Travel to India from USA via Europe with expired H1B

Does one need a transit visa to transit via Europe (Frankfurt in my case) while traveling to India from USA. Here is my situation:

  1. Current H1B is expired but H1B extension is approved, have the new I797 and going to India to get i the visa stamped.
  2. Traveling by Air Canada . Have first layover in Canada and got the transit visa for Canada
  3. Second layover is Frankfurt, the only stop in Schengen region.

Please advice if I need a transit visa for Frankfurt.

Really appreciate any help on this.

Thanks In Advance!


Hi @sbwp

A user on our other forum truvisa recently reported that he was able to travel through Franfurt without any transit visa with expired H1B:

Thanks a lot for your quick response Anil.

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Hi Sneha,

I am in a similar situation like yours. Were you able to fly through Frankfurt without any issues?

According to recent change in their rules, persons with expired US-Visa cannot transit through Germany without transit visa or matching any of their exception conditions mentioned in Germany Transit Visa requirements

Hi @nikpmd

Are you sure? Why would you not be allowed to fly through Frankfurt if you have valid passport for your destination country?

The US visa rule exists for your journey from India to US and transiting through Frankfurt.

What do you mean by ‘recent’ changes? When did the change happen?

I’m unable to post links on the forum yet. Before April 2019, they used to allow people with expired US Visas to transit through Germany. Now they added that transit should be within 24 hours of Visa expiration. So people with expired US Visas cannot transit through Germany without a transit Visa or one of the other country Visas mentioned.

  1. 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
  1. they hold a valid visa for a Schengen Member State, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia,
    Cyprus, Ireland, Japan, Romania or UK, or


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Ok…thanks for the links.

In that case, follow the rule written on the official site.

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A post was split to a new topic: Is Canadian transit visa required while going from US to India?

I heard that, the connecting flight is within 24 hours, specified 5 airport and immediate destination is not a schengen country then transit visa not required. can anyone confirm that?

Below statement i got from official page

The Federal State of Germany has around 300 active airports spread throughout its whole territory. However, not all of them can be used for transiting. In these five airports in Germany, you can stay at the International Transit Area without a visa:

  • Frankfurt/Main airport (open 24 hours)
  • Munich Airport (open 24 hours)
  • Hamburg Airport (4:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. only)
  • Düsseldorf Airport (6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. only) and if the airline has arranged the transit beforehand with the authorities responsible for cross-border security (the Federal Police)
  • Cologne/Bonn Airport (4:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. only)
  • Berlin Airport (06:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. only) at Berlin-Tegel, for Air Berlin passengers only.
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I am planning to travel to US from India on recently stamped H4 Visa.
My layover is in Frankfurt Germany. Due to the recent restrictions announced by some countries because of increasing Covid cases in India, will I be allowed to travel through Frankfurt Germany? and do I need any transit Visa?

Hi, I am also facing similar kind of situation, looking for urgent help.
My Visa Stamp is already expired, but I have valid extension. For Stamping I would be travelling to India in couple of months ,via SFO - Frankfurt - Delhi . Question is , will at Frankfurt I have to take VOA to board Delhi flight.? or my current extension document should be sufficient?

Did you face any problems? Did you take a transit visa to pass through Frankfurt?