C-1 Transit Visa


A C-1 transit visa needs to be used by any crew member who is serving onboard a sea vessel or aircraft in the United States. Crew members who are on an aircraft or ship that will be traveling through United States in the air or the water usually use a combination of a transit/crew visa. This is a combination of C-1 and D visa. In some cases, the crew member may only require the D visa.

Crew members who will be coming to the United States aboard a vessel within the Outer Continental Shelf might qualify for a modified B-1 Business Visa instead of a crew visa. In order to qualify for a C-1/D visa the purpose of your trip must be to enter the U.S. only for transit or crew purposes. You must not intend to be paid by a U.S. Company while in the United States unless you have already been approved for a temporary work visa. You must plan to stay for a specific and limited amount of time in America. You can prove that you have funds that will cover all of your expenses while in the United States,

To apply for this visa you need to fill out the complete the application form. Unless your visa is sponsored directly by the United States government, you must pay a visa application fee. After sending in your application, you must schedule an appointment with the U.S. Embassy for final approval. An incomplete application or incomplete interview process will result in a denial of your C-1 transit visa.

If you will be entering the United States during your time-off between flights or cruises you should obtain a B-1 Business Visa / B-2 Tourist Visa visa to use on your personal/vacation days. If you apply for the C-1/D and B-1 Business Visa / B-2 Tourist Visa  at the same time you will only need to pay one application fee.

A Transit Visa is a visa for all non-immigrant visas for people traveling continuously through the United States while enroute to another country. Typically, anyone who is a foreigner serving on a vessel headed for the United States, should obtain this visa. You will be required to have a Transit C-1 visa if:

  • A foreign citizen will have a brief layover in the United States when traveling to another country.
  • A passenger on a cruise ship that makes port in the United States that has no intention of landing in the US.
  • A crew member traveling to the United States as a passenger to join a ship or aircraft as an employee. This person would also need a crew member visa.

A Transit C Visa can’t be used for:

  • A layover in the United States that is for the primary reason of visiting friends or sightseeing.
  • If you’re a coasting officer
  • A crew member of a private yacht sailing out of a foreign port on US waters for more than 29 days.

An online Non-immigrant Visa Application must be filed along with a photograph. Then an interview will be set up in order for you to apply for the transit visa.

The required documentation you must bring with you to the interview includes a:

  • Passport
  • Non-immigrant Visa Application
  • Application fee payment receipt
  • Photo

Additional documentation your expected to present during your interview includes:

  • Your reason of entry in to The United States is to transit while traveling onward to another country and that you intent to leave The United States.
  • Proof that you can pay all of your costs while residing in the United States
  • Proof of residence in your home country and your intent to return there

It is not guaranteed that you will be issued a visa so, it’s important that you do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you officially get your visa.