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In the spirit of One Schengen Visa Question to Rule them All, I recommend that we create some standard transit visa questions.

I don't think we can make this one question for everywhere, but we can write one for each country, starting with US, Canada, Schengen and UK, adding others as necessary.

In fact I'm going to do it for some of them right now. Let me know if you object.

Wait, this was supposed to be a question. So...do you like it?

See: Is there a way to find out if I need a transit visa for Canada?

And feel free to edit the community wiki answer.

See also: 50 nationalities, 100 countries, should we expect and tolerate 5000 visa questions?

  • Sounds like a good idea. I meant to start a Schengen transit question but was away from my computer for some time and never came around to actually do it. – Relaxed Jun 17 '14 at 13:41
  • Note that the situation is so bad that I sometimes have difficulties finding the right question to close exact duplicates. And I think I know the site pretty well so I am not sure how a first-time visitor is supposed to find it… – Relaxed Jun 20 '14 at 7:34
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Here is a list of visa master/canonical transit visa questions. Even though some refer to specific nationalities, I included only those where the accepted or most upvoted answer is useful for any nationality:

By and large, these are questions where the answer is either 1) no for basically everyone, 2) yes for basically everyone, or 3) there is an official website where you can check.

I could not find a suitable thread for some major hubs, however, including those in India, Thailand, ROC, and Kenya.

Most newer answers include a link for TimaticWeb results, but we are already seeing these links break as contracts are not renewed.

  • This could be moved to the main site IMO, as part of a generic canonical on transit – JonathanReez Supports Monica Dec 5 '17 at 14:42
  • @JonathanReez Since we're already telling someone to "go look it up" in most of these threads, I don't think having it on main contributes much— we'd be telling someone to go check another thread to go check another website to go find the answer, and while I can't be the only one who finds the constant barrage of visa questions tiresome, I don't believe we're at the point where they're crowding out other kinds of tiresome questions :). – choster Dec 5 '17 at 18:41
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It seems to me that this kind of information is almost impossible to capture in a single answer. The question Do I need a visa to transit in the Schengen area? just appeared with a huge wall-of-text answer. It's comprehensive, but doesn't immediately provide answers. And it's probably intimidating to non-native English speakers (the vast majority of people who actually need a Schengen visa fall into this category).

Do we really believe that people who need to ask this kind of question will be able to find this comprehensive answer? And if they do, will they be able to navigate the answer to determine which parts of it apply to them?

Will we (the answerers) close all "do I need a Schengen visa" questions as duplicates, and point to this super-answer? If so, I'm afraid this won't actually provide an answer to the questions people actually ask. If not, then what is the point of the super-answer?

I'm not a supporter of this kind of general artificial question-answer pair. There is certainly value in specific artificial question-answer pairs, I've added my share of those to sites around the SE network. But questions where the answer is multiple pages long would normally be closed as "too broad", if they weren't already answered by the asker.

  • It's complex to be sure and I don't mind answering separate questions as I've done until now (among the people with voting rights, I am pretty sure I am less inclined to close questions as duplicate than most) but I take some offense about the way you characterize my answer. I made some effort to structure it as 4 or 5 individual questions with shorts paragraphs and decisions highlighted in bold. If that's a “wall of text”… – Relaxed Jun 17 '14 at 22:06
  • Note that the alternative until now is not a multitude of well-received tightly focused questions. It's a maze of question closed as duplicates, sometimes in absurd ways. Apparently, there is no shortage of people to vote to close stuff, complain about generic questions and fight each other over the issue but not that many when it comes to providing content or upvoting valuable answers in one form or another… – Relaxed Jun 17 '14 at 22:18
  • Yeah, I'm not saying there isn't a problem with this sort of question. ("You are in a twisty maze of visa questions, all alike.") Rather, I'm saying that I think this kind of super-answer isn't a good way to try to solve this problem. – Greg Hewgill Jun 17 '14 at 22:20
  • The approach I've taken is to provide a link to Canada's own website that tells you whether or not you need a visa. This would seem to do all the work for us, and does allow for a relatively short and simple answer to all the questions. I generally prefer links like this, because the Government of Canada is responsible for keeping them up to date, and will be better at it than we are. (We may have to update the answer if the website moves). Please check out my actual answer and see if it is adequate. – DJClayworth Jun 18 '14 at 2:44
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    @djclayworth but the we can close all visa questions, since the iata provides a nice website with visa information for all countries in the world. I wouldn't oppose considering visa questions of topic – user141 Jun 18 '14 at 4:52
  • This is de iata resource. iatatravelcentre.com – user141 Jun 18 '14 at 4:54
  • @GregHewgill Note that I am not saying there is a problem with the questions but rather with the attitude of people on this site. Many regulars vote to close down these visa questions, often pointing to other questions that are not really duplicates or don't provide an answer. But when we try to do something about it and to provide a few comprehensive answers (but still reasonably narrow – it's just a small part of Schengen regulations for example), others complain about it here. It's frustrating. – Relaxed Jun 19 '14 at 9:31
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To me it feels a bit sad when we start writing questions because someone else might have that question? I would argue we should not start to invent questions only to keep the website clean and organised.

