Travellers From 12 Non-EU Countries Need Visas to Transit Romania

Travellers From 12 Non-EU Countries Need Visas to Transit Romania

Romania has at last joined Europe's extensive Schengen area, signifying a pivotal milestone in their 13-year path toward greater integration.

Following Romania’s Schengen accession on  March 31, 2024, travellers from several countries who need to make a stopover or transfer from an international flight in Romania will need visas in order to be able to do so

Travellers from 12 non-EU countries now need to get a Schengen Transit Visa first, before passing through Romania, in order to reach their non-Schengen destination country.

A Schengen transit visa allows foreign nationals to transit through the international transit area of airports without entering the national territory of the respective state. 

The following nationals now need a transit visa to Romania:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka

The transit visa strictly prohibits its holder from exiting the international transit area of an airport, even in the case of an overnight layover.

If your travel plan includes passing through more than one airport within the Schengen area, you won't qualify for an airport transit visa. In that case, you'll need to apply for a Short-Term Schengen visa. The rationale behind this is that flights between multiple Schengen states, even if it's just for transit, are seen as ‘internal' flights.

Additionally, if you need to leave the airport to reach another airport within the same country, you must also apply for a Short-Term Schengen visa.

Exemptions From The Romanian Transit Visa Requirement

While all passport holders from the 12 stated countries are required to obtain a transit visa in order to travel via Romania to their destination country, there are some exceptions.

  • Travellers possessing a Schengen short-term visa, long-stay visas, or residence permits issued by another Member State are exempt from needing a transit visa for Romania
  • Individuals holding a valid residence permit issued by Andorra, Canada, Japan, San Marino, or the United States of America, as well as those with a valid residence permit for one or more overseas countries and territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Flight crew members who are nationals of a Contracting Party to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation can transit Romania without a designated visa.

International Transit Route In Romania

When it comes to international transit routes in Romania, the main hub is Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport, also known as Bucharest Otopeni Airport, located in Otopeni. Here, you'll find a range of international airlines like Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, KLM, and more.

It's worth noting that Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport isn't particularly known for international transfers, as it mainly serves routes within Europe, with a few exceptions to destinations in the Middle East.

If you're flying with Tarom or Blue Air, chances are you'll end up as a transfer passenger at Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport. Both airlines use Otopeni Airport as their hub; Tarom is Romania's flag carrier, while Blue Air is a private low-cost airline specialising in connecting flights. You might also find yourself at Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport if you're self-connecting on Wizzair or Ryanair, as they also operate from this airport as a base.

How To Apply for a Schengen Transit Visa in the UK

When applying for a Schengen Transit Visa, make sure you have the following documents ready:

  • Completed Harmonised Application Form
  • Valid Passport
  • Two Passport-size photos
  • Proof of Valid Resident Status in the UK for at least 6 months
  • Documentation related to onward travel to your final destination
  • Visa to the final destination, if required

* Additional documents may be requested.

You'll need to personally submit your application at the nearest Romanian consular office to you. However, before doing so, you must first submit your information online to secure an appointment. Visit the official website, create an account, complete the visa application online, and attach the necessary documents. Once this is done, you can select a time to submit your original documents and pay the visa fee of €80.

It's advisable to submit visa applications at least 2 weeks before your expected travel date, but no more than 6 months in advance.

If you need assistance with your transit visa application, do not hesitate to reach out to IaM.

Do you have plans to travel this weekend? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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IaM can help with your visa application to Europe, the United States, the UK & other countries

If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or a visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

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