Can I get a Schengen visa at the airport?

Whether you’re planning a whirlwind European adventure or a relaxing vacation, the Schengen Area undoubtedly offers an array of unforgettable experiences. However, for many non-European passport holders, obtaining a Schengen visa can be a daunting process. One frequently asked question is whether it’s possible to secure a Schengen visa upon arrival at the airport. In this blog post, we will explore the ins and outs of the Schengen visa application process and clarify whether it’s possible to get one directly at the airport.


Understanding the Schengen Area:

Before diving into the visa process, let’s briefly explain what the Schengen Area is. The Schengen Area is a zone comprising 27 European countries that have abolished passport and other types of border control at their mutual borders. It allows travelers to move freely between member countries without the need for additional visas or border checks once you’ve obtained a Schengen visa.

Schengen Visa Application Process:

For travelers who require a Schengen visa, the general rule is that the visa must be obtained before arriving in the Schengen Area. In most cases, you will need to apply for the visa at the consulate or embassy of the country that will be your main destination or the first country you’ll visit during your trip.

It is important to note that there is no such thing as an “on-arrival” Schengen visa. Travelers must undergo a thorough application process, which includes submitting required documents, attending an interview (if necessary), and paying the visa fee. Processing times can vary depending on the country and season, so it is advisable to apply well in advance of your travel dates.

Exceptions to the Rule:

While the standard procedure requires obtaining a Schengen visa in advance, there are a few exceptions that may allow you to obtain a visa upon arrival:


  1. Airport Transit Visa: If you are transiting through a Schengen country on your way to a non-Schengen destination, and you will not leave the international transit area of the airport, you may be eligible for an airport transit visa. However, this visa does not allow you to enter the Schengen Area proper, only to remain in the airport’s transit area.
  2. Visa Facilitation for Specific Nationalities: In certain cases, some Schengen countries have visa facilitation agreements with specific non-Schengen countries. These agreements may allow for simplified visa procedures, and in some cases, visa issuance upon arrival at the airport. However, this is not a widespread practice and only applies to specific nationalities in certain circumstances.

While the idea of getting a Schengen visa at the airport may seem convenient, it is not a standard practice within the Schengen Area. As a responsible traveler, it is essential to adhere to the official visa application process and obtain the necessary visa before your trip. Delaying or neglecting the application process could lead to significant disruptions and potential denial of entry.

Remember to plan ahead and research the specific visa requirements for the country you intend to visit within the Schengen Area. Each member country may have slightly different rules and procedures, so be sure to check with the respective consulates or embassies for accurate and up-to-date information.

We hope this blog post has clarified the doubts surrounding obtaining a Schengen visa at the airport. Happy travels and may your adventures in Europe be filled with cherished memories and unforgettable experiences! Safe journey!

About The Author: Akesse Sanza

Akesse Sanza is a passionate travel writer and owns With a deep love for exploring new destinations and sharing insightful travel tips, Akesse Sanza brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to readers. Akesse inspires readers to embark on their own journeys and discover the wonders of the world. Follow Akesse’s adventures and travel insights on

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