July 12, 2021. 
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

U.S. Crewmember Visa | Requirements and Application Process

Are you planning to work on a commercial sea vessel or for an international airline that goes through the United States? A Crewmember (D) visa allows you to transit the United States, and stay for a maximum of 29 days.

What is a Crewmember visa?

Crewmember (D) visa is a U.S. nonimmigrant visa for people who work on commercial sea vessels or for international airlines that go through the United States. The maximum amount of time you can spend in the U.S. with a crewmember visa is 29 days. In case you have to travel to the United States first and then board the vessel or airline to provide services as a crewmember, you will need a different visa. For that purpose, you’ll need a combination C1/D visa (transit (C1) visa and crewmember (D) visa) which will allow you to stay in the U.S. for a maximum of 180 days.

Whether you choose a C1, D, or C1/D visa depends on your situation and purpose of travel. A crewmember (D) visa is intended for a short stay only and it comes with various restrictions that you have to keep in mind while applying. The application process itself can often be complicated and exhausting since different steps need to be taken. Certain requirements need to be met and, in some cases, you may qualify, but you’ll need a different type of visa than the one you originally applied for.

VisaExpress immigration and visa consultants are here to provide online support and you can schedule your consultation with us whenever it is convenient for you/at your convenience. Our customer service is available 24/7, and we’re here to answer all of your questions.

U.S. Crewmember visa eligibility

Before you start the process, you need to check whether you are eligible for a crewmember visa. Please see the requirements and restrictions in the tables below.

You qualify for a crewmember visa if you are in the following job positions:

  • flight attendant or pilot on a commercial airplane;
  • captain, deckhand, or engineer on a sea vessel;
  • lifeguard, waiter, cook, or other supporting staff on cruise ships;
  • trainee on board a training vessel.

You do not qualify for a crewmember visa if you are:

  • a dry dock worker making repairs to a boat that is docked at a U.S. port;
  • a fishing vessel employee;
  • a substitute coasting officer;
  • a crewmember going to the Outer Continental Shelf;
  • a private yacht crewmember who will be in the United States for more than 29 days.

In case you fall into one of the categories which don’t qualify for a crewmember visa, no need to worry! We are here to help you find out which visa type is the right one for your situation. We also help you understand the requirements for that particular visa type and handle your application end-to-end for the highest success chances. Simply visit our official Crewmember visa page to get started, and we will take care of the rest.

Required documentation

Be sure to gather and prepare the necessary documents before your visa interview. You will need a passport valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States. However, this does not apply to those countries that are on the six-month club list. In case your country is on the list, you are exempt from the six-month rule and you only need to have a passport valid for your intended period of stay.

You’ll also need to fill out the DS-160 application form. The good news is that we’re here to provide online support and answer any of your questions. Not submitting one of the necessary documents might result in a visa denial. To avoid that, you can turn to VisaExpress consultants, start the process with us, and make things easier for yourself.

As additional documentation, you’ll also have to submit the documents regarding the purpose of your trip, your ability to pay the costs of the trip, and your intent to depart the United States afterward.

Visa interview

At the interview, the Consular Officer will ask you about the work you’re planning to do, the transit stops you’ll have to make, and the amount of time you plan to spend in the United States. Try to be as specific as possible when providing the details regarding your travel plans. You should memorize the addresses of all the important locations or, even better, write them down. Bring all the necessary documents with you, answer questions truthfully, and try to be as calm as possible.

Note: Citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not require visas to enter the U.S. for the purpose of travel as a crewmember.

You can count on our help

If you wish to learn more about the U.S. visa process, our entire team of online consultants is here to help you. Our customer service is available 24/7, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.


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