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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?

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  • Based on the flight numbers (and obviously the airline), it seems you are not going through France but through Frankfurt, Germany.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 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
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 0:43
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    @Raj, as Relaxed mentioned, what is the expiry of your old H1B visa? Commented Jun 30, 2014 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
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 11:27

8 Answers 8

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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)

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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.

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July 29 2019. Travelled via Munich to Delhi ,expired H1B . No one asks for extension. No one asked anything about it . Regular check-in. During the check in at Lufthansa website it clearly says expired H1B is fine and no transit Visa required.

Dear please check if you fulfill the following regulations.

Nationals of India transiting through Frankfurt (FRA) or Munich (MUC), arriving from a non-Schengen Member State with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight within 24 hours to a third country which is not a Schengen Member State. They must:- have a visa issued by Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland (Rep.), Japan, Romania, USA or United Kingdom, and- stay in the international transit area of the airport, and- have documents required for their next destination.

Nationals of India transiting through Frankfurt (FRA) or Munich (MUC), arriving from a non-Schengen Member State with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight within 24 hours to a third country which is not a Schengen Member State. They must:- have a used, valid or expired visa issued by Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland (Rep.), Japan, Romania, USA or United Kingdom, and- be returning from the country that issued the visa, and- stay in the international transit area of the airport, and- have documents required for their next destination.

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  • These rules are copied verbatim from Timatic, the database which virtually all airlines use to verify passenger travel documents. Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 1:35
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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 within 24 hours after the expiration of their visa, or

Please refer this link below. https://www.germany.info/blob/917514/fffb0bebdc4dca0c6744cc066bc3b7ca/airport-transit-country-list-data.pdf

The 24hrs rule is almost impossible to satisfy in general cases, where a person has valid I-797 but the H1B is expired. Typically in those scenarios people continue working and make a visit to home country for visa renewal whenever they get a chance.

So unfortunate this rule is!

You can also read this page to know some exceptions: Source: https://www.germany-visa.org/airport-transit-visa/

Still, there are some categories of people, who may be nationals of the above-mentioned countries, but if they belong to one of the following they do not need to obtain a visa of this kind:

  • holder of a US valid visa
  • holder of a valid or expired non-Schengen country visa issued by the US
  • holders of a valid visa for a Schengen Member State, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Japan, Romania or UK.
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https://www.germany.info/blob/917514/fffb0bebdc4dca0c6744cc066bc3b7ca/airport-transit-country-list-data.pdf

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
    Commented May 14, 2019 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. Commented May 15, 2019 at 3:54
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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... Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 22:31
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With expired US visa, one should avoid travelling through Germany. See the link below from Germany consulate which clearly explains it.

http://www.germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/05__Legal/02__Directory__Services/01__Visa/__Transit__Visa.html

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  • 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. Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 1:36
  • The link is dead. Commented May 15, 2019 at 3:50
  • The link is live, but doesn't support the statement in the above Answer. Downvoted. Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 22:15
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As of new rules published on April-2019, people CAN NOT travel with Expired visa even you have valid I-797

https://www.germany.info/blob/917514/fffb0bebdc4dca0c6744cc066bc3b7ca/airport-transit-country-list-data.pdf

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
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 17:05
  • What rules are these? Commented Apr 26, 2019 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. Commented Apr 26, 2019 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. Commented May 15, 2019 at 3:51

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