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C-1 Visas - Transit Visa

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C-1 Visas - Transit Visa
C-1 Visas- Transit Visa


Transit (C) visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the United States enroute to another country, with few exceptions.

Travel purposes which require a Transit (C) Visa - Examples:


·      A foreign citizen traveling to another country who will have a brief layover in the United States when the only reason for entering the United States is to transit.

·      A passenger embarking from a foreign port on a cruise ship or other vessel which is proceeding to another country, other than the United States, but during the course of the journey, the vessel makes port in the United States with no intention of landing in the United States.

·      A crewmember traveling to the United States as a passenger to join a ship or aircraft you will work on, providing services for operation. You will also need a crewmember D visa, most often issued as a combination C-1/D visa. Learn more about Crewmember visas.

·      A foreign citizen proceeding in immediate and continuous transit through the United States to or from the United Nations Headquarters District, under provisions of the Headquarters agreement with the United Nations, requires a diplomatic transit (C-2) visa. Travel within the United States will be limited to the immediate New York City vicinity.


Travel purposes not permitted on a Transit (C) Visa - Examples:


·      A foreign citizen whose layover in the United States is for a primary purpose other than to transit, for example to visit friends or sightsee, requires a visitor (B) visa.

·      A coasting officer seeking to enter the United States generally requires a visitor (B) visa. Coasting officers are employed temporarily when an officer of a foreign ship is granted home leave while the vessel is in U.S. ports, provided the vessel does not remain in U.S. waters for more than 29 days. The coasting officer may then repeat the process with another vessel of the same foreign line.

·      A crewmember on a private yacht sailing out of a foreign port which will be cruising in U.S. waters for more than 29 days is generally required to have a visitor (B) visa.

·      An officer or employee of a designated international organization assigned to the United States may pass in immediate and continuous transit through the United States on an International Organization (G-4) visa.




Documents Needed


Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States - 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). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.

Additional Documentation May Be Required


Visa Denial and Ineligibility

Review Visa Denials for detailed information about visa ineligibilities, denials, and waivers. 

I was refused a visa under INA section 214(b). May I reapply?

Yes, if you feel circumstances have changed regarding your application. Review Visa Denials to learn more.

Misrepresentation or Fraud

Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States. Review Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws.


How Do I Extend My Stay?

  • Transit (C) visa holders are not able to apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to change status or extend their stay in the U.S., under immigration law. See the USCIS website under Change My Nonimmigrant Status and Extend Your Stay to learn more.
  • You must depart the United States on or before the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, unless your request to extend your stay is approved by USCIS.
  • Failure to depart the United States on time will result in you being out of status, can void your visa, and may make you ineligible for visas you may apply for in the future. Review Visa Denials, Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws, and section 222(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to learn more.

How can I find out how long I am authorized to stay in the U.S.?

  • A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States, but allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the United States port of entry and request permission to enter the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States, and determine how long a traveler may stay. If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the CBP official will determine the length of your visit.
Notice: New Electronic I-94 Process - A new electronic I-94 process at air and sea ports of entry was fully implemented by May 25, 2013. Under the new CBP process, a CBP officer will provide each admitted nonimmigrant traveler with an admission stamp on their passport. CBP will no longer issue a paper Form I-94 upon entry to the U.S., with some exceptions. Learn more on the CBP website. 
  • On the admission stamp or paper Form I-94, the U.S. immigration inspector records either a date or "D/S" (duration of status). If your admission stamp or paper Form I-94 contains a specific date, then that is the date by which you must leave the United States. If you are issued a paper Form I-94, this will document your authorized stay and is the official record of your permission to be in the U.S. It is very important to keep inside your passport. Review information about Admission on the CBP Website. Also, see Duration of Stay.

I did not turn in my I-94 when I left the United States, what should I do?

If you failed to turn in your paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, see Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection website for more information. If you did not receive a paper Form I-94 and your record was created electronically, CBP will record your departure using manifest information obtained from the air or sea carrier. 





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