Transit/Ship Crew Visa

On this page:


FAQ

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 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 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

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 old passport with your previous U.S. visa, if you had one and if available.
  • One (1) 2"x2" (5cmx5cm) photograph taken within the last six months. This web page has information about the required photo format.
  • A receipt showing payment of your US$160 non-refundable nonimmigrant visa application processing fee paid in local currency. This web page has more information about paying this fee. If a visa is issued, there may be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, depending on your nationality. The Department of State's website can help you find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.
  • Professional seafarers must present seaman's books when applying for a C1/D visa. Note: If you have obtained a new seaman’s book recently, but have served on vessels before and have your previous book in your possession, please bring it with you for your visa interview.
  • All crewmembers working on air and sea carriers must present an original employment letter or work contract when applying for a C1/D visa.
  • An envelope with your address label that will be used by the Embassy to return your visa and documents to you. You should e-mail velokurjers@velokurjers.lv or call tel. +371 200 00041 to request the address label for your visa pass-back. The subject line of your e-mail should be - S. visa application delivery request.
  • 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 other documents to support your application.

How to Apply

Step 1

 Determine your visa type by reading Common Nonimmigrant Visas. Each visa type explains the qualifications and application items. Choose the visa type that applies to your situation.

 

Step 2

 The next step is to complete the DS-160 Form. Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully. All information must be correct and accurate. Once the form is submitted, you cannot make any changes. If you need assistance, please consult an immigration lawyer or translator. The call center cannot help you complete your DS-160. You will need your DS-160 number to book your appointment.

Step 3

Once you have determined the correct visa type and completed the DS-160, you must pay the visa fee. The visa fee page lists the visa types and correlating visa fee in U.S. dollars and local currency.

To pay your visa fee, read the Bank and Payment Options page. This page explains how to make your visa fee payment. You will create a profile and must keep your CGI reference number to book your visa appointment.

Step 4

Now you will need to log in to your profile with the same credentials you used to pay your visa fee. Once you are in the system, you will see your dashboard.

Click on Schedule Appointment on the left-hand side menu.

This will start the process for scheduling your appointment. You will need:

  • Your passport number.
  • The CGI reference number from your Visa Fee receipt. Click hereif you need help finding this number.
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page.

As you go through the process you will be able to select your visa type, enter personal data, add dependents, confirm visa payment, and schedule your interview appointment. If you are renewing your previous U.S. visa that is still valid or expired less than 24 months ago, you may be able to mail-in your documents to the Embassy without a visa interview.

 

Step 5

 Use SIA Velokurjers e-services page or contact SIA Velokurjers by e-mail at velokurjers@velokurjers.lv or tel. +371 200 00041 to arrange your visa delivery to you. The subject line of your e-mail should be -  U.S. visa application delivery request.  

SIA Velokurjers will provide guidance on payment options for the visa delivery service and send you an e-mail with your address label information. You will have to print this label and glue it on an envelope. You MUST bring this envelope with you for your visa interview and submit it to the Consular Section along with your passport and visa application documents.

If you select the option to renew your visa without a visa interview, Use SIA Velokurjers e-services page   or contact SIA Velokurjers by e-mail at velokurjers@velokurjers.lv or tel. +371 200 00041 to arrange your document delivery to the Embassy AND your visa delivery to you.

Please note!

  • ALL visa applicants are required to use only SIA Velokurjers services for sending and receiving their documents to/from the Embassy.
  • Each application/individual MUST have a separate address label. The courier's security and safety rules require separate tracking of each passport.
  • Groups of applicants and family members may NOT use one envelope, address label, or tracking number for all their application documents.

 Step 6

Visit the U.S. Embassy Riga on the date and time of your visa interview. Be sure to check the Schedule My Appointment page for the necessary documentation needed for your appointment.

 Step 7

If your visa is approved, your documents including the passport with the visa will be sent to you in your envelope with the address label from SIA Velokurjers.

Supporting Documents

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.

Although supporting documents may assist you in your interview, consular officers rely primarily on the interview to determine your eligibility for a visa. In other words, supporting documents are voluntary (except for those listed previously) and of secondary importance.

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 Riga in a sealed envelope. The U.S. Embassy Riga will not make your information available to anyone and will respect the confidentiality of your information.

More Information

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