If you’re traveling abroad and find that you have a layover in the United States, you may need a US transit visa. A Transit visas (C-visas) allows you to enter the United States and stay as long as your layover requires. In a nutshell, they will need a transit visa i.e. C visa, if someone transits through the US. Also, this visa cannot be used to fulfill tourism or business purpose.

The C1 Transit Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to enter the United States while transiting to another foreign country. Individuals with a valid B-1 Business or B-2 Tourist Visa do not need to obtain a US Transit Visa. Any other valid non immigrant visa may not be used to transit through the United States. Each person transiting the US, including children, require a visa.

Types of Transit Visas

As mentioned above, the C visa types are called Transit visas. There are three C-visas to choose from when traveling through the United States.

  1. General Transit Visa (C1):A foreign national going through the USA to their final destination needs a C1 visa to stay on their layover within the USA.
  2. U.N Headquarters Transit Visa (C2): A C2 is the transit visa for a foreigner who is travelling to the United Nations (U.N.) Head office in New York or a U.N. officer who is transiting through the USA to reach their destination. Furthermore, A C2 visa allows an individual to stay in the vicinity of the U.N. headquarters. The C2 visa holder can go from the U.N. headquarters or a place in its vicinity only when departing the USA.
  3. Foreign Government Transit Visa (C3): A C3 is a transit visa strictly for foreign government officials (along with their families and servants or employees) who travel through the United States on a layover when traveling to another final destination. They must be traveling for government or work-related activities to qualify for this visa.

Also Read: Applying for a US Student Visa

If you do not fit into one of these categories, you are not eligible for a C transit visa. Also, C visas do not have dependent visas. If you are traveling with family members, you must all have individual C visas.

Travel purposes that a C1 Transit Visa allows:

If you want to visit friends or go sightseeing and a primary purpose is not to transit, a foreign citizen requires a visitor (B) visa;

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;

Eligibility for the C1 Transit Visa:

  • You only intend to pass through the US for immediate and continuous transit;
  • You possess a ticket or other proof of transportation to reach the final destination;
  • Must have sufficient funds to reach your final destination;
  • Upon applying for a transit visa, flight reservations and other valid visas to a third country must be already made.

Documents required for the visa application:

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160
  • Valid Passport
  • Photographs
  • Evidence with a legitimate reason to pass through the US to another country. The evidence you need to present, depends 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
  • Strong evidence of returning to own country or another country after the stay in the USA (including a property deed, apartment lease or any other proof)

Extension of stay on C1 visa:

A C1 visa does not allows you to extend your stay. If you want to extend your stay you should apply for appropriate B-1/B-2 visas

Visa Validity:

C1 Visa holders can stay inside the United States, for a maximum of 29 days in the US with C1 visa. Such Transit Visa holders are required to leave the US within 29 days on the proposed flight or ship of departure. Some applicants may require to apply for another type of visa, like B-1 Business Visa or a B-2 Tourist Visa in order to visit the United States.

Processing time

Successful applications take 3 – 5 workdays to process before the passport is handed to the courier for delivery; at least a further 2 workdays should be allowed for delivery.

C1 Visa Application Process:

  • Complete DS-160 application online
  • Schedule Appointment
  • Pay visa fee online
  • Prepare documents
  • Attend personal interview at the US Embassy or Consulate
  • Receive US Visa

Are you planning a trip soon?

Akbartravels.com specializes in preparing applications; filling out all forms and assessing the unique situation of the applicant and assisting them in preparation for their interview with a consular officer. Scrutiny has risen exponentially in the past few years and a higher percentage of C visa applicants are being rejected. If you are seeking travel visas for yourself or your family; get in touch with us today. We’ll make sure you get the details right the first time to prevent delays and increase approvals.

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