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C1/D Visa

A crew member visa or D visas are immigrant visa. Used for seamen joining ships or commercial airlines that transit US territories. This type of visa allows the crew to transit through the country and can stay for a maximum of 29 days. Allows embarking crew to join vessels or airlines in the US. This visa is a combination of a transit or C1 visa and a D visa.

Gather Required Documentation

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Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

      • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family member mem listed in your passport.
      • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
      • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview
      • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.

Additional Documentation May Be Required

A consular officer will interview you to determine your qualifications for a crewmember visa and may request additional documents. If transiting the United States to meet a vessel, be prepared to provide evidence you are transiting to meet the vessel, for example, a letter from your employer or your employer’s agent.

Additional requested documents may include evidence of:

      • The purpose of your trip;
      • Your intent to depart the United States after your trip; and/or
      • Your ability to pay all costs of the trip. 

Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country. If you cannot cover all the costs for your trip, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your trip.

Attend Your Visa Interview

A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive a crewmember visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the visa in the category for which you are applying.

Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans are taken as part of the application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.

After your visa interview, the consular officer may determine that your application requires further administrative processing. The consular officer will inform you if this is required.

After the visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance fee (if applicable to your nationality), and make arrangements for the return of the passport and visa to you. Review the visa processing times to learn more.

Crewmembers Traveling to Meet Vessels

If you travel to the United States to meet and board the vessel you will work on, you need a transit (C-1) visa. (This is in addition to the crewmember (D) visa required to work on the vessel.) The interviewing consular officer may request that you provide evidence you are transiting to meet the vessel, for example, a letter from your employer or employer’s agent.

If you apply for the transit (C-1) visa at the same time as your crewmember (D) visa, you may be issued a combination C-1/D visa, if the reciprocity schedule for your country of citizenship allows for the issuance of a C-1/D visa, and if the consular officer determines you are qualified. Select the country reciprocity schedules for more information.

Additional Information

    • You may apply for a crewmember visa without being employed at the time of your visa application. However, the crewmember visa may only be used for entry to a U.S. port if you are employed on the sea vessel or aircraft on which you arrive.
    • There is no guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
    • Crewmember (D) visa holders must depart the United States on a vessel within 29 days. The United States is defined as including the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You are not considered to have departed the United States until the vessel you are on travels to international waters destined to a foreign port.
    • The operating base is where the vessel takes on supplies regularly, where the cargo of the vessel is sold, or where the owner or master of the vessel engages in business transactions. 
    • Spouse or Children –
      • Your spouse and unmarried, minor children may apply for visitor (B) visas to accompany you, if they will not perform services required for the normal operation of the vessel.
      • If your spouse and/or children plan to enter the United States for another purpose, then they must apply for the visa category required for that purpose of travel. Review all visa categories.
    • A valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.