Crewmember (D) visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons working on board sea vessels or international airlines in the United States, providing services required for normal operation and intending to depart the United States on the same vessel or any other vessel within 29 days. If you travel to the United States to join the vessel you will work on, in addition to a crewmember (D) visa, you also need a transit (C-1) visa or a combination C-1/D visa.
How to Apply
Step 1. Check the Validity of Your Passport
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States, unless exempt by country-specific agreements (PDF – 57 KB). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
Step 2. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
Please note that you must answer EVERY question on the application forms. If the answer to a question is “none,” please write “none”(Do not leave it blank). Incomplete/incorrect forms will be returned and will require you to schedule a new interview appointment.
Important! Many of our visa applicants are completing the DS-160 incorrectly, causing us to postpone their planned visa interview dates.
Step 3. Collect any Supporting Documentation
A passport, DS-160 confirmation page, a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months – with a light or white background, and the forms listed in Step 2 are required for the visa interview.
In addition, one week before their interview, applicants or crew agents should submit the following:
- Continuous Discharge Certificate
- Join Ship letter
- Equasis check
- Letter of Employment or Letter from Local Agent containing
- Applicant Info:
- Job Title/Rank
- Passport #
- CDC #
- Vessel Info:
- Joining Date
- Joining Port
- For D visa (city and country name)
- For C1 or C1/D visa (port and state name in the U.S.)
Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. If transiting the United States to meet a vessel, be prepared to provide evidence you are transiting to meet the vessel, for example, a letter from your employer or your employer’s agent. Additional requested documents may include evidence of:
- The purpose of your trip;
- Your intent to depart the United States after your trip; and/or
- Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.
Step 4. Schedule an Interview Appointment
To schedule an appointment for a non-immigrant visa (NIV) interview, please consult the Embassy’s online NIV Appointment System. Please have your DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form Confirmation Number handy. It is located on your DS-160 confirmation page, in bold print.
Step 5. Pay the MRV Fee
On the day of your interview, please pay the following nonrefundable visa application fees to the consular cashier: $160 for B-1 (Business), B-2 (Tourism & Visit) and C1/D (Crewmember) nonimmigrant visas; and $190 for H, L, O, P, Q and R visas. Payments must be in U.S. or local cash using the current consular exchange rate. No cards are accepted for payment.
Submit the completed DS-160 confirmation sheet, documents specified above, if any, a 5 cm. X 5 cm. (2 X 2 inch) color photo not older than 6 months (white background and no eyeglasses), and a passport valid for more than 6 months, to the Consular Section when you arrive at the Embassy for your interview.
If you are issued a visa, you will usually be invited to return to the embassy in two days to collect your passport and visa.
Step 6. Interview for your visa with the Consular Officer
During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under the U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.
Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.
You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov.
Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.
If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information on Ineligibilities and Waivers on usvisas.state.gov.
- You may apply for a crewmember visa without being employed at the time of your visa application. However, the crewmember visa may only be used for entry to a U.S. port if you are employed on the sea vessel or aircraft on which you arrive.
- We cannot guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
- Crewmember (D) visa holders must depart the United States on a vessel within 29 days. The United States is defined as including the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You are not considered to have departed the United States until the vessel you are on travels to international waters destined to a foreign port.
- The operating base is where the vessel takes on supplies regularly, where the cargo of the vessel is sold,or where the owner or master of the vessel engages in business transactions.
- Spouse or Children –
- Your spouse and unmarried, minor children may apply for visitor (B) visas to accompany you, if they will not perform services required for normal operation of the vessel.
- If your spouse and/or children plan to enter the United States for another purpose, then they must apply for the visa category required for that purpose of travel. Review all visa categories.
- Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.