Any foreign crewmember serving on an aircraft or sea vessel in the United States is required to have a crewmember (D) visa. At Pozo Goldstein, LLP, we are dedicated helping clients deal with a multitude of immigration-related legal issues. Additionally, we have more than five decades of combined legal experience – let us put it to work for you. If you need help obtaining a crewmember (D) visa, talk to a New York immigration attorney from our firm today.
According to the United States Department of State, you must meet specific qualifications before you will be issued a crewmember (D) visa. After you meet all of the legal requirements, a consular officer will determine whether or not you will be issued the visa. First, you must provide services on the vessel or aircraft that are considered “normal.” For example, chefs, beauticians and lifeguards are considered a normal on a cruise ship. Additionally, a flight attendant is a normal member of an aircraft crew. The U.S. Department of State does not require you to be employed on the aircraft or vessel when you apply for the visa, but you must be employed on an aircraft or vessel when you arrive in the U.S. Additionally, trainees onboard vessels may obtain crewmember (D) visas.
You will not be issued a crewmember (D) visa if you are the spouse, child, family member of dependent of a crewmember onboard the vessel and not performing services for normal operation. Instead, you must apply for a B-2 visa. If you are entering the United States on a fishing vessel with an operating base or home port in the United States, you must apply for an H-2 temporary worker visa or immigrant visa instead. Additionally, you will not qualify for a crewmember (D) visa if you are a coasting officer of a foreign vessel granted leave while the vessel is in the United States. Coasting officers are required to obtain B-1 Visas. Private yacht crewmembers are required to obtain a B-1 visa if they plan on staying in U.S. waters for more than 29 days. Additionally, outer continental shelf crewmembers are required to obtain B-1 visas and will not qualify for crewmember (D) visas.
The primary documents required of applications who wish to obtain a crewmember (D) visa are the actual application, as well as a valid passport for travel in the U.S. and a personal photograph. Some applicants can complete the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application. Others, however, may need to speak with a lawyer before taking further steps, because the online application is not always suited for everyone. This is specifically true for persons with special circumstances, as well as those in countries that require additional documents in order to complete the process.
Applying for a crewmember (D) visa is not free of charge. There are fees for application processing as well as fees for the issuance of a visa, known as visa issuance reciprocity fees, which are only applicable in certain situations. Depending on the country of your citizenship, you could be subjected to this reciprocity fee. An attorney at our firm can help you determine whether or not these fees will apply to your situation, and how much to expect the entire process to cost.
Applying for any type of work visa should only be completed under the guidance of a professional attorney whose experience and knowledge of immigration law are fit to cater to your needs. Simply applying for a crewmember (D) visa – or any other type of visa, for that matter – online could present many difficulties. The best way to ensure that you have completed your application fully and correctly is by consulting with an attorney at Pozo Goldstein, LLP.
At our office, we recognize the complexities associated with applying for a work visa, especially for persons who attempt to do so without legal guidance. Therefore, our law firm offers 24/7 availability to clients, and our representation caters to English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French speakers. If you would like more information about applying for a D-1 visa in New York, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.