I am travelling from US to India, with an Indian passport but expired F1 visa and going there to get my H1B visa stamping. I have a stop at Frankfurt, Germany for 4 hours while flying to India. Do I need a transit visa for my trip?

  • Yes, the questions is same...except I want to clarify specifically for Frankfurt. – AmitM May 22 '14 at 21:12
  • @GregHewgill As it happens, the rules are different. – Relaxed May 22 '14 at 21:12
  • 1
    Yes, I understand the rules are different, but it just seemed very strange to me that the questions would be worded so very similarly. – Greg Hewgill May 22 '14 at 21:13
  • @Relaxed: Can you give some details? – AmitM May 22 '14 at 21:14
  • @GregHewgill: Here I confess... I copy pasted it.... Will I be caught for plagiarism :P – AmitM May 22 '14 at 21:16

We have many related questions but I couldn't find one addressing this exact situation. Relevant information can be found on Germany.info and Lufthansa.com.

Indian citizens do need a transit visa in Frankfurt unless exempted under some other rule, which includes having a valid US visa (which is apparently not your case) or

If they return from the USA after having used the visa (however, the return has to occur within latest four days after expiration of the validity of the visa)

That's a bit odd given the way US visas work but it's apparently the way it's interpreted in Germany. So depending on the expiration date of your F1 visa, you could be exempted under this rule. Otherwise, you will need an airport transit visa.

EDIT: The clause has now disappeared from the website (see archive.org). In the Schengen visa code, the exemption is for

third-country nationals holding a valid visa for a Member State or for a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, Canada, Japan or the United States of America, or when they return from those countries after having used the visa.

That rule most definitely hasn't changed but the German interpretation might have. I am not sure how it works in practice.

  • Thanks Relaxed. Very Helpful... Unfortunately in my case: 1. F1 Visa expired 6 months back 2. I have I-797(H1b Visa Approval notice) But the rule states: "Please note that the advance parole and the approval notice (I-797) are not valid documents for visa free airport transit!". Which means I will need transit Visa :( – AmitM May 22 '14 at 21:31
  • @AmitM Yes, I though so, it's often the case. The logic of the rule is that you would typically have a visa for all your stay or even a little more (which is the case in European countries and elsewhere) and would still be covered by this visa when returning. US visas don't work that way, however. – Relaxed May 22 '14 at 21:40
  • @AmitM Can you share the link where you saw the rule? As per the german consulate website and lufthansa airlines los angeles, I don't need a transit visa (I am in the same situation as you). – 500865 Oct 7 '14 at 19:10
  • 1
    @DJClayworth Since I wrote both the standard question and its answer, I would know but I don't think it fully addresses this particular issue. – Relaxed Apr 16 '15 at 13:58

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.