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Do You Need a Visa for Multi-City Flights?


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Do you need a visa for multi-city flights?

Are you planning a multi-city flight? If so, it is important to know if you need a visa for each leg of the journey. Depending on your destination countries and the type of visas they require, you may need to obtain a visa, or even multiple visas. In this article, we will explore the question of whether you need a visa for multi-city flights.

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Passports with visa stamps in them

1. Do You Need a Visa for Multi-City Flights?

Do you need a visa for multi-city flights?

Whether you need a visa for a multi-city flight depends on the countries you will be visiting and your passport.

Please be aware that visa requirements differ based on your nationality, reason behind your travel, and duration of stay in each country you plan to visit. It is possible that some countries have visa exemptions or visa-free entry arrangements for certain nationalities, while others might require a visa for all visitors.

Are you are visiting countries that demand visas for your nationality? You will need to get the required visas before your trip. This rule applies to all travel types, including multi-city flights.

If you have a multi-city flight, check the visa requirements for each country you will be visiting. Visit the embassy or consulate website of each country to know the requirements or consult with a travel agent or visa specialist. It’s better to check the visa requirements beforehand because it may take time to obtain visas and additional documents may be required.

It is always best to refer to official information before relying on Facebook groups and internet forums.

If you are a US, UK, EU or Australian national, the chances are you won’t need a visa even if you are transferring through a country on a multi-city flight. US, UK, EU or Australian and many other passports are very strong, and allows nationals of these countries visit many countries without a visa — just a free stamp issued at the airport with no advance paperwork required.

However, even if you come from these countries, you can’t just assume that you can get everywhere without a visa. There are always countries with strict entry requirements.

2. Why Do You Need a Visa for Multi-City Flights?

Why do you need a visa for multi-city flights?

For instance, may not need a visa when traveling on a connecting flight. As long as you stay within the airport transit area and don’t go through immigration control. Why is a multi-city flight different?

If you are taking a multi-city flight, it means that you will be staying in the country for a longer period of time based on your itinerary. Therefore, regardless of whether you are arriving directly from your home country or via another country, you must meet the visa requirements for that country. And this means, that you may be required to apply for a visa in order to enter the country.

As we have already mentioned, it depends on your nationality and the country you are visiting.

When you have a multi-city flight, you are leaving the airport to travel to the city you’ve landed at. You may need a visa for this, as you are entering the country.

After each multi-city flight leg you need to go through passport control where where you may be asked to show your visa if it is required for that country.

Passport and boarding passes on a laptop
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

3. Transit Visas for Multi-City Flights

Some countries allow you to enter them using a transit visa.

Transit visas are cheaper, easier to apply to, and allow travelers visit the country for a few days.

Some countries even provide transit visas on arrival. One of the best experiences in our opinion is (was?) China.

How can you get Chinese transit visa?

Now it is not clear if this visa program has been restarted, but before the COVID pandemic China offered free transit visas that were issued on arrival. You could get your Chinese transit visa even if you had a self-transfer flight, or multi-city flight.

We have applied for Chinese transit visa on arrival twice. Here we talk about one of these experiences, about a 24-hour layover in Guangzhou.

How does Chinese Transit Visa scheme work?

If you’re able to show proof of a departing ticket within a specific timeframe, you could receive a transit visa upon arrival.

Keep in mind that each city in China has specific guidelines for such visas. For instance, those transiting through Beijing and Shanghai could obtain a free 6-day transit visa, while passengers transiting through Guangzhou could receive a 72-hour transit visa upon arrival.

4. Visa on Arrival for Multi-City Flights

If you have a multi-city flight, and you are traveling through a country that requires you to have a visa, make sure you find out if you can get one at the airport.

This type of visa is called “visa on arrival”.

They are very easy to get at the airport or on the border, and they usually cost about 20-30 USD. You may need to provide a passport photo and a filled out application form. Some of these visas may require you to fill in a form online in advance.

Make sure you pay attention to the details before embarking on a trip.

5. US Visa for Multi-City Flights

Do you need a visa if you are visiting the USA?

No and yes. In most cases, you don’t need a U.S. visa, but you are required to have an ESTA. ESTA is an electronic application. It’s kind of an e-visa, that allows you to travel to the United States. Citizens of many countries don’t require a tourist visa to travel to the U.S., as long as they have an approved ESTA (confirmation).

If you don’t have ESTA, you will be denied boarding.

It is advised to apply for ESTA a few days before your actual travel date. However, if you have forgotten about ESTA, you can apply for it even one day prior to your trip. Normally, the processing of ESTA applications only takes a few hours and you will receive your confirmation soon.

However, it is still recommended not to wait until the last minute to apply.

Do you have any questions about multi-city flights and visas? Have you ever had a multi-city flight? Did you need to apply for a visa? What was your experience?

Featured photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels

About the author:

Co-founder and Editor at Connecting Flights Guide

Una is an organized globetrotter and foodie who’s been living a digital nomad lifestyle since 2013. She always starts her day early with a good book before diving into work. Apart from traveling and aviation, her other passions include gym, hiking and cycling. Una is also a strong proponent of AI technology. She firmly believes in its potential to simplify life and has often advocated for its wider adoption in our day-to-day activities. Her favorite airlines are Qatar Airways, Emirates, and KLM.


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Connecting Flights Guide

Your go-to guide to air travel rules and regulations. Connecting flights, self transfer, onward tickets and more – we want you to understand air travel better

This article may contain compensated links. Learn more in our disclaimer.

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