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Transferring at Schiphol

I’m flying JFK-AMS, then AMS-LHR on a different flight and ticket.. for various complicated reasons.. with just a carryon, do I need to go through immigration.. Brexit etc makes my travel this time more complex.

Posted by
7450 posts

Yes, if you are traveling on two separate tickets, you will have to exit security and then go check in for your next flight, and go back through security again to get planeside.

Posted by
5 posts

Since I’m transiting through, do I need a transit visa? I am unable to get a fresh Schengen visa due to all consulates being closed because of Covid-19 etc.

Posted by
8440 posts

Why do you ask about a visa?

For a stay of up to 90 days a US citizen, among others, need only a valid passport to enter UK or EU country.

Of what country are you a citizen?

Posted by
2186 posts

@nycpepe - that's a great question. Given the layout of AMS Schiphol, the answer might be, no.

When you arrive from JFK, you'll land in one of Schiphol's four Non-Schengen gate areas: E, F, G, or lower D gates. From there, you're headed to London... so you will STAY in the Non-Schengen area. You will not have to go through passport control and because you are traveling carry-on only, there's no baggage to transfer. So it's possible - given how Schiphol works and the fact it's one big terminal building - that you would not have to do an immigration check as you're not entering the NL.

You would already have to have a boarding pass for your 2nd flight in hand (Depending on the airline, you might be able to get a boarding pass when the gate opens). Thus, it is possible to land at a lower D gate and walk to, say the G Gates, WITHOUT going through passport control. That all said, if you're traveling soon - in these COVID times - there are other NL restrictions in place you would have to follow.

Great question; As I live here, I've never tried this... but seeing how you're not entering the NL... it seems viable!

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks RnR.. it seems like there are a lot of potential variables involved.. an actual transit visa process might be helpful here.. but that may not be an option either

Posted by
2988 posts

From the Schipol website FAQ for Coronavirus (

If you are transferring on a connecting flight to a non-Schengen or
non-EU destination, and you stay in the transfer area at Schiphol and
depart within 48 hours, make sure you have a valid flight ticket and
valid travel documents. You must be able to prove that you are in
transit. If you change to a connecting flight to a Schengen country or
destination within the EU, you will be subject to Dutch entry policy.

So... you need to have proof of your forward travel. I would think a boarding pass would be ideal, if you are able to check in for your UK flight before arriving at AMS. The app for the carrier operating the AMS --> UK flight might be helpful for this.

The Netherlands requires transit visas for nationals of specific countries. Without knowing the nationality of your passport, I cannot answer the transit visa question, but the Dutch government website has a nice web page regarding airport transit visas (, including a "Visa Advisor" link that walks you through questions that result in an answer as to whether you need an airport transit visa.

Posted by
5 posts

I found the text that I needed

“ Brexit: change in airport transit visa requirement as of 1 January 2021
Do you, based on your nationality, need an airport transit visa but are you exempted because you hold a UK visa or residence permit? As of January 1, 2021 this exemption does no longer apply. You will require an airport transit visa.”