I am starting a new degree program as a PhD student in the US. My visa is expired and I plan to go to my country to renew my F1 visa with a stopover in Germany.

Do I have to get the transit visa in this case?

Edit: Indian.

  • 3
    And your citizenship is? Jun 4 at 5:15

1 Answer 1


An I-20 is not a visa. So yes, you need a transit visa for Germany if your US visa has already expired.

Per Timatic https://www.timaticweb2.com/integration/external?ref=d975cfc59f5c0abd06d16e872198110b&modify=1

When transiting through Germany with an expired visa issued by Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Ireland (Rep.), Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Romania or USA, the visa must be valid when departing from the country that issued the visa.

You can also check on the IATA site https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/

  • 1
    I would note that this condition doesn't comply with the text of the Schengen Visa Code, but that doesn't help prof32 as it is surely less of a hassle to get an airport transit visa than to get Germany to change its interpretation of the visa code. It's clear from Germany's website that they have given almost no consideration to the user experience of travelers using ATV passports. The US site mentions nothing about the exemptions, and the Indian site barely mentions ATVs at all. The document checklist for applicants in the US requires s valid US visa, which is ludicrous.
    – phoog
    Jun 5 at 12:07
  • 1
    Actually I had another look at the code, and it was amended in a way that suggests a change in the meaning of the clause concerning return trips from the country that issued the visa. I believe that no change was intended. The ambiguity may also be a consequence of the widespread unawareness of how US and Canadian visas work. Regardless, this is all the more reason why no traveler would want to take it to court -- success would be by no means certain.
    – phoog
    Jun 5 at 13:03

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