I am traveling to India from USA with a 7 hr layover in Frankfurt. I have valid F-1 visa till Jun 2020 (unexpired). But this year from OCT 1, 2019, my status has been changed to H-1. I do not have H-1 stamped on my passport. Do I need transit visa? Does airline person has information regarding non immigrant status in USA?


Timatic is the database which the airline (Lufthansa?) uses to decide whether to let you board the flight, and it says the following:

National India (IN)             /Transit Germany (DE)
Destination USA (US)    

[Visa Information - Transit] Germany (DE)

[Information For Normal Passports]
TWOV (Transit Without Visa):
Visa required, except for Nationals of India transiting
through Frankfurt (FRA) or Munich (MUC), arriving from a
non-Schengen Member State with a confirmed onward ticket for a
flight within 24 hours to a third country which is not a
Schengen Member State. They must:
- have a visa issued by Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus,
  Ireland (Rep.), Japan, Romania, USA or United Kingdom, and
- stay in the international transit area of the airport, and
- have documents required for their next destination.

So you're fine if you have a valid visa issued by the United States, which your F-1 visa is.

It would surprise me if the airline agent knew anything about your U.S. immigration status, but let's still distinguish two cases:

  • If they know about your H-1B status and request to see the H-1B visa, answer truthfully that you haven't gotten it yet, but you have an old visa (F-1) with you that is still valid.
  • If they don't know about your H-1B status (and this should be the case), then don't mention it at all and just present your unexpired, valid F-1 visa, which permits you to transit Frankfurt visa-free.
  • There is a difference between holding a H-1B visa and being in H-1B status. The person does NOT have a H-1B visa, even though they are in H-1B status (and that status will expire the moment they leave the US, so isn't relevant). However I agree the F-1 is all that is needed.
    – Doc
    Oct 24 '19 at 17:23
  • Thanks for the clarification, I've edited my answer accordingly.
    – Mophotla
    Oct 24 '19 at 17:29

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