I am planning to travel from US to India, for which there is a Lufthansa flight that goes through Frankfurt. There I will be switching from one Lufthansa flight (Lufthansa 9053) to another (Lufthansa 758). The layover time in Frankfurt is around 2 hours.

I am an Indian citizen. I am on H1B visa with an approved extension (has the new I-90 form). But the visa has not been stamped yet in my passport. I would like to know if it is legal for me take that itinerary through Frankfurt (or) do I need a transit visa?

  • Based on the flight numbers (and obviously the airline), it seems you are not going through France but through Frankfurt, Germany. – Relaxed Jun 27 '14 at 22:10
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    Note that LH9053 is NOT a Lufthansa flight, but instead a codeshare of United 903 (a high 4 digit flight number is normally a giveaway for most airlines that it's a codeshare). – Doc Jun 28 '14 at 0:43
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    @Raj, as Relaxed mentioned, what is the expiry of your old H1B visa? – Aditya Somani Jun 30 '14 at 0:53
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    @Raj Extension aside there is already a visa in your passport. Will that visa be expired by the time you will travel? – Karlson Jun 30 '14 at 11:27

Based on German Missions in the United States

Airport Transit visa

Nationals of the following countries are required to be in possession of an airport transit visa when passing through the international transit area of airports in Germany:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iran, Iraq , Jordan*2, Lebanon, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Turkey *1

Exceptions: Nationals of the above named countries Do NOT require an airport transit visa if

  1. they hold a valid visa for the United States of America, or

2. they hold a used valid or expired visa issued by the USA and return from the USA and travel to a non-Schengen Member State, or

Please refer this link below.

https://www.germany.info/blob/917514/80e28ec8a47bb057c06ca4023b155842/airport-transit-country-list-data.pdf (https://www.germany.info/blob/917514/80e28ec8a47bb057c06ca4023b155842/airport-transit-country-list-data.pdf)


Yes you can. I had my friends travel Charlotte to Mumbai via Frankfurt with extension visas. Their current stamps had expired. They got new stamping done in India during their stay.

If you go via UK, its a trouble.

Amsterdam, Frankfurt, middle east all are fine. I travelled in same situation as yours in May this year via Amsterdam.



I797 is not valid, an airport transit visa is needed now in 2019.

Please note that the advance parole (I-512) and the approval notice (I797) are not valid documents for visa free airport transit. An airport transit visa must be obtained.

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    Welcome to Travel! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Machavity May 14 at 15:18
  • You have quoted an official document out of context, making your answer misleading and wrong. The document actually restates the same information as in East Indian's answer. – Michael Hampton May 15 at 3:54

Official papers supporting your Visa status should be enough. Not getting stamped in passport is happening all the time. In some countries, immigration officers wont understand it first until they read some magical numbers on some currency notes. You are well aware of some such countries, aren't you ?

If you have sufficient papers to prove you were genuine person to be in USA, you can start planning your journey, IMHO.

I would contact Lufthansa as well as German embassy in addition to attempts on internet. It will help to get their version to a great extent.

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    I would not recommend trying to bribe German immigration officials... – Zach Lipton Apr 19 '16 at 22:31

With expired US visa, one should avoid travelling through Germany. See the link below from Germany consulate which clearly explains it.


  • The German consulate doesn't appear to say that you should avoid travelling through Germany with an expired US visa! It just says that an expired US visa might not be enough on its own to get you onto the plane or through immigration in Germany. – David Richerby Apr 20 '16 at 1:36
  • The link is dead. – Michael Hampton May 15 at 3:50

As of new rules published on April-2019, people CAN NOT travel with Expired visa even you have valid I-797


Please note that the advance parole (I-512) and the approval notice (I797) are not valid documents for visa free airport transit. An aiport transit visa must be obtained.

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    Do you have a source for these new rules? – Mophotla Apr 26 at 17:05
  • What rules are these? – Michael Hampton Apr 26 at 18:16
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    Neither the German embassy in USA nor Timatic are giving any indication of "new rules". If there are some "new rules" published somewhere, please show them and their source. Otherwise I recommend you delete the answer, as it will continue to accumulate downvotes. – Michael Hampton Apr 26 at 21:29
  • You have quoted the document out of context, which makes this answer entirely wrong, despite having sourced an official document. The document actually restates the same information which is in the (correct) answer above from East Indian. There is also nothing new here; it has worked this way for years. – Michael Hampton May 15 at 3:51

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