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C-1/D, Crewmembers

Crew/Transit: C-1/D

These visas are issued to individuals who are in immediate and continuous transit through the U.S., such as crew members of international airlines or crew members joining a ship. Another example is a person travelling on business from Brazil to Dominican Republic through the U.S. In determining who qualifies for a C-1/D visa, the following factors are considered: (1) the nature of the individual’s job duties; (2) when the duties are performed; (3) whether the individual has a permanent connection with the vessel; and (4) whether the individual’s presence facilitates the operation of the vessel. The majority of C-1/D visas are issued to crew members of cruise liners and include, but are not limited to, beauticians, entertainers, lifeguards, waiters, cooks, doctors, nurses, etc.

Individuals who enter the U.S. with C-1/D visas are only allowed to stay for a maximum of 29 days. They cannot extend their stay, change their immigration status to another status, or adjust their status to U.S. permanent resident. There is one exception–an individual on a D-1 or D-2 visa may be eligible for adjustment of status if an immigrant petition or labor certification application was filed on his or her behalf prior to April 30, 2001, and he or she was physically present in the U.S. on 21 December 2000.

How to Qualify for a C-1/D:

Applicants must show that they qualify under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Since the presumption in the law is that every visa applicant is an intending immigrant, applicants for Crew member/Transit visas must demonstrate that:

  • The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for crew-related business or transit.
  • They plan to remain for a specific period only.
  • They possess a ticket or other assurance of transportation departing the U.S.
  • They have sufficient funds for transit.
  • They have a residence outside of the U.S. as well as other binding obligations which will insure their return abroad at the conclusion of their trip.

How to Apply for a C-1/D

All nonimmigrant visa applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 must attend a personal visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. The following is needed when applying for a C-1/D visa:

  1. Letter from the employer confirming employment.
  2. If not covered in the employment letter, evidence of the travel itinerary and the ticket showing the planned departure from the U.S.
  3. Documentation showing that the applicant has significant ties to his or her country of residence and intends to return there after his or her temporary stay in the U.S.
  4. Evidence of sufficient funds for transit.
  5. A DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, which must be completed and submitted online. A passport-style photograph must also be scanned and uploaded when completing the DS-160. 
  6. A valid passport. There should be at least six months of unexpired validity and at least one blank page to insert the machine-readable visa.
  7. Payment of the visa issuance fee, where required. Please contact Ferman Law which can advise as to which nationalities must pay a visa issuance fee and the fee amount.

How Ferman Law can help you:

At Ferman Law, we discuss with our clients the feasibility and type of petition which is appropriate. We prepare the required forms and assist our clients with the collection of the extensive supporting documentation. Once all of the supporting documentation has been collected, we file our clients’ petitions with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Texas Service Center. Thereafter we prepare our clients’ immigrant visa applications. An immigrant visa application includes a medical examination by a physician approved by the U.S. Embassy and a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy.

In all of the five employment-based preference categories, extensive documentation is required. To better serve our clients it is suggested that you contact our office by phone or e-mail to arrange an office consultation to discuss qualifying in one of these categories.