September 16, 2021. 
Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

10 Most Asked Questions About U.S. Crewmember Visa

Congratulations! You finally got that exciting job with an international cruise line. You have your contacts, you’re doing the preparations, and you’ve just received your travel plan. The ship that you’ll be working on as a crewmember will make occasional stops in the United States. The rule is that you need a U.S. visa for transiting the U.S. while working as a crewmember. Take a look at this list of frequently asked questions about the C1/D visa that will get you a better understanding of what you can expect next.

1. I will work as a stewardess on a non-U.S. airline that will make stops in the United States. Can I travel with the B1/B2 visa?

Kindly note that you’ll be working on an aircraft while you’ll be transiting the United States. That is why you’ll need the U.S. crewmember visa. It is good you know the route in advance, double-check how long you’ll be staying in the United States, and see if your travel purpose matches the U.S. crewmember visa. If you’re planning to travel to the United States for tourism or business, start your B1/B2 visa process with VisaExpress.

2. I will work on a cruise ship that plans to dock in a U.S. port only once. I don’t plan on getting off the ship and landing my foot on U.S. territory. Do I need a U.S. visa at all?

Even if you won’t set foot outside of the ship, you’ll still need the C1/D visa. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will allow the ship to dock on U.S. territory only if every crewmember and guest can enter the U.S. legally.

3. What will increase my chances of getting my U.S. crewmember visa approval?

Gather as much information about your future job post. Find out where you’ll be staying, who will cover your expenses, and how long you’re planning to stay. Try to determine what transit stops you’ll be making in the United States while you’ll be working. Having a route plan will help the Consular Officers realize the importance of you having the U.S. crewmember visa. Try to be as specific as possible, as that will present you as a serious candidate who knows where they’re heading.

4. What are the requirements for the C1/D visa?

Each one is equally important, but having a work contract with an employer who represents a sea vessel company or an aircraft whose travel route includes stopping at the U.S. territory says you need the C1/D visa. In addition, you need to have a favorable background and enough money to financially support your stay in the United States. You can easily check if you may qualify for a C1/D visa by using our free C1/D visa eligibility checker.

5. Can I do some sightseeing on the U.S. Crewmember visa?

Even though you’ll be allowed to stay in the United States for up to 29 days, sightseeing is not within the description of the U.S. crewmember visa. Your primary intention shouldn’t be to do tourism but to transit the country. This is especially important when you arrive at your visa interview. When the Consular Officer asks you why you need the U.S. crewmember visa, the only correct answer is that you’re planning to transit the United States while working on a non-U.S. sea vessel or aircraft. Be careful not to mention tourism or any other travel intention such as immigration. Provide a clear and concise reply regarding your objective need for getting the U.S. crewmember visa.

6. I applied for a Visitor visa in the past and got rejected. Will that affect my present C1/D visa application?

If you are asked about the reason for your past visa denial, be prepared to describe what you deem as the cause which prevented you from getting a Visitor visa. These two visa types fall into the category of non-immigrant visas and the information why you didn’t get your Visitor visa will most probably help you improve your prospects now.

7. Do I need an invitation letter?

It would be amazing if you obtain an invitation letter and we can help you with that. This would improve your chances significantly. Ideally, the invitation letter should be written on behalf of your employer. Don't worry, we'll answer any questions you might have about your invitation letter and the communication between you and your point of contact.

8. What will the Consular Officers want to know during my visa interview?

You will be interviewed by one Consular Officer who will want to be sure that you’re not planning to immigrate to the United States. They will also want to know about your ties to your country, your personal and professional background, and the reason why you’ve applied for the U.S. crewmember visa at all.

9. I’m sailing on a ship where I’m working at the moment. I want to renew my U.S. crewmember visa. Can I do the entire process online without going to the Embassy?

Due to the latest rules regarding U.S. visa renewals, you might renew your visa without attending an embassy or consulate if your visa expired within the last 48 months. VisaExpress agents provide you with online support and consultation at your convenience.

10. I would like to bring my family members to the U.S. as they’ll be traveling with me. Can I do that?

That would be amazing as it would save your time remarkably. Yet, your family members traveling with you will need to apply for a Visitor visa. The least we can do is help your family members save their time and have a hassle-free experience by starting the process with VisaExpress. We understand that U.S. visa regulations are detailed and specific - there are almost no exceptions. That is why we make things easy for you and invite you to accept our helping hand.

The collection of frequently asked questions about the U.S. crewmember visa wants to clear your doubts about the possibilities and limits of this visa type. After you fill out the preliminary VisaExpress questionnaire, you get your personal visa online consultant who takes charge of the process and does the hard work for you. If you have any additional questions, don't hesitate to reach out - we'll be happy to help!


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