The C-1/D or the Transit/Crew member visa is a non-immigrant visa for persons desiring to enter United States as a passenger to join a vessel or aircraft. Usually when it comes to applying for a C-1/D US Visa, most seafarers rely on their respective agencies in processing it. But I believe we should also be involved in the process. We can do our part by reviewing the procedures and not just fully relying at the documentation officers of our agencies.
It is true that they provide us the information we need but sometimes we need to make sure that what we’ve been told is 100% correct. Since it is our own US Visa that is on the line, then we should do our best in order to pass it. Here’s what I’ve got from the website of US embassy in Manila, Philippines.
The procedure below is addressed to the recruitment agencies, but by reading it we will understand how the process works and it can help us understand what we need.
All seafarer recruitment agencies must follow the steps provided below.
To apply, please comply with Non-immigrant Visa Application Procedures. The applicant must submit the additional documentary requirements listed below.
It is not required under U.S. law for seafarers to be members of an employment agency. Therefore, seafarers can apply through a local Filipino employment agency or can apply on their own. It is important to note that seafarers not backed by an employment agency will still require a valid contract and letter of guarantee from their employer and must meet the same standards as other applicants.
- Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB) issued by the Philippine Department of Transportation and Communication’s Maritime Authority (MARINA).
- Seafarer’s Registration Card (SRC) issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), with attached signed photo.
- First page of the original valid Overseas Employment Commission Certification (OEC) issued by the POEA or a POEA in-house processed OEC issued by certified agencies.
- Seafarer recruitment agency guarantee letter with signature and all appropriate information. Each seafarer must be issued an individual guarantee letter with each application.
- Employment history – applicant’s job experience from age 21 up to present.
- All seaman’s books that have expired in the past ten years and any additional seaman’s book or passport which contains a U.S. visa.
- Signed and valid contract of employment in POEA format.
- Original Basic Safety Course (BSC) training certificate with Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (PSSR) (photocopies are not accepted).
- College transcripts and diplomas (first-time seafarers).
- Certifications of training (first-time seafarers).
- Employment certification letters from previous employers (first-time seafarers).
- For seafarers taking unusual or uncommon seafaring positions, seafarer recruitment agencies must provide a complete job description and indicate whether the position is a temporary or permanent component of the ship’s crew. In some circumstances, seafarer applicants may be requested to submit a complete itinerary for the vessel or a U.S. Coast Guard ship clearance letter.
- Copy of the Appointment Confirmation Page.
- Seafarers should submit visa applications as early as possible, but at least one week before their scheduled departure. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit will make every effort to process applications quickly.
- In certain cases, additional documents may be requested.
- All documents must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted, unless specified. The applicant must submit these documents to the interviewing consular officer during the interview. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit does not accept documents before the interview. Any documents received will not be returned and will be destroyed. Please note, however, that presentation of the documents will not guarantee visa issuance. Applicants must still qualify for the type of visa being sought.
Guidelines for Document Submission
Every seafarer recruitment agency should carefully check all seafarer applications prior to submission to ensure the form has been filled out correctly and completely. Incomplete applications will be denied. Follow these guidelines when submitting documents:
- Remove plastic covers or jackets from SIRBs and passports.
- Remove excess papers and staples.
- The guarantee letter must be stapled to the back of the application form. All guarantee letters must follow the format described in the instructions found in the Embassy accreditation kit. Guarantee letters not in the correct format or without required information will not be accepted.
- The SRC must be attached to the inside front cover of the SIRB.
- The POEA issued or in-house processed contract of employment and OEC must be stapled together inside the back cover of the seaman’s book. Original documents including the contract, OEC and SRC will be returned to the seafarer after the application is processed.
- The seafarer recruitment agency must contact the call center to make any corrections to inaccurate information before the applicant’s interview.
- Please be advised that this information may change without prior notice. Every effort will be made to inform all seafarer recruitment agencies in a timely fashion.
- The Embassy will not approve and process improperly documented applicants to enable them to join vessels or catch flights on short notice. The Embassy will not be responsible for delays and missed connections.
Non-compliance with the above requirements will result in the non-processing of the visa application.
The information above was taken from their respective sources. I don’t own it in any way, I’m just sharing it to the people who might need it. On the date of posting the information given is the latest from the specific sources. Updates from the sources may not reflect to this post on the later date unless otherwise stated.