I am an Indian Citizen currently working in USA on H1b visa. I will be travelling from Boston to New Delhi (India) via Zurich. Please help me out with information if I will need a transit visa to go via Zurich or not. I have a 1hr 45mins stopover in Zurich.

I have a valid Indian Passport but my currently stamped H1b visa is expired. I have a valid I-797 which I will use to get a H1b visa stamping in India. I have a confirmed round trip ticket to come back to Boston.

Please let me know if I need a Transit Visa in Zurich based on my situation.


You do not need a visa in this case. In the Schengen area, most people can transit in international airports without a visa if they don't leave the transit area. This only works if you have only one layover in the Schengen area (so a BOS-FRA-ZRH-BOM route would not be OK because both FRA and ZRH are in the Schengen area).

However, even if you only have one layover, there are restrictions for the citizens of some countries (so-called annex IV countries). India is not one of them but individual Schengen member states can add other countries to that list and transit for Indian citizens is in fact restricted in several member states. Specifically, transiting in Germany, France, Spain and the Czech Republic is not possible for Indian citizens without an “airport transit visa”. You can still transit in Zurich because Switzerland does not impose the same requirement.

Finally, a valid US visa would exempt you from the airport transit visa requirement where it applies but AFAIK the I-797 is not considered a valid document for visa-free transit.

  • 2
    perfect answer. went to india via zurich smoothly. no schengen visa required. – ragas Jan 16 '15 at 20:07

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