C Visa or Transit Visa is issued to foreign nationals in transit through the US. For example, if you’re travelling to a foreign country and need to stopover in the US; you will require a transit Visa.
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Just like other US non-immigrant visas, the C Visa has eligibility requirements and Application procedures which will be discussed in this article.
What is US Transit Visa?
C Visa is a non-immigrant US visa for foreign nationals travelling continuously through the US on a stopover while in transit to a foreign destination. Most foreign nationals need a transit visa for a layover in the US, aside from citizens of some countries, who do not need a visa to enter the US.
The C Visa only permits you for a short stay in the US before you make a move to your next destination. As a traveller, if you decide to visit a friend or go for an excursion in the US, you are required to apply for other visas like B1 or B2 visa—C visas don’t grant such privileges.
Which Countries Require Transit Visa
Citizens of foreign countries that do not belong to any of the following categories, will most likely require a Transit Visa for a stopover in the US.
- The 38 countries under the US Visa Waiver Program. Refer to this article for the full list.
- Mexico and Canada (for NAFTAN Professional Workers)
- Bermuda and Canada
However, if you hold another US Visa type that is valid, you are not required to have a C visa for a layover in the US because the valid Visa already permits you to enter the US.
C Visa Requirements
To be eligible for a U.S. C visa, you must meet one of the following requirements.
- You must be a foreign national on transit to their final destination. The US cannot be your final destination
- A foreign government official on transit through the US for a function that is work-related.
- You must be a United Nation official on transit to the United Nation headquarters in New York City.
Types of C Visa in the US
The following are the types of C visas in the US:
The C1 Visa is a general Transit Visa issued to foreigners passing through the US to their final destination.
The C2 Visa is a Transit Visa issued to United Nations officials travelling to the UN headquarters in New York City.
C3 visa is a Transit Visa issued to foreign government officials in transit through the US. C3 Visa holders must be travelling for work related purposes to be eligible for the C3 transit Visa.
How To Get C Visa
To get a C visa, you must first apply following these easy steps:
Complete Form DS-160
Ensure you correctly fill the Form DS-160 with your personal information. You’re required to print out the Form DS-160 confirmation page after completing the form. If you need help filling the Form DS-160, you can contact a trusted third-party immigration expert like immigly.com.
Pay for Your Transit Visa
You are required to pay the nonrefundable transit Visa fee of $160. There might be extra charges depending on the type of C Visa you’re applying for. Keep your receipt after making payment.
Schedule an Interview
You might be required to attend an interview with the US Embassy. It is advisable to schedule an interview early enough to avoid delay.
Compile the Required Documents.
You’re required to compile the following documents ahead of your Transit Visa Interview.
- Form DS-160 Confirmation page
- Your Valid Passport
- 2 photographs in accordance with the US Visa photo requirements
- Travel itinerary
- Travel Visa fee receipt
- Your social media handles
- Proof that you’re permitted to enter the country of your final destination
- Travellers who are HIV positive are required to present a medical report showing their health condition
- Evidence showing that you will not exceed the time limit of your C visa.
Go for Your Transit Visa Interview
You’re required to attend a Transit Visa Interview with the US Embassy. Ensure you go with the required documents listed above.
How Long Does it take to process a Transit Visa?
It could take up to 5 working days to process a Transit Visa. However, it all depends on the workload of the US embassy where you applied. If you don’t get your C visa after 5 working days, do not panic. You will be contacted by the US Embassy as soon as your C visa is ready.
How Long Am I Permitted to Stay in the US With a Transit Visa?
You’re only permitted to stay for 29 days or till the departure date in your ticket, whichever comes first.
Can I Bring my Family with the US Transit Visa
If you intend to bring your family while on transit through the US, they are required to have their C Visas as well. Dependents of a C Visa holder are not issued a different Visa.
Can I Change the US C Visa Status
No, you cannot change the US C Visa status to a green card or other non-immigrant visas.
The US Transit Visa is usually for a short period of time. It is only for those transiting through the US. Therefore, you’re not allowed to visit friends, study, or work with a US Transit Visa. However, there are other Visa types that give you such privileges. You can check them out in our previous article on US Visa types