No it is for transit visa, some time ago it was on sim cards. I would really wait for real questions to arrive.

So yes I object. Travel.se is great resource and we should not pollute it with artificial questions.

  • So how would you address the problem that if we wait for explicit questions to come in, they will be very specific and we end up having to write 1000 answers instead of one answer? (As well as 'polluting Travel.se with more questions than we need). Many questions also makes it harder for newcomers to find a question that is relevant to them? – DJClayworth Jun 17 '14 at 18:06
  • First of all I don't think we have to write 1000 answers. I rather have question remain unanswered until a very knowledgeable source comes and provide a legendary answer. I still have my share of questions which are waiting for these knowledgeable answers. It is not a bad thing to have 1000s and 1000s of question on this platform, unanswered they migrate into oblivion and some times thanks to google suddenly some of them get answered. I honestly we should have more confidence in this system – user141 Jun 17 '14 at 19:31
  • You typically don't need someone 'very knowledgeable' to answer these questions. They are easy to answer. But there might be a lot of them. – DJClayworth Jun 17 '14 at 19:35
  • @andra I don't think that's what this is about. The questions are there, the knowledge too. For example, we get a few new Schengen questions every week. Usually they is a small twist that makes the new question genuinely different and I don't want to close it as a duplicate but I can readily answer it. The question is should I wait for someone to come up with a new combination of airport/nationality/other visa every day or should I write an answer detailing my thought process and answering many future questions in advance? – Relaxed Jun 17 '14 at 19:59
  • If there is a disagreement, it should be about whether having a separate question for each nationality or for each airport is a good idea or not. But there is nothing artificial about the general question, it subsumes dozens of very real, already existing questions. – Relaxed Jun 17 '14 at 20:01
  • @relaxed Yes it is artificial because general questions are stated by a very select inner-circle of users and there is a serious danger there that what might look trivial and worth generalising to one, might contain some very small nuance for others. Then suddenly a question trying to express that nuance is closed as being a duplicate. Also, I really don't see any harm in thousands and thousand of "polluting" questions. What are a 1000 additional questions in the big-data cloud? The up-and-down vote system deals with that – user141 Jun 17 '14 at 20:52
  • @andra But the point is to cover all those nuances at once! You can certainly argue for separate questions but don't tell me that asking if a transit visa is required is an artificial question, it's a very real question people ask here regularly. – Relaxed Jun 17 '14 at 21:03
  • @relaxed But why this urge to cover it all at once? What is wrong with letting the people simply ask it? It might lead to duplicate questions, but so what? To me it really sounds like a dedain of "super travelers" who knows what is best for all. – user141 Jun 17 '14 at 21:11
  • @andra It seems a neat way to organize the information, it can be useful to more people. But as I said, I fully understand why you could argue for keeping separate question instead or in addition to the more general one. My point was merely that it's certainly not about asking artificial questions that no actual traveller is facing. – Relaxed Jun 17 '14 at 21:12
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    @andra The issue with 1000 questions is that it is difficult to find the one that relates to you. If there is one question about transit visas in Canada, then it is likely that it will show up high in a search. – DJClayworth Jun 18 '14 at 2:46
  • @DJClayworth Answering a lot of questions is what keeps a website alive, the users interested and traffic flowing. Creating a common question albeit might be more useful (if it gains enough popularity) and everyone could just link others to it) but I think this defeats the purpose of a Q&A website. – Aditya Somani Jun 18 '14 at 2:50
  • @AdityaSomani I guess that's a way of looking at it. I personally don't want to spend many hours answering all those questions. Also providing a link to the website that tells you means that everyone can now find out if they need a transit visa, without having to ask a question if their country hasn't shown up in the answers yet. – DJClayworth Jun 18 '14 at 2:53
  • @DJClayworth Then I'd recommend editing that question into something like "Is there a website where I can find visa requirements for Canada?" Because specific places might have specific rules even if they seem like they don't. For instance the Schengen area has the same rules for the Uniform C Visa but not for the Long Stay D Visa. – Aditya Somani Jun 18 '14 at 2:56
  • I thought I'd asked that. But edited anyway, to make it clearer. – DJClayworth Jun 18 '14 at 2:58
  • -1 The whole point of writing this kind of question is that many people do ask it. And they ask it again and again. It's not an "invented question": it is, literally, an FAQ and we repeatedly close new questions as duplicates of this one and it's sisters. – David Richerby Jan 3 '17 at 18:14

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