When traveling abroad, many travelers are forced to land in a third country. This applies to flights to countries where direct flights from the Russian Federation are not performed. Or tourists choose routes with transfers in order to save money. For such passengers in the airports of the world there is a special transit zone. Let us see who is entitled to be in it and under what conditions.
Stay on the territory of the powers where a temporary stop is made is governed by their internal immigration rules. Most often, passengers transferring from one flight to another are prohibited from leaving the transit zone of the airport without a visa from the state of transfer. A number of countries allow you to stay in such a zone for no longer than a certain amount of time. What is the transit zone at the airport?
Purpose and features of transit zones
Today, many international airports are equipped with a transit zone. Such a zone means a part of the terminal located behind the passport control (regarding the entrance to the airport, or BEFORE the passport control when leaving the aircraft). Passengers who travel to their destination with a transfer are entitled to be on its territory without a visa. To get into the transit zone, the traveler performs the following actions:
- Exits the aircraft at the airport terminal.
- Follow the signs to the transit area.
In this zone you can find a board with flights, where you will see the exit number (Gate) for your flight. Here you can expect a departure, or go to the lounge area.
Passport control is not necessary. It passes only if you need to leave the transit zone and go to another terminal, or just leave the airport. But for this you need to have a transit visa.
How to deal with luggage
It is important to note that a transit transfer is allowed only when the visitor does not need to pick up the luggage:
- He travels only with hand luggage.
- Baggage is automatically loaded onto the next flight.
- Things originally sent to their final destination.
The point is that the place of receipt of baggage is usually located behind the line of passport control, albeit before the line of customs. In this regard, it is worth remembering the differences between connecting and connecting flights:
- If a foreigner has purchased tickets for a connecting flight (from one airline and with registration only at the first airport of departure), the airline’s employees will transfer its luggage. All responsibility for the luggage and customer transit lies entirely with the carrier. When changing the aircraft, it is not necessary to re-register.
- If a tourist has bought tickets with a transfer (from different airlines separately), he will have to pick up and re-baggage himself. In this case, the citizen will have to re-check in for the flight and border control. All responsibility for baggage and transfer lies on the passenger.
In the transit zone as at home
Modern airports offer foreign tourists the most comfortable stay in the transit zone. For visitors from abroad:
- Comfortable places to stay.
- Cafeterias, restaurants and other catering points.
- Numerous shops.
- Children’s playgrounds.
- Sport halls.
- Various art exhibitions, and in the air hubs of a number of cities – theaters and museums.
- In some transit zones even open hotels for foreign guests.
Anywhere there is a zone for transit
Prior to the trip, it should be clarified whether there is a transit zone at the airport of arrival. At the moment, they are equipped with not all air hubs in the world. And the thing is, above all, in immigration policy.
For example, no US airline has a zone for transit. Anyone who sets foot on American soil for at least a couple of hours is required to have a visa on hand. Even if the purpose of entry to the United States is transit, foreigners are required to process entry documents according to all the rules of non-immigrant visas. And when crossing the border of America, their immigration officer will check them just like the other guests.
Similar rules of entry are accepted in Canada and Australia. Even within a single Schengen zone, the transit zone is not in all air terminals. There are restrictions on airlines. For example, at the Berlin airport, visa-free transit is only valid for arriving and departing AirBerlin flights. For such passengers, a separate transit terminal is equipped.
Do I need a visa directly for the transit zone
For example, a citizen of the Russian Federation received a Canadian visa. But for one reason or another, he decided to go to the North American kingdom with a transfer in France. The tourist flies out of Russia and lands at the airport Paris-Charles de Gaulle, in terminal 2C. In the transit zone, he waits for the liner to Canada, which is also taken in terminal 2C. In this case, he does not need a visa.
However, visa-free zones operate only on the territory of one terminal. If a Russian arrives at terminal 2C, but goes to another terminal for a transplant, he will need a Schengen visa. A visa is also required when a tourist wants to leave the airport for any reason.. For example, to walk around the city or get to the point of passage through another airport or not by air.
In addition, it should be remembered that visa-free transit in the Schengen zone is carried out at certain hours. Round-the-clock visa-free passengers are transplanted only in Munich and Frankfurt. In Spain, for example, it is necessary to make transit until midnight — or to apply for a visa in advance.
Nuances of a transit visa
Each state issues transit visas by its own rules. But usually these are short-term documents. It is allowed to stay in the country of transplant from several hours to several days. But even if the visa is valid for several hours, the foreign tourist has the right to leave the airline to the city. The main thing – do not miss the liner in the state of destination.
Transit visas are either one-time or double-entry. According to double documents, a passenger can make a double transfer in one country – at the beginning of the journey and upon returning home. Double entry visas may be valid for several months. In this case, the total period of stay in the state of transplantation reaches several weeks.
Usually on a transit visa is allowed:
- To live in the country (in a hotel, on a rental housing, with friends or relatives). Of course, this permission is relevant for visas that are valid for at least a couple of days.
- Ride on excursions, go to cultural and entertainment events. Often, on transit visas valid for several hours, foreign guests leave to inspect local sights.
- Rest and leisure in any legal way.
On a transit visa it is strictly prohibited to work, do business and get an education..
Visa free transit outside the transit zone
It should be noted that in a number of states visa-free transit is practiced irrespective of the transit zone. Intourists are allowed to freely go outside the airport. True, the time spent outside the hub is limited to a few hours (usually no longer than 8–12). But, for example, in many major cities of China and in Singapore, there is a 2-3-day free visa-free transit.
In some countries, a transit visa is allowed to be issued directly at the airport. All these nuances should be clarified in advance and taken into account when planning a foreign tour.