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What Is A Transit Visa?

A transit visa allows travelers to pass through a country for a limited duration en route to their final destination. Understanding transit visa requirements is essential for hassle-free travel planning.

  • 08 Feb 2024
  • 2 min read

A transit visa allows you to pass through foreign lands for a limited duration while your final destination varies. If you plan to fly from India to Canada via the United States (US), you will need a transit visa to pass over the US.

For What Purpose Does It Require?

The chief purpose of a transit visa is to allow you a smooth entry and exit from a country where you don’t intend to stay for long. You may need a transit visa in the following situations:

  • Your flight has a temporary layover in a country that falls before you arrive at your destination. Usually, your stay at the airport is free for a specific number of hours in most countries. For instance, while travelling to the United Kingdom (UK), if your flight has a layover in Bahrain, the airport authorities will allow you to stay there for up to 8 hours at no added cost.
  • Usually, if you don't leave the airport precincts, you may not be charged at all. However, a layover in the US mandatorily requires a transit visa.
  • If your layover exceeds 24 hours, you may want to explore the country by leaving the airport. To do so, you need a transit visa that permits you to stay in the country of transit for up to 3 days.
  • In most nations, a transit visa is valid for only a single journey. You can't make two entries with the same visa. The time duration to enter after issuance of a transit visa is also limited. For example, foreigners who wish to come to India should enter within 15 days of the issue of a transit visa.
  • The same Passenger Name Record (PNR) number for your flights often eliminates the need for a transit visa.

Also read:


A transit visa is just like the toll tax you pay while crossing tolls during road travel. Since different countries have varying rules regarding requirements for transit visas, ensure that you keep abreast of the regulations in the concerned nation where you have a layover. Remember, it's also essential to consider your travel insurance coverage for unexpected situations during your transit.

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