Learn About Crewmember or C1/D Nonimmigrant Visa

Learn About Crewmember or C1/D Nonimmigrant Visa

People from foreign countries visiting US for a short time will need a nonimmigrant visa. The visa will be on the basis of their reasons to visit. One of them is crewmember visa or the D-visa or C1/D visa.

What is D-visa and C1/D visa?

It is nonimmigrant visa for those working on international airlines or commercial sea vessels that pass through the US. The U.S Crewmember visa can be categorized into two – D-visa and C1/D visa. There is a little difference between them.


D-visa is used for passing through America for vessel’s or airlines normal operations, so there are many restrictions. They are not allowed to –

  • Extend their stay
  • Work for other company except the airline of vessel they were in
  • Enroll in study program
  • Apply for status change
  • Apply for green card
  • Perform long shore work
  • Leave the US from another airport or dock
  • Apply for visa before 6 months, after leaving.

C1-D visa

If crewmember has to travel to America first then board the airline or vessel a combination of D and C-1 visa is given, so called C1-D visa.

Both forms of visas are valid for 29 days. Within this time you can move around the US turf but leave country inside that timeframe.

Eligibility for C1/D visa

Most crucial requirement is that you must have a job on an airline or vessel passing through the US. Job position requirements are –

  • Pilot or flight attendant on commercial plane
  • Engineer, deckhand or captain on sea vessel
  • Cook, waiter, lifeguard or supporting staff on the cruise ship
  • Trainee on training vessel

D-visa is not possible if you are –

  • Performing dock duties
  • On fishing vessel with operating base in the US
  • Working on private yacht docked in home port or in the United States for over 29 days
  • Substitute coasting officer
  • Crewmember on vessel sailing to Outer Continental Shelf

You can apply for B-1 visa rather than D-visa in these situations.

Steps to apply for crewmember visa

  1. File form DS-160, online
  2. Pay visa issuance fees
  3. Create a supporting document file
  4. Schedule a visa interview
  5. Reach on time

If you gave all the required documents at the visa interview and passed, it will take 3 days to 2 weeks for the embassy to send an approval. After an approval in a couple of weeks you will get your passport.


Categories: Travel

About Author