Canada, Japan, and many more, there is a broad “white-list” of nations that can enjoy smooth transit.

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