Airport transit


Flughafentransit, © colorbox


Requirements for transit through a German airport:

Officially recognized and valid passport

In order to transit through Germany via an international airport, you need to hold a valid passport or other travel document which is officially recognized by Germany.

Specific information on the recognition of Palestinian and Somalian passports can be found below.

Transit visa in certain cases

Transit privilege:

Most travellers – including those who would need a visa to enter the Schengen states- enjoy a so-called transit privilege. If you arrive from a Non-Schengen country, your onward destination lies outside of the Schengen countries and you do not leave the international transit area of a German airport you are not required to have a transit visa.

Transit and entry:

If your transit requires entry into Germany, e.g.

  • when changing terminal,
  • if your route leads you through two consecutive airports within the Schengen area,
  • if your destination lies within the Schengen area or
  • you are transiting through an airport that is not among the below listed five airports with transit areas

you need to have a Schengen visa. Please ask the airline or the travel agency for a detailed travel itenerary and check if there will be a terminal change.

Airport transit visa:

For citizens of the following countries the transit privilege does not apply. They generally need an airport transit visa when travelling through a German airport:

Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Sri Lanka
South Sudan


*specific exemptions apply


Citizens of the above mentioned countries do not need an airport transit visa if they hold/are:

  • a visa or residence permit of an EU or Schengen member state
  • a residence permit of Andorra, San Marino, Canada, Japan or United States of America
  • a visa of a country of the European Economic Council (all EU member states and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) as well as Canada, Japan or United States of America
  • family members of a privileged EU citizen (Spouses, children and grandchildren under 21 years, parents and grandparents only if generally sponsored by the privileged EU citizen)

Confirmed airline ticket

If you travel via Frankfurt or Munich airport, you need to hold a confirmed airline ticket for onward travel within 24 hours after scheduled arrival. If you travel through one of the other below mentioned airports you need to hold a confirmed airline ticket for onward travel on the day of scheduled arrival.

Only the five below mentioned airports have an international transit area allowing transit without formally entering the Schengen area:

  • Frankfurt/Main (FRA)
  • Munich (MUC)
  • Berlin-Brandenburg (BER)
  • Hamburg (HAM, 4:30 AM - 11:30 PM)
  • Düsseldorf (DUS, 6:00 AM - 9:00 PM)

Important Information for Syrian citizens:

Syrian passports are only valid if they have been signed by the passport holder in front of the issuing authority. If your passport is not signed, please go to the Syrian Embassy in Manama and sign your passport in front of the respective officer.

Important information for Palestinians:

You can transit via a German airport only if you hold a travel document recognized by Germany:

  • passport or travel document issued by the Palestinian National Authority, only if the ID-number mentioned in the document begins with the numbers 4, 8 or 9
  • “Document de Voyage pour les Réfugiés Palestiniens”/“Travel Document for Palestinian Refugees” issued by the Egyptian authorities, only if the document contains a valid Eygptian re-entry visa and the holder resides in Egypt
  • Alien’s passport (T-series) issued by the Jordanian authorities
  • “Document de Voyage pour les Refugies Palestiniens/”Travel Document for Palestinian Refugees“ issued by the Syrian authorities, only with valid visa and only if Germany is included in area of validity

If you are not in possession of one of these recognized documents, you cannot transit via a German airport.

Travel documents for Palestinian refugees issued by Lebanese authorities are not recognized in Germany.

Important information for Somali citizens:

Please note that passports and additional travel documents issued by the Somali authorities after 31st January 1991 are not recognized by Germany. You cannot transit via a German airport if you hold such a document.

If you require a transit visa, you can find more information here.

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