Crew members applying for visas as crew members must make an appointment for an interview. Please keep in mind that the Embassy can no longer offer same-day issuance of visas. Crew members should therefore make arrangements with a shipping agency or courier service to have their passport returned to the Embassy for visa issuance.
Types of Crew Visas
Merchant and Cruise Ship Crew
Crew members on a merchant or cruise ship or other commercial vessel can apply for visas that allow them to enter the United States on board the vessel as a member of the crew, or in transit by air when leaving or joining a vessel in a U.S. port (C1/D Visa).
Applicants for such visas should present:
Official letter from the cruise line or shipping company verifying employment and confirming arrival/docking dates in the United States;
Copy of the ship’s registry;
Any seaman’s permit or book they may possess showing a history of maritime service;
Any previous passports.
Crew members on yachts also need visas to enter the United States, even if they are nationals of visa waiver countries. In some cases, crewmembers work on yachts that enter the United States carrying or picking up paying passengers, in which case they need C1/D visas, as would crew on any passenger vessel. Alternatively crewmembers working on private yachts used for pleasure by the owner or his/her non-paying guests do not require the C1/D visa, but will need a B1 visa to enter the United States. In many cases, crewmembers on board a yacht used for different purposes on different visits to the United States will need both the C1/D and B1/B2 visas.
Yacht crewmembers should provide:
an official letter from their employer verifying employment and confirming arrival/docking dates in the United States;
a crew list showing all crewmembers working on the yacht;
a copy of the vessel’s registry;
any previous passports.
If you wish to remain in the United States for a holiday after your period of employment, you will be required to apply for admission as a visitor on a B-2 visa. During the initial interview, crew visa applicants may request that this B2 visa be issued in addition to the C-1/D visa. In this instance the MRV fee is waived for the second visa, but any reciprocity based issuance fees will still apply.
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