Important Travel Document Information – Please Read
Pilot or flight attendant on a commercial airline captain, engineer, or deckhand on a sea vessel lifeguard, cook, waiter, beautician, or other service staff on a cruise liner student on board a training vessel are examples of travel objectives that need Crewmember (D) Visas.
A foreign national seeking to enter the United States must first get a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Crewmember (D) visas are nonimmigrant visas for people who work on board commercial sea vessels or international flights in the United States, providing services that are required for normal operation, and plan to leave the country on the same or another vessel within 29 days. In addition to a crewmember (D) visa, you’ll need a transit (C-1) visa or a combined C-1/D visa to travel to the United States to join the vessel you’ll be working on.
If any of the following apply to you then you must apply for the highlighted visa instead of a D-visa:
- B-1: While the boat is docked at a U.S. port, the main services you’ll provide are dry dock repairs under warranty.
- H-2: Fishing Vessel, you are a crewmember aboard a fishing vessel with a home port or operational base in the United States on a temporary basis.
- B-1: When an officer of a foreign vessel is granted home leave and the vessel does not remain in U.S. waters for more than 29 days, you are a replacement coasting officer.
- B-1: You are a crewmember on a private yacht that will be cruising in US waters for more than 29 days after leaving a foreign port.
- B-1: Outer Continental Shelf: You are a member of a crew that is travelling to the Outer Continental Shelf.
- Passport valid for travel to the US – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your stay in the US (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each person who requires a visa, including any family members indicated in your passport, must complete a separate application.
- Confirmation page for the Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160). We will provide this for you.
- Passport style photograph
- You can apply for a crewmember visa even if you are not working at the time of your application. The crewmember visa, on the other hand, can only be utilised to enter a U.S. port if you are employed on the marine vessel or aircraft arriving.
- It is impossible to predict whether or not you will be granted a visa. Make no final trip plans or purchase tickets until you have received your visa.
- Holders of a crewmember (D) visa must leave the United States on a ship within 29 days. The mainland United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands are all considered part of the United States. You are not regarded to have left the United States unless your vessel enters international seas and is bound for a foreign port.
- The operational base is where the vessel receives supplies on a regular basis, where the vessel’s cargo is sold, and where the vessel’s owner or master conducts business.
- Whether it’s your spouse or your children, the choice is yours.
- If your spouse and unmarried minor children will not conduct services essential for the vessel’s normal operation, you may apply for visitor (B) visas to join you.
- If your spouse and/or children wish to visit the United States for a different reason, they must apply for the visa category required for that trip. Examine each visa category.
- An expired passport with a valid US visa is still valid. A visa is valid until it expires unless it is cancelled or revoked. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not discard it. You may travel and enter the United States with your valid visa in your expired passport and a new valid passport.
A transit (C-1) visa is required if you travel to the United States to meet and board the vessel on which you will be working. (This is in addition to the crewmember (D) visa that must be obtained in order to work on the ship.) The consular officer interviewing you may ask for proof that you are transiting to meet the vessel, such as a letter from your employer or employer’s agent.
If the reciprocity schedule for your country of citizenship allows for issuance of a C-1/D visa and the consular officer determines you are qualified, you may be awarded a combination C-1/D visa if you apply for the transit (C-1) visa at the same time as your crewmember (D) visa. For further information, click on the nation reciprocity schedules.