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Spain Implements Transit Visa Requirement for Senegalese Passport Holders Amid Asylum Seeker Surge

Spain has recently implemented a new requirement for Senegalese passport holders, mandating them to apply for a transit visa when transiting through Spanish airports en route to non-EU countries. This decision follows a surge in the number of Senegalese individuals seeking asylum upon arrival at Madrid Airport, despite initially claiming to be traveling to Brazil.

Spain Implements Transit Visa Requirement for Senegalese Passport Holders Amid Asylum Seeker Surge

The announcement was made by Spain’s Embassy in Senegal, stating, "We inform you that from February 19, 2024, Senegalese nationals, holders of ordinary passports, must be in possession of an airport transit visa (TAP) to transit through the international zones of Spanish airports."

Spanish authorities have introduced this measure to prevent travelers from exploiting layovers at Spanish airports. With the country's asylum system already under strain, Spain aims to avoid further overcrowding in spaces designated for asylum seekers at Barajas Airport.

Prior to the implementation of the transit visa requirement, Spain took another preventive measure to deter Senegalese individuals from exploiting previous regulations. In late January, Spain requested Morocco to refuse boarding to flights with stopovers in Spain for Senegalese passport holders who have not held a Schengen visa in the last two years. This request was communicated through an official note from Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Morocco's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccans Residing Abroad.


A Transit Schengen Visa is issued to travelers making layovers at Schengen Member States’ airports to catch connecting flights to non-Schengen destinations. Spain maintains a list of countries whose citizens require this visa for transit purposes. Besides Senegal, this list includes countries such as Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, and India, among others.

With 23 countries currently on its list, Spain has one of the longest lists of nations whose citizens require a transit visa to pass through its airports when traveling to non-EU destinations. This recent policy change reflects Spain's efforts to manage immigration and asylum-seeking activities more effectively.



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