Transit (C visa)
A citizen of a foreign country traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the United States enroute to a foreign destination requires a valid transit visa. Exceptions to this requirement include those travelers eligible to transit the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program or travelers who are nationals of a country which has an agreement with the United States allowing their citizens to travel to the United States without visas.
If the traveler seeks layover privileges for purposes other than for transit through the United States, such as to visit friends or for sightseeing, the applicant will have to qualify for and obtain the type of visa required for that purpose, such as a B-2 visa.
Crew (D visa)
A crew member serving onboard a sea vessel or aircraft in the United States needs a crew visa. Crew members of an aircraft or ship that will be transiting through the United States or its waters generally use a combination transit/crew visa (C-1/D). However, in some cases, individuals may only require the D visa.
Crew members who work aboard vessels within the Outer Continental Shelf, may qualify for a modified B-1 visa in lieu of a crew visa.
Crew members who will be entering the United States during time-off between flights or cruises should also obtain a B-1/B-2 visa to use during these personal/vacation days. Applicants applying simultaneusly for both a C-1/D and a B-1/B-2 visa pay only one visa application fee.
To apply for a transit visa, you must show:
- Intent to pass in immediate and continuous transit through the United States.
- A common carrier ticket or other evidence of transportation arrangements to your destination.
- Sufficient funds to carry out the purpose of your transit journey.
- Permission to enter another country upon departure from the United States.
To apply for other C, D or C-1/D visas, you must demonstrate to a consular officer that:
- The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States solely for transit or crew purposes.
- You do not intend to be paid by a U.S. source while in the United States, unless you have been granted proper approval for a temporary work visa.
- You plan to stay for a specific, limited period of time.
- You have evidence of funds to cover all expenses while in the United States.
Applicants whose crewing agents are members of the Crew Visa Program (CVP) should follow the instructions provided to them by their agent.
To apply for a transit or crew member visa, you must submit the following:
- A Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form. Visit the DS-160 webpage for more information about the DS-160.
- A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person desiring a visa must submit an application.
- One (1) 2"x2" (5cmx5cm) photograph. This page has information about the required photo format.
- If applicable, a seaman's book valid beyond the expiration date of your employment contract and all prior seamen's books. Crew members must submit an official report of loss if they are unable to submit the book.
In addition to these items, you must present an interview appointment letter confirming that you booked an appointment through this service. You may also bring whatever supporting documents you believe support the information provided to the consular officer.
How to Apply
Pay the visa application fee.
Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.
Schedule your appointment on this web page. You will need three pieces of information in order to schedule your appointment:
- Your passport number
- Your MRV fee payment receipt number
- The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
Visit the U.S. Embassy/Consulate on the date and time of your visa interview. You will need to bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, your DS-160 confirmation page, one recent photograph, your current passport and all old passports. Applications without all of these items will not be accepted.
Supporting documents are only one of many factors a consular officer will consider in your interview. Consular officers look at each application individually and consider professional, social, cultural and other factors during adjudication. Consular officers may look at your specific intentions, family situation, and your long-range plans and prospects within your country of residence. Each case is examined individually and is accorded every consideration under the law.
Caution: Do not present false documents. Fraud or misrepresentation can result in permanent visa ineligibility. If confidentiality is a concern, you should bring your documents to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in a sealed envelope. The U.S. Embassy/Consulate will not make your information available to anyone and will respect the confidentiality of your information.
You should bring the following documents to your interview. Original documents are always preferred over photocopies and you must bring these documents with you to the interview. Do not fax, email or mail any supporting documents to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
- Current proof of income, tax payments, property or business ownership, or assets.
- A letter from your employer detailing your position, salary, how long you have been employed, any authorized vacation and the business purpose, if any, of your U.S. trip.
- Where appropriate, an itinerary and/or other information about your planned trip. (This can be tentative.)
- Bank savings account books or other evidence of liquid assets that indicate the balance in your accounts and account activity.
- Real estate lease or deeds.
- For crew:
- All current and prior seamen's books/credentials
- A letter from your company's headquarters or the vessel owner describing your position, the vessel you are joining (including International Maritime Organization identifying number), and the vessel's route
- A copy of the crew list, with original certification by the port master
For more information about transit visas and visas for crew members, visit the Department of State's website.