I am travelling to India via Frankfurt. My current visa status is on H1B extension with approved I797. I checked the German consulate site on the transit visa requirements and it says transit visa is exempt 'If they return from the USA after having used the visa'

Do I need a Transit visa while travelling to India via Frankfurt on H1B extension? Has anyone faced similar situation?


2 Answers 2


The general rules are explained in Do I need a visa to transit (or layover) in the Schengen area? but it seems you have already figured them out and the answer is still somewhat ambiguous for your situation.

The website of the German Missions to the United State is clear on one thing, the approved I-797 is not enough:

Please note that the advance parole (I-512) and the approval notice (I-797) are not valid documents for visa free airport transit on your way back to the United States of America.

The text also implies that someone holding an I-797 could fly from but not back to the US (otherwise it would say it's not valid, period), presumably on the basis of the “return from the USA after having used the visa” rule you mentioned yourself.

One issue is that some countries have or had rules like “within 6 months” of the entry into the US or not more than X days after the end of the US visa's validity. So the “return after having used the visa” clause might or might not apply and unfortunately I don't know precisely how it's handled in Germany. If the exemption does not apply, Indian citizens do need an airport transit visa, even for airside transit, as you probably know.

In practice, they are not always the most helpful but you could try to contact the consulate and see if they can provide details. The airline will also have to decide whether they let you board or not (if they think you don't have the right to transit, they could get in trouble and your trip would end before your plane even leaves the US) so it might be worthwhile to ask them what they require. Hopefully someone there knows the rules a bit better than we do.


I flew back from US to India via Frankfurt and no transit or any other visa was required, because transit passengers stay in the secure zone before immigration.

  • 2
    That's not helpful at all because it depends on citizenship, some people do need a visa, even if they stay in the international transit area of the airport.
    – Relaxed
    Mar 24, 2015 at 9:34
  • Based on the fact that I am from India and the OP is from India (nationality) and have used H1s/ I-797s, the same transit rules apply. Of course, there could be additional information which is not posted that the OP is from a 'red flagged' nation who is on a 'must have transit visa' list.. But no such information is presented and from the information above, the person is Indian passport holder and is taking I-797s and could have new H1 stamped in India before heading back.
    – Alex S
    Apr 2, 2015 at 10:04
  • Seriously, you are being self righteous and over zealous because you wanted to Up your answer.. Be happy. Noticed you doing it on many answers and apparently you know how to hack the system to increase your reputation.
    – Alex S
    Apr 2, 2015 at 10:05
  • At this point, I don't really care about 10 points but it sure seems you do. Truth is I regularly upvote ‘competing‘ answers, as the badges will attest. I understand it's more convenient for you to indulge in some conspiracy theory but your as it stands your answer is simply inaccurate and unhelpful because the mere existence of sterile transit facilities does not imply that everybody is exempted from the visa requirement.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 2, 2015 at 10:41
  • The reason I commented on several of your answers (I am not even the person who downvoted them) is because you seem to be taking visa issues way too lightly. Consequences can be serious and vague uninformed answers can put people in trouble. “I did this, nothing happened“ or “I think it should be fine“ just don't cut it.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 2, 2015 at 10:44

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