I am traveling from the USA to India on Lufthansa, transiting through Frankfurt (same terminal - one-hour layover). I have a USA F1 visa sticker with an expiry date of two years from now - 2026, on my recently expired passport. I renewed my passport and have a new passport. Internally in the US, my immigration status was changed from F1 to H1B through Change of Status approval (I-797)

Would I need an Airport Transit Visa to transit in Frankfurt while flying from the US to India? I understand I need H1B stamping to reenter the states.

  • As far as I understand it you will need an H-1B visa to enter the US in H-1B status. You can't use your F-1 visa to enter in any other status except under the automatic revalidation program, which you cannot use on this trip because it only applies to trips within "contiguous territory and adjacent islands" (i.e., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean).
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 21:36
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    They are going back to India, so I suppose they are going for a visa restamping on their new passport there @phoog Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 21:54
  • @NicolasFormichella I must have read the first sentence over hastily as I did indeed think that this question concerned the return from India to the US.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


You are normally subject to holding an Airport Transit Visa, but by the virtue of holding a valid (if it is multi entry) visa or from coming back from the US, you are exempt from one

  • they hold a valid visa for the United States of America, or
  • they hold a used valid or expired visa issued by the US, return from the US and travel to anon-Schengen Member State within 24 hours after the visa expired, or
  • Thanks, Nicolas. I appreciate your time and input. I am trying to understand/interpret "a valid" visa. My F1 visa is unexpired, in my old passport. However, my immigration status was changed to a different visa; as you said, I don't have that new visa stamp.
    – kk3001
    Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 22:25
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    @kk3001 Your visa is pure valid then, and I wouldn't worry very much about it, only the airlines would see it and they will see it facially Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 22:28
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    Your immigration status has got nothing to with the validity of the visa. Visas are issued by the State Department and immigration status by USCIS (Homeland Security). As long as the visa hat not been canceled/revoked and the expiry date is in the future, the visa is valid. A US visa just a travel document authorizing you to travel to the US to request entry for a purpose under the visa category. Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 10:22
  • Perfect. Thank you, Nicolas and @ThomasCruise. This is very helpful
    – kk3001
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 14:11

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