I am Traveling between USA and India via France? Do I Need a Transit or Schengen Visa for France

The lack of clarity about transit visa requirements is one of the reasons for denial of boarding to travelers flying between USA and India via France. Do you need a Schengen visa or airport transit visa for France? This depends on your nationality, itinerary and visa for the destination country. France is a popular international transit point on long-haul routes between USA and India that see flights by Delta Air Lines and Air France.

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Effective from July 2018, Indian passport holders were excepted from requiring an airport transit visa to travel through Paris CDG and other international airports in France. However, the visa-free transit facility was ruled out during the pandemic. Some Indians are still under the impression that they can pass through France without a transit visa while traveling on international flights between India and USA.

But the truth is that Indian passport holders must need an airport transit visa to transit through France for their final destinations outside the Schengen area. There are certain exemptions. If you have a valid US visa or a Green Card, you are eligible for visa-free transit in the international transit area of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Those holding a valid visa or residence permit issued by Canada, Ireland, and Japan are eligible for the same. The visa-free transit facility is subject to the condition that they don’t step out of the international transit area.

France’s transit visa requirement for Indians changes if their visa or residence permit issued by the US or any other aforementioned country expires before, during or right after their transit in Paris. In this scenario, they need an airport transit visa or a transit Schengen visa for hassle-free transit in France. However, an airport transit Schengen visa does not allow them to enter the Schengen area outside the Paris CDG Airport.

If your itinerary has long daytime or overnight layover in France and you plan to go for sightseeing or accommodate yourself outside the airport, you need a short-stay Schengen Visa, regardless of your valid US visa or residence permit. Even if you are a US citizen, you need a short-stay Schengen visa to enter the Schengen territory during a layover at Paris CDG Airport.

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18 thoughts on “I am Traveling between USA and India via France? Do I Need a Transit or Schengen Visa for France

    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Prabhu! Yes, having a valid US visa, transit visa for France is not required unless you step out of the international transit zone of Paris CDG Airport.

      Reply
  1. KANAV SHARMA

    I AM TRAVELLING FROM DELHI TO SENTO DIMANGO WITH A STAY OF 5 HOURS AT PARIS CDG AIRPORT .DO I NEED THE VISA OF PARIS

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Kanav! If you have a valid visa or residence permit issued by the US, Canada, Japan or Ireland, you don’t need a transit visa for Paris. Otherwise, Indian passport holders must have an airport transit visa (ATV) for France/Paris.

      Reply
  2. Rajasekaran

    HI, I am traveling to Costa Rica via Paris from India, I have multiple visitor visas for Canada which I haven’t used. Can I go with this visa.

    Reply
  3. simran

    Hi, I will be leaving to india via airfrance from USA in the month of may and it is a roundtrip where i’ll be traveling back to usa from india in the month of august ,Do i need a airport transit visa?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Simran! If you have a valid US visa or a Green card, you don’t need an airport transit visa for France.

      Reply
      • Abhay

        Have a similar situation.. my parents are travelling Delhi to US via paris. They are on B1/B2
        Would they need transit visa ? Thr B1/B2 Visa is valid.

        Reply
        • indianeagle Post author

          Hi Abhay! They don’t need an airport transit visa if Paris is the only international transit in their itinerary.

          Reply
  4. sharath

    I have expired US visa. Do I still need to get transit visa while travelling to India from USA ?

    Reply
  5. Akhil

    Hi ,if i traveling to usa from Mumbai to Paris to USA do i need transit visa.i have c1d visa

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Akhil! We are little knowledgeable about C1D visa. Kindly check with the airline.

      Reply
  6. Anand

    I have a Super visa for Canada. I will be traveling first time on this visa to Canada from Mumbai. The flight has 6hrs layover in Paris. Do I need a transit visa?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Anand! In our knowledge, a valid Super visa for Canada makes you eligible for visa-free transit via Paris. However, we recommend you check with the airline as well.

      Reply
  7. Rocky

    Hi I am travelling from Toronto to Delhi with 3 hours stay at Paris. I am permanent resident of canada. Do I need a transit visa for Paris?
    Thx

    Reply

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