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C1-D Visa: Who needs it, and how long does it last?

What is a C1-D Visa

The C1-D is a combination visa for people who need to board a ship as a crew member and must travel through the U.S. to get to the vessel. The visa permits temporary stays, up to 29 days, in the United States as part of their employment.  

What is a C1-D visa? 

​The C1-D visa is a combination of two visas: the C1 transit visa is a non-immigrant visa for people traveling through the United States en route to another country. The Crewmember (D) visa is for people working on board commercial sea vessels or international airlines in the United States.

Who needs a C1-D visa? 

If you travel to the United States to join the vessel you will work on- you will need a C1-D visa.

Typical applicants for the C1-D visa include sea vessel captains, engineers, deckhands, and cruise ship staff. The visa also covers trainees on board a training vessel, pilots, and flight attendants. Crew members on ships who travel to the U.S. on a C1-D visa must leave the country on their vessel within 29 days.

It is important to note that individuals are not eligible for a C1-D visa if their vessel is in dry-dock. The D-2 visa allows travel to the U.S. for those serving as a crewman on a marine vessel, who will depart on a different ship than when they arrived- such as if their original vessel is in dry-dock.

Those who are coasting officers or working on the outer continental shelf are also not covered by the C1-D visa. Employees of vessels or units operating on the Outer Continental Shelf require the B-1 OCS visa.

What are the requirements for a C1-D visa? 

An individual's responsibilities and activities on board the ship are taken into consideration when determining whether they qualify for the C1-D visa.

During the application process, crew members may need to present a seaman's book and a letter from an agency confirming their employment. The letter should include the applicant's name, information on the purpose of the trip, a job description, the crew member's rank or position, the length of the contract, the location of the ship, the name of the vessel, and the itinerary of the ship.

Furthermore, applicants must provide an "intention to return," which is proof that he or she retains permanent residency outside the United States and intends to travel to the U.S. only for a temporary stay.

C1-D applications are usually submitted at the U.S. consulate of the country in which the applicant lives.

How long is the C1-D Visa valid? 

The length for which a C-1/D visa is valid depends on the applicant's nationality and is determined through the reciprocity schedule. This schedule determines the validity periods, numbers of admissions, and visa fees based on each country's treatment of similar classes of U.S. visitors to its territory. Other factors are taken into consideration as well, such as national security and immigration issues.

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Tuesday, 28 June 2022