I intend to travel from a non-Schengen country to the United States via air and transit through the Frankfurt Airport. I understand such transit does not require entry to the Schengen Zone, however the relevant presidential proclamation has

noncitizens of the United States (“noncitizens”) who were physically present within the Schengen Area

And so this is not clear: the transit area is legally not part of the Schengen Zone but is it physically?

For example this answer has

Airport transit areas are exempted from immigration regulations, but they are very much the country's property, under its authority and jurisdiction.

  • I have completely rewritten the question to make the problem more clear and consequently deleted my incorrect answer.
    – chx
    May 13, 2021 at 2:07
  • What is your citizenship? What non-Schengen country are you coming from? How long have you been in that non-Schengen country? May 13, 2021 at 2:31
  • 2
    Since the Frankfurt Airport is physically within the Schengen Area, when you are there you are physically present within the Schengen Area. May 13, 2021 at 5:38

1 Answer 1



Transits through airports in countries that are on the list of bans for entry into the US count as physical presence there, so no, a non-exempt non-US citizen cannot currently travel to the US via Frankfurt or any other airport in the Schengen Area (and other countries similarly banned).

The US Embassy in the Hague wrote:

Travelers with a U.S. #visa or valid #ESTA who are outside the EU are not permitted to #transit Schengen Area airports on their way to the U.S. Transiting the #Schengen Area subjects travelers to travel restrictions regardless of where their journey began.

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