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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?

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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 at 17:23
  • Thanks for the clarification, I've edited my answer accordingly. – Mophotla Oct 24 at 17:29
  • Thank you guys. This was very helpful. – Ronit Patel Oct 26 at 2:19

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