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I'm an Indian student in US with a valid F-1 visa and I-20 documents. These are my flight details:

  1. NYC -> Frankfurt -> Istanbul. The layover at Frankfurt is less than 24 hours, and I'm going to take a Turkish visa. Will I require a transit visa in Germany?
  2. If I take a (cheaper) flight like NYC -> Zurich -> Frankfurt -> Istanbul, will I need a transit visa / Schengen visa?

I've looked for similar questions but haven't found any exactly matching the locations on my itinerary.

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marked as duplicate by Aditya Somani, Mark Mayo, choster, Gagravarr, Gilles Aug 2 '14 at 17:37

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

You will need a transit visa for the other option because it requires you to pass border control. You will not need one for one stopover at Frankfurt, because you won't pass border control and will stay in the transit area. That said, unfortunately this question has been answered several times on this website. – Aditya Somani Aug 2 '14 at 5:53
@Aditya: For the second option, a transfer visa will not suffice, since he will regularly be entering the Schengen area. The answer to the question you're linking to is wrong. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Aug 2 '14 at 8:36
@Tor-EinarJarnbjo Schengen Area does not do transit visas anyway. The OP will need a Uniform C visa. – Aditya Somani Aug 2 '14 at 8:38
I don't think the question is a duplicate. The Vienna/Frankfurt only covers a small part of it. Most importantly, the OP is flying to Turkey with a Turkish visa (and not going from or to India like so many other people). It doesn't change the answer in this case but it is far from obvious and therefore a reasonable thing to ask. – Relaxed Aug 2 '14 at 17:07

Your first option should enable you to transit without a visa, thanks to your US visa. Otherwise, Indian citizens do need an airport transit visa in Germany.

Your second option is covered in earlier questions, in particular Is a Schengen visa/transit visa required for transit flight from Vienna to Frankfurt? You would need a type C Schengen visa (and not an “airport transit visa”) as you would enter the Schengen area in Zurich and take a flight between Schengen countries.

All the rules are detailed in Do I need a visa to transit in the Schengen area?

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