New Transit Visa Regulations in Spain for Senegalese and Kenyan Travelers

New Transit Visa Regulations in Spain for Senegalese and Kenyan Travelers

Beginning January 20, 2024, a new regulation will impact Kenyan citizens travelling abroad. Those holding a Kenyan passport and planning to transit through Spain en route to another country must secure a transit visa in advance. This regulation, announced on December 20, 2023, officially came into effect the past weekend.

This new rule mandates that Kenyan nationals possessing an ordinary passport and intending to transit at Spanish airports must have a valid airport transit visa (TAP Visa). As the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs states, this visa is essential for travelling through the international zones of Spanish airports.

Furthermore, a similar requirement will be extended to Senegalese passport holders starting February 19, 2024. The Spanish Embassy in Senegal disclosed this information on January 24 through an X (former Twitter) post. This directive necessitates that Senegalese citizens holding ordinary passports obtain an airport transit visa (TAP) for transiting through Spanish international airport zones.

 Spanish Airport Transit Visa

Implementing these measures follows an increase in asylum claims at Madrid's airport. Police unions have raised concerns over the growing number of Senegalese nationals seeking asylum during stopovers in Madrid, typically while en route to Brazil. Spain has experienced a significant influx of international protection applications, becoming the third-highest recipient in the European Union in 2023. According to the Office of Asylum and Refuge (OAR) of the Ministry of the Interior, Spain received 163,218 applications in 2023, a 37% increase from the previous year and the highest since the office's inception in 1992.

Who Needs a Transit Schengen Visa?

 Schengen Transit Visa

A Transit Schengen Visa is designed for travellers who must stop at an airport within the Schengen Area to catch a connecting flight to a non-Schengen destination. The European Union categorises countries into two lists regarding transit Schengen visa requirements. The first list, applied uniformly by all member countries, includes nations like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Iran. The second list varies by country, and Spain's version, in addition to Kenya and soon Senegal, encompasses nations such as Cameroon, Cuba, India, and Syria.

With the inclusion of Kenya and Senegal, Spain's list of countries whose nationals require transit visas now numbers 23. This figure places Spain, Czechia, and France among the countries with the most extensive requirements for transit visas.

Spain Transit Visa: Application Form and Required Documents

Applying for a Spain transit visa involves several steps. Travellers must complete the application form, submit the necessary documents, and attend an interview if required. Starting this process before your travel date is crucial to ensure timely approval.

The required documents typically include a valid passport, proof of onward travel, and sometimes evidence of sufficient funds. Processing times can vary, so applicants are advised to apply as early as possible.


Who is affected by the new transit visa regulations in Spain?

Spain's new transit visa regulations specifically affect travellers from Senegal and Kenya holding passports. These travellers are now required to obtain a transit visa when passing through any Spanish airport, a change from the previous policy, which allowed them to transit without a visa under certain conditions.

What is a Transit Schengen Visa, and why is it essential for these travellers?

A Transit Schengen Visa allows travellers to pass through the Schengen area, including Spain, for a short period while en route to their final destination. Under the new regulations, this visa is crucial for Senegalese and Kenyan nationals, as it permits them to use Spanish airports to connect flights. This visa is necessary for these travellers to be allowed to transit through Spain.

What are the requirements for a Spain Transit Visa application?

To apply for a Spain Transit Visa, applicants must submit several documents, including a completed application form, a valid passport, proof of onward travel, and sometimes evidence of sufficient funds. It's also essential to check for additional specific requirements at the local Spanish embassy or consulate, as these can vary.

How do these changes impact asylum seekers from Senegal and Kenya at Madrid airports?

These changes particularly impact asylum seekers from Senegal and Kenya arriving at Madrid airports. They must now secure a transit visa to pass through Spain, adding a layer of bureaucratic procedure to their journey. The conditions and treatment of asylum seekers at Spanish airports, especially in Madrid, have been a point of discussion, highlighting the need for humane and efficient processing.

Where can travellers obtain more information and assistance regarding the new transit visa regulations?

Travelers can obtain detailed information and assistance from their home country's Spanish embassy or consulate. Additionally, the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain provides updated information on visa policies. Travel agencies and legal advisors specialising in immigration and visas can also offer guidance and help in the application process.




To obtain a eTA for Kenya

  • Step1: Complete the online application by providing your passport details
  • Step2: Submit payment online using a credit card.
  • Step3: Monitor your email for confirmation of payment and receipt of your eTA, which will be sent electronically.
Get eTA to Kenya

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