If a Crew member serving aboard a commercial sea vessel or international aircraft, decides to disembark for a stopover in the US, such person requires a crewmember Visa. Let’s take a closer look at the Crewmember Visa.
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What is a Crewmember Visa?
Crewmember Visa or D Visa is a non-immigrant US visa issued to those working aboard commercial sea vessels or International aircraft, who intend to stopover in the US en route to another country.
Just like the Transit (C) Visa, the Crew-member Visa is for a short stay in the US. Crewmember Visa holders are allowed to stay in the US for a maximum of 29days, after which they are required to leave the US on the same vessel they boarded, or another.
Sometimes, the Crewmember (D) visa is issued alongside the Transit visa. For instance, as a crew member, if you intend to enter the US first before you board a vessel or an airline, you are required to have a C-1/D Visa.
The C-1/D visa is a combination of the Transit (C) Visa and Crewmember (D) visa. Crew members working aboard vessels within the Outer Continental Shelf are required to get a B-1 visa, instead of a crewmember visa.
If a crew member intends to enter the US for sightseeing or to visit a friend, during time off between flights or cruises, such person is required to get a B-1 or B-2 Visa. Crewmember Visa does not give such privileges.
Crewmember Visa Requirements
To qualify for a Crewmember (D) Visa, you must meet one of the following requirements:
1. You must be a foreign crew member. This includes pilots, air hostesses, stewards, flight attendants, etc.
2. Your services must be needed on the sea vessels or airlines for a normal and smooth operation. The following professionals may qualify under these criteria:
- Flight attendant in a commercial airplane
- A chemist employed on board
- Trainee on board of a training vessel
- Engineer, Lifeguard,Cook, waiter, cook, etc
How To Apply for a Crewmember Visa
To get a crewmember visa, you must first apply following these simple procedures:
Complete Form DS-160
You are required to complete Form DS-160 correctly with your personal information. Ensure you print out the Form DS-160 confirmation page after completing the form. In case you need help filling the Form DS-160, you can contact a trusted third-party immigration expert like immigly.com.
Upload your Photograph
You’re required to upload a passport photograph. Your uploaded passport photograph must be in accordance with the US photograph requirements.
Pay for Your Visa
The Crewmember (D) Visa costs $160. You are required to pay this non-refundable fee. Ensure you keep your receipt intact after making payment.
Kindly note that if you’re applying simultaneously for both a C-1/D and a B-1/B-2 Visa, you will still be required to pay $160 only.
Schedule an Interview
You are required to schedule an interview with the US Embassy. After scheduling the interview, you will be issued an interview appointment letter. Make sure you keep to the date and time indicated in the appointment letter for your visa interview.
Compile the Required Documents.
You’re required to compile the following documents ahead of your Crewmember (D) visa Interview.
- Form DS-160 Confirmation page
- Your Valid Passport
- Your interview appointment letter
- A photograph in accordance with the US Visa photo requirements
- Relevant certificates to prove you qualify to work in a sea vessel or airline.
- Your job title and role
- Proof of employment from your employer
- Letter from your employer stating; the name of the vessel; date and port of entry and exit.
- Travel Visa fee receipt
- Amount of time you intend to stay in the US
- Proof that you’re permitted to enter the country of your final destination
- Criminal records (if any)
- Evidence showing that you will not exceed the time limit of your Crewmember Visa.
Go for Your Visa Interview
You’re required to attend an Interview with the US Embassy. Ensure you go with the required documents listed above.
How Long Does it take to Process a Crewmember Visa
It could take 5 working days or more to process a crewmember visa. However, it all depends on the workload of the US embassy where you applied. If you don’t get your Crewmember (D) visa after 2 weeks, do not panic. You will be contacted by the US Embassy as soon as your Visa is available.
How Long Can I Stay in the US With a Crewmember Visa?
Crewmember Visa only permits you to stay in the US for 29 days. If your crewmember Visa expires, it cannot be renewed. You can only reapply 6 months after leaving the US.
Can I Bring My Family on a Crewmember Visa
There is no dependents Visa category for the family of crewmember Visa holders. However, family members or dependents of a crew member visa holder can only accompany the Crew member, if they apply for a tourist visa (B Visa) or qualify for the Crewmember (D) Visa
Can I Change My Crewmember Visa Status
No, you cannot change the Crewmember Visa status to a green card or other non-immigrant visas.
The Crewmember Visa is usually for a short period of time. It is only for those working in commercial sea vessels and airlines passing through the US.
Therefore, crewmember Visa holders are restricted from visiting friends, studying, or working with a different company aside from the sea vessel or airline they boarded to the US.