The C1/D Visa, also known as the Transit or Crewmember Visa, is aimed at people hired by cruise ship companies so that they may be free to transit and board ships or vessels within the United States.
The tourist industry based on cruises in that country is of gigantic proportions. Every year, at least 20 million people board at ports located in the United States to enjoy their vacations, in addition to the different cruise crew members, such as: cooks, waiters, cleaning staff, maintenance staff, etc., who also get onboard at these ships.
Big cruise company need a continuous flow of workers (crewmembers), and many of these hire workers from other countries, either directly or through authorized employment agencies.
How to reque the C1/D Visa?
The first thing to do is to go through a selection process and have a cruise company hire you. You must have an official letter in which it is stated that you have been hired, and you must present it before the embassy or consulate where the Visa petition is processed.
Then, you must fill form DS-160 online. Depending of the Embassy or Consulate, you will be asked to upload a digital photo during this process. In some cases, you will have to bring the photo with you on the day of the interview. Thus, make sure you have thoroughly reviewed the requirements of the Embassy or Consulate before which you will appear. You must print the confirmation message after filling the form. Remember that this is an essential document that you must bring to the interview.
You must follow the instructions given to you after filing the form for the payment of fees. Each country follows different rules, but since the country of application is selected when starting to fill the form, you just have to follow the instructions.
Remember that if the Visa application processing fees are not paid you will not be able to make an appointment for your interview.
The next step is making the appointment for your interview.
Limits of the C1/D Visa
This Visa will be valid within the time period that is indicated on the Visa itself. If it expires before the passport does, you will have to travel with the new passport and with the (expired) one that contains the Visa.
The C1/D Visa, even if it is still valid, cannot be employed to work in the United States in any other industry than that for which it is intended. Thus, a waitress hired to work on a cruise will not be able to legally stay in the country to work at a restaurant without before obtaining a different type of Visa – one that allows them to legally work in that new industry.
You cannot stay in the United States either if there is not a current contract between you and a cruise company.