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Indians declined boarding to the UK with no transit Schengen visas.

Lufthansa, Air France, and KLM, European Union registered flights operate flights from India to the UK, with a stopover in one of these four EU countries, Czech Republic, France, Germany, or Spain, are no longer permitting Indians who don’t hold a Transit Schengen Visa or another type of a valid Schengen Visa, to board these flights. According to reports, among those affected is also Mihikaa Bhaskar, a 25 years old student pursuing her master’s studies at a London college. Mihikaa had returned to her home in Bengaluru, in March to visit her parents. When she attempted to travel back to the UK to continue her studies, Mihikaa was prevented from boarding the Lufthansa flight, which she had pre-booked at the Kempegowda airport.

They said they couldn’t allow me to board since, being an Indian passport holder, I needed a transit visa for my two-and-a-half-hour transit period in Frankfurt before flying out to London. I tried telling them that I hold a valid UK residence permit and didn’t face the transit visa hurdle during my trip from London to Bengaluru via Frankfurt. Still, they simply weren’t ready to listen,” Mihikaa says regarding her experience. Mihikaa is just one of the many Indians, mostly students have faced this problem in recent days.

According to the sources, a Transit Schengen Visa enables travelers to stop and wait in the international transit area of an airport in the Schengen Area for their flight to their destination country. The requirement comes from the UK’s departure from the EU on December 31, 2020, making it a third country in the European bloc. The airlines have not explained why the requirement started being applied recently.

Though the 26 countries part of the Schengen Area aligns their visa policies, the member of countries have different for who needs them when it comes to the transit Schengen visa. For example, Indian nations need transit visas for transiting Germany and Spain, but not Austria, Denmark, or Belgium.

Vinod Nair

V VInod Nair. Film Critic, Writer, Designer, Blogger, photographer Former Visualiser with Indian Express Newspapers Ltd, former Special Info-Graphic Designer with The Times of India. Contributor, film critic The TImes of India. Freelance journalist.

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