Airport transit visa

What is an airport transit visa?

An airport transit visa (also called ’A’ visa), is a visa that allows the holder to transit through the international zone of a French or Schengen airport with no access to the Schengen space, before flying to the final destination.

For example: you are flying LOS ANGELES - PARIS - NEW DELHI or LOS ANGELES - PARIS - LAGOS, and stay within the international zone at Roissy - Charles de Gaulle airport for a few hours, without going through immigration controls.

Please note :

- If you travel from the USA via a FRENCH AIRPORT to enter another SCHENGEN COUNTRY or if you have a second transit in another SCHENGEN STATE AIRPORT, the passport control is done at the first point of entry in the Schengen area. All flights between two or more Schengen States are considered to be «domestic» flights. Depending on your nationality, you might need a short stay "C" visa.

- If you transit through a French airport and if you need a visa for the Schengen state which is your main destination, you must apply for a short stay visa at the consulate representing that country. This Schengen visa will allow your transit through a French airport.

- B1-B2 visa holders: Please, apply in the country of your residence. No visas will be delivered to foreigners holding U.S B1-B2 visas.

Will I be able to pay a quick visit to Paris?

NO. An airport transit visa does not allow you to go out of the international zone of the airport (even for a change of airport). In this case you will need a short stay visa, also called "C" visa.

Do I need an airport transit visa?

- If you hold one of the following documents, you DO NOT NEED an airport transit visa, whatever your nationality :

  • Diplomatic passport
  • U.S. Permanent residence (GREEN CARD)
  • U.S. Refugee travel document*
    * Refugees only: if you are transiting through a French airport in order to visit Germany or Belgium, you NEED a Schengen “C” visa (Germany and Belgium do not require a Schengen visa for US travel document holders)
    Example 1: you are an Iranian refugee flying LAX-CDG-THE: you do NOT need a visa
    Example 2: you are an Iranian refugee flying LAX-CDG-Berlin: you NEED a Schengen “C” short stay visa (NOT an airport transit visa)
  • US re-entry permit (the advance parole is NOT a re-entry permit)
  • Residency permit in one of the countries of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, Andorra, Vatican, San Marino, Canada or Japan
  • A valid Schengen visa or a valid long stay national visa delivered by any Schengen State

If you DO NOT hold one of the documents listed above, you NEED an airport transit visa, ONLY if you are citizen from the following countries. This applies to all type of passports (ordinary, official, special, service…) but does not include diplomatic passports:

Afghanistan Bangladesh Congo (Democratic Republic / Kinshasa) Eritrea
Ethiopia Ghana Iran Iraq
Nigeria Pakistan Somalia Sri Lanka

Applies to ordinary passports only, except Guinea (Conakry)*:

Angola Cameroon Chad Congo (Brazaville)
Cuba Dominican Republic Guinea (Conakry)* Haiti
India Ivory Coast Mali Mauritania
Russia** Senegal South Sudan Sudan
Syria Togo Refugee travel documents*** Travel documents for Palestinian refugees

*Guinea (Conakry): applies to all type of passports, except diplomatic passports
** Russia: You need an airport transit visa ONLY if you are flying from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Moldova, Turkey or Ukraine.
*** Refugee travel documents: only those delivered by Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Congo (Democratic Republic / Kinshasa), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka.

EXCEPTIONS when transiting through France only:

NO AIRPORT TRANSIT VISA required from the citizens of the countries listed above (both list) if they are:

    • Family members (spouse, children under 18 years old) of a citizen of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Rumania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom), the EEE (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom), or Switzerland.
    • Holding a valid visa delivered by any Schengen State (Schengen visa or long stay national visa), or a valid residency permit delivered by any Schengen State
    • Holding a valid residency permit delivered by the United Kingdom, Ireland, Rumania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Canada, United States of America ("Green card"), Japan, Monaco and Saint-Marin.
    • Holding a valid visa allowing you to enter the United Kingdom, Ireland, Rumania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Canada, Japan, or the United States of America, no matter which airport of departure nor which airport of arrival located outside the Schengen area.
    • Holding a visa delivered by the United Kingdom, Ireland, Rumania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Canada, Japan, or the United States of America, even if this visa has been used and isn’t valid for another entry, at the condition that the airport of departure is located in the country that delivered the visa. That exception applies only for people returning from their trip. For instance, a Nigerian citizen flying back to Nigeria will not need an airport transit visa when transiting through Paris airport, even if his US visa has expired, as long as his trip was originating in the USA.

Processing time

An airport transit visa may be issued within one week upon application.


Please provide us with the original + 1 copy of each document. The visa section does not make any copies, you must bring your documents and the required copies.

We only accept residents from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Southern California, and Southern Nevada. Please note you will have to show us a driver license from one of these states (for students : driver license or student ID from school located in one of these states).

- Original passport or travel document (+ ONE COPY of the identity pages)

  • Must be valid for at least three months after your return to the US
  • Has least two blank pages left to affix the visa (amendment pages are not suitable for visas).
  • Has been delivered less than 10 years ago (first issuance)
  • Be in good condition.

- Processing fee. Credit card only (Visa/Mastercard)

- One application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant.

- One PASSPORT PHOTO. Do not glu or staple.
More details on photograph requirements.

- A proof of your status in the USA (US visa along with a copy of I-20 or I-AP66, advance parole) (+ ONE COPY)

  • B1-B2 visa holders: Please, apply in the country of your residence.
    NO VISAS WILL BE DELIVERED to foreigners holding U.S B1-B2 visas.

- Your Round-trip airline ticket: An E-Ticket (showing ticket numbers). (+ ONE COPY)

- If the applicant is under 18 years old and travelling without his parents:

  • Birth certificate
  • notarized authorization from both parents allowing their child to travel to France or from the parent exercising full custody of the child according to the divorce decree, or if you are divorced : certified copy of divorce decree stating that you have full custody of the child(ren).

- If you want your passport to be sent back to you, please bring:

  • A self-addressed FedEx Express "US Airbill" and FedEx enveloppe. Please fill out your own address twice (you are the sender AND the recipient).
    We will NOT accept other methods of delivery: (NO USPS, NO UPS, NO FedEx "Ground" service)

Important information

- The consular administration has full authority to evaluate and request more documents than those submitted by the applicant.

- Please be aware that submitting the aforementioned documents does not guarantee the approval of the visa.

Make an appointment?

- All applicants must apply in person and must make an appointment on our website. Personal appearance is mandatory.

We regret that at this time we do not accept appointments over the phone or via email.

  • If you are not able to attend, please free a slot by canceling or rescheduling your appointment by logging back in the appointment system and click on “changing your appointment”.
    You will need your “LAX” confirmation number and passport number.

- One appointment = one person (for instance, family of four must take four appointments)
- One appointment per person only: due to the high number of applicants, the French Consulate reserves the right to cancel appointments made by the same person on the same day (or even on two different dates).

WARNING: To use the system, the following configuration is required :

  • Firefox 1.0 and higher
  • Mozilla 1.7.8 and higher
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher
  • Adobe Acrobat reader and higher
  • Allow pop-ups
  • The appointment system is NOT compatible with Mac computers


Last modified on 08/10/2015

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