Transit/ Crew Visas

FAQ

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Overview

Transit (C visa)

A citizen of a foreign country traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the United States en route to a foreign destination requires a valid transit visa. Exceptions to this requirement include those travelers eligible to transit the U.S. without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program or travelers who are nationals of a country which has an agreement with the U.S. 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 U.S., 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, like  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 transit 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 simultaneously for both a C-1/D and a B-1/B-2 visa pay only one visa application fee.

Qualifications

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.

Application Items (required)

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 web page 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.
  • Your expired passports issued within the past 10 years
  • One color photograph 2"x2" (5cmx5cm) taken within 6 months against a white background (Please paperclip your photo  to the upper left corner of the DS-160 confirmation page). This web page has information about the required photo format. *Please note that applicants are not permitted to wear eyeglasses in photos.
  • An interview appointment letter confirming that you booked an appointment through this service.
  • 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.

Non-Japanese applicants must also include:

  • Photocopy(both sides) of the Japanese Alien Registration Card or “Zairyu” card

In addition to these items, please also bring any documents that you believe support t your application. If your visa is issued, there may be an additional visa reciprocity fee, depending on your nationality.  Click here for more information about visa issuance reciprocity fees.

How to Apply

Application procedures vary between consular posts. Click here for complete details.

Airline Crew Information
Please make sure to select visa type as “C1/D”

U.S. Embassy Tokyo:
Airline Crew appointments are required through here.

U.S. Consulate General Osaka/Kobe:
Airline Crew appointments are required through here.

Supporting Documents

Supporting documents are just 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 accorded every consideration under the law.

You are encouraged to bring the following documents to your interview. English translations must be attached to all documents:

  • 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.
  • Detailed travel plan: Route and approximate dates. (This can be tentative.)
  • Copy of bank savings account books or other evidence of liquid assets that indicate the balance in your accounts and account activity.
  • For crew: a letter from your employer confirming employment and requesting a crew visa or valid contract from the ship owner.
  • Valid visa for the country of destination, if required.
  • 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.

Caution: Do not present false documents. Fraud or misrepresentation can result in permanent visa ineligibility.

More Information

For more information about transit visas and visas for crew members, visit the Department of State's website.