This is a visa for crew members of ships and planes to arrive in the United States for a limited stay of fewer than 29 days, normally scheduled to depart on the same vessel. Often these crew members are granted a transit visa C-1 which allows them to enter the U.S. to transit to another carrier/vessel. If applied for jointly with a D-Visa, you may be issued a combined C-1/D-Visa
The application process will vary depending on which U.S. Embassy or Consulate you apply at. Before sending off any documents, be sure to check with the receiving Embassy or Consulate’s website and requirements. Applications can usually be found online, listed as Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160. You will need to print out the application, fill it out, and bring it to your interview along with a passport photo taken within the last six months.
After preparing your application, schedule an interview with your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Applicants aged 13 years and younger, or 80 years and older, generally do not require an interview, though be sure to contact your local Embassy or Consulate to be certain. If you are not currently located in your home country, due to the conditions of your employment, you may apply through the Embassy in the country you are currently located. Be prepared for a lengthier application process, though.
The amount of time you will have to wait to receive an interview varies based on your location, the time of the year, and the type of visa for which you are applying. For the best results, apply early.
For your interview, you should prepare:
● $160 non-refundable application fee;
● Provide a color passport photo taken within the past six months that reflect your current appearance.
● Fee payment receipt for proof of payment;
These documents are to be submitted along with form DS-160, as discussed above. Each applying individual must submit a separate application form with their own passport.
During the interview, an officer will question you to determine whether or not you qualify for a crewmember visa. You may be asked to provide additional documentation. These often include:
● Evidence of transit from one vessel to another
● Purpose of your trip
● Ability to pay any expenses for the trip
Having proof of a family member, employer, or business in the country is often evidence enough to show a purposeful intent to enter the country. If you personally do not have the funds to cover the cost of the trip, you may use another person’s information, provided you have evidence of a connection.
Please note that you will not qualify for this type of visa if you are coming to the U.S. for:
● Dry dock repairs;
● Fishing vessel with home port in the US;
● Private yacht staying in the U.S. for more than 29 days;
● Outer Continental Shelf – crew members in transit to the Outer Continental Shelf are not granted a D visa.
It is best to obtain a B1 visa if you are seeking to enter for these purposes. If traveling with family or dependents who will not be performing duties on the vessel, they should also apply for a B-Visa.
29 days after entry into the United States, anyone holding a D visa must depart American waters or they will be held responsible for overstaying their visa. This means that the vessel must have entered international waters within the time limit. International waters are classed as 12 nautical miles from any U.S. port or territory, including Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the continental U.S., and the Alaskan archipelago.