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C-1/D visa transit
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013 7:27 PM
Joined: 21/01/2013
Posts: 1

I am an American citizen and my husband is an Indian citizen working for Carnival Cruise Lines on a C-1/D visa.  Would he be able to sign-off and be able to stay in the US for a short period of time before we return back to India?  I'm talking only like 5-7 days....nothing longer.  We just want to take a short vacation to see my parents.

Thanks for your help!

Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013 8:12 PM
No. The key word is "transit." The visa holder is IN TRANSIT. That means from the ship to the airport to home country. In some cases, immigration will allow the holder to stay at a hotel overnight if the ship is leaving and the flight is not the same day. But the shipping company has to provide a guarantee that the person will reach his flight. This is usually done through the ship's agent. For him to take a vacation, he would need to leave the US on his C1/D transit visa and re-enter on a B1/B2 tourist visa.
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:25 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

Shouldn't be a problem, just let the immigration person know what you want to do. Transit typically allows for some tourist time, just can't work ashore unless it's part of your assigned duties for the ship such as shopping.
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 10:08 PM
Joined: 29/12/2010
Posts: 8

Anonymous is correct with his assessment of the TRANSIT portion of the C1/D visa. A C1/D is actually 2 visas. The C1 visa is the TRANSIT visa. The D visa is the CREW PERSONS visa. On a D Visa you are allowed to stay in the USA for up to 29 days, as long as you are intending to leave on the same or another vessel. Another vessel can be a ship or an aircraft, etc. It does not state whether you should be a crew member on this "other vessel" or can be a passenger... so this is open to your interpretation. Generally your husband will be automatically stamped in for 29 days, so you should be fine.
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 3:07 AM
Do not assume that immigration will automatically stamp your I-94 for 29 days. They normally look at your airline ticket departure date. If it is not within the next day or so, the questions will start.
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 9:57 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

Quit trying to scare them, the question if any will be "What do you intend to do while in the US" the answer of "meet my girlfriends family and some tourism" will end with a stamp and "Welcome to the US". This fear mongering is pure BS and I'll bet your name is Debbie. As long as you haven't overstayed a prior I-94 or committed a crime on a prior visit, you will have no issue getting cleared for tourism.
Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 6:35 PM
Joined: 03/07/2013
Posts: 2

My cousin is in a similar scenario and would like to visit us for a week. Jill, was your husband able to stay for a week after signing off? Does anyone have any other expereince that I might be able to share with my cousin? Thank you in advance.
Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2013 5:05 AM
Joined: 28/04/2011
Posts: 56

The C1-D visa is purely for transit and has higher stipulations than many of the other visas used to enter the United States. The 29 days entry period is purely for operational reasons and if the border officer suspects that are you planning to take a short vacation may refuse entry or force the cruise line to rebook earlier flights. This has occurred in the past and corporate travel departments for most of the cruise lines (including Carnival Corp) tend to be under instructions to book on the earliest possible repatriating flight. That being said, I've disembarked from a cruise ship on a C1-D and stayed a week and was never questioned by the CBP officer.

The most common route that crew take is to obtain a B2 visa and transfer onto the guest list at the last foreign port prior to entering the United States. If the crewmember is from a Visa Waiver country and is embarked on a participating carrier (i.e. cruise line, not a yacht or cargo ship), then they could also transfer to the guest list at the last foreign port. This is an acceptable and in fact recommended way on the State Department website.

The stipulations of the C1-D can be difficult and complex at the best of times due to the high risk countries of the majority of people involved in it and the high incidence of 'jumping ship' in a US port.

The biggest challenge is probably convincing the cruise line to allow a few days prior to repatriating (their only responsibility towards you is to repatriate you on the earliest possible flight) and having been on a cruise ship when the CBP have had issues and all crew denied shore leave for subsequent port calls and issues repatriating crew, I can all to well side with the cruise lines point of view.


Posted: Friday, July 5, 2013 2:57 PM
Joined: 03/07/2013
Posts: 2

Thanks Zenith. I really appreciate your insight. I will pass this on.
 Average 2 out of 5