What is a C-1 transit visa to US?

The C-1 transit visa is a non immigrant visa which allows foreign nationals to enter into the U.S. while transiting to another foreign country.

Who are eligible for C-1 visa?

Foreign nationals traveling through the U.S. to another foreign destination are eligible for C-1 visa.
Note: If you have C-1 transit visa you are required to leave the U.S. on your proposed departing flight. Your family members need to apply for a separate C-1 visa. This enables the entire family to travel through the U.S.


What are the requirements for C-1 visa?

To obtain C-1 visa, you must:
  • Have permission to enter the country of your destination (passport with valid visa)
  • Pass in immediate and continuous transit through the U.S.
  • Possess a common carrier ticket or other evidence of transportation arrangements to your destination
  • Have adequate funds to carry out the purpose of the transit journey, and have permission to enter some country other than the U.S.
  • Have flight reservations and valid visas to a third country before applying for a transit visa

What privileges do I enjoy on US transit visa?

On US transit visa, you may:
  • Travel in and out of the U.S. when your final destination is another country
  • Instead of getting trapped in the port, use the time for waiting for your plane or ship to visit your family or friends or use it for touring the place or shopping

What are the limitations of C-1 visa?

On C-1 visa, you must:
  • Engage strictly in visiting, touring or shopping activities. Any exception to this requires an appropriate visa
  • Apply for separate C-1 visa for each family member. There is nothing like dependent C-1 visa

How long can I stay in the U.S. on C-1 visa?

You may stay for a maximum of 29 days in the U.S. on C-1 visa. You are required to leave the U.S. on the proposed flight or ship of departure, or within 29 days, whichever is earlier.

Can I apply for extension of stay on C-1 visa?

No, you may not extend your stay on C-1 visa. If you want to extend your stay you should apply for appropriate B-1/B-2 visas or can travel on Visa Waiver Program.
Note: If a foreign national seeks layover privileges for purposes other than for transit through the U.S. (for example, to visit friends or engage in sightseeing), he/she will have to qualify for the type of visa required for that purpose.


Can I apply for change of status on C1 transit visa?

No, you may not change your status while on C1 transit visa.
  • Travel in and out of the U.S. when your final destination is another country
  • Instead of getting trapped in the port, use the time for waiting for your plane or ship to visit your family or friends or use it for touring the place or shopping

Are there any travel restrictions on C-1 visa?

If you leave the U.S. and want to reenter the U.S., you have to reapply for C-1 visa. You cannot change your visa status.
  • Engage strictly in visiting, touring or shopping activities. Any exception to this requires an appropriate visa
  • Apply for separate C-1 visa for each family member. There is nothing like dependent C-1 visa

Can I study or work on C-1 visa?

No, you may not study or work while on C-1 visa.

Can I bring my dependents on C-1 visa?

Yes, you may bring your dependents, however, they are issued principal C visa as there is no dependent C visa.

Can my dependents work on C-1 visa?

No, your dependents may not work on C-1 visa and they may not change their status also.

Can my dependents study on C-1 visa?

No, your dependents may not study on C-1 visa and they may not change the status of their visa also.

What is the processing time for USA transit visa?

The USA transit visa is generally issued immediately after checking your credentials. However, due to the heavy, constant demand for visas, a minimum of five working days is normally required for the issuance of a crew-list visa.
Note: It is advisable to contact the American Consulate near your residence for C-1 visa so that your visa would be mailed to you in advance or it would be ready for you at the airport/seaport.


How do I apply for C-1 visa?

You need to submit a filled in USCIS Form DS-156 along with:
  • A passport valid for travel to the U.S and with a validity date of at least six months beyond your intended period of stay
  • Two photographs 1 and 1/2 inches square (37x37 mm) for each applicant
Note: The consular officer may require additional documents to verify the purpose for obtaining the visa.


Where can I forward my C-1 visa application?

You can apply for the C-1 visa in person or by mail at the American Consulate near your residence.
Note: A foreign national who is being deported by another country through the U.S, either with or without an escort, will not be admitted as a transit without a visa; in such case, he/she may be paroled for the purpose of transiting the U.S.


Can I apply for Green Card while on C-1 visa?

No, you may not apply for a Green Card while on C-1 visa.

What additional or necessary information is there about US transit visas?

  • All other applicants over the age of 16 must apply in person
  • Applicants who apply in person must schedule an appointment before coming to the Embassy
  • Tourists who come under Visa Waiver Program can travel without visa

Are there any contracts to guarantee safe passage of foreign nationals in transit to foreign countries?

The Attorney General may enter into contracts, including bonding agreements with transportation lines, to guarantee the passage through the U.S. in immediate and continuous transit of the foreign national destined to foreign countries. When a nonimmigrant foreign national is in transit without a visa (TWOV), the transportation line:
  • May not, without the prior consent of the USCIS, refund the ticket which was presented to the USCIS as evidence of the foreign national's confirmed and onward reservations
  • Has responsibility for the continuous actual custody of the foreign national until his/her departure from the U.S., unless, at the direction of the District Director, the foreign national is in the custody of the USCIS or other custody approved by the Commissioner.

Is it important to know who my sponsor is while applying for C-1 visa?

Many of the Newly Independent States issue visas (with the exception of transit visas) on the basis of support from a sponsor, usually an individual or local organization. It is important to know who your sponsor is and how to contact them, because in many of these countries the law requires that your sponsor apply on your behalf for replacement, extension or changes to your visa.

What if I was convicted in the U.S.?

If you were arrested and convicted of an offense in the U.S., you are required to obtain a court record from the court(s) in which you were tried. Such court records must show the nature of the offense(s) committed, the section(s) of law contravened and the actual penalty imposed. If the arrest did not result in a conviction, or you are unable to obtain a copy of the court record(s) relating to the charges against you, you may submit with your application a sworn statement which gives the location of the arrest, state and county, and the reason for the arrest. If the arrest resulted in a conviction, the statement should discuss the nature of the offense committed, section of the law contravened and penalty imposed by the court(s). If you do not know the address of the court, the information is available from the internet at: www.refdesk.com.

How do HIV-positive people apply for a visa to travel to the U.S.?

When applying for a visa, a HIV-positive person is required to submit the application with the following additional documents:
  • A letter from the physician addressing the current state of the HIV-positive person's health, the risk to U.S. public health and the risk of spread of infection
  • A letter outlining the purpose of the trip, anticipated arrival date in the U.S., the date by which the person will confirm travel arrangements, and anticipated length of stay in the U.S.
  • The letter should also indicate that the person will be covered by medical insurance during his/her stay

What documents should I carry while applying for C-1 transit visa?

The documents required for C-1 transit visa are:
  • Passport
  • Photograph
  • Evidence with a legitimate reason to pass through the U.S. to another country. The evidence to be presented will depend on the individual circumstances of the proposed travel and any documentation to support this travel will be considered
  • Ticket or other evidence: A transit visa applicant must be in possession of a common carrier ticket or other evidence of transportation arrangements to their destination
  • Evidence of permission to enter another country: A transit visa applicant must either have a valid visa to the onward destination or evidence that a visa is not required
  • Evidence of sufficient funds: Applicants should present financial documents that show they have adequate funds to cover the cost of their transit journey