Transit (C) visas are nonimmigrant visas for foreign citizens traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the United States en route to another country, with few exceptions. Immediate and continuous transit is defined as a reasonably expeditious departure of the traveler in the normal course of travel as the elements permit and assumes a prearranged itinerary without any unreasonable layover privileges. If the traveler seeks layover privileges for purposes other than for transit through the United States, such as to visit friends or engage in sightseeing, the traveler will have to qualify for the type of visa required for that purpose.
I. Brief Introduction about C-1, C-2, and C-3 Visa
|C-1 Visa||A foreign citizen traveling to another country who will have a brief layover in the United States when the only reason for entering the United States is to transit.|
|C-2 Visa||Individuals proceeding in immediate and continuous transit through the United States to or from the United Nations Headquarters District, under provisions of the Headquarters agreement with the United Nations, requires a diplomatic transit (C-2) visa. Travel within the United States will be limited to the immediate New York City vicinity.|
|C-3 Visa||Government officials traveling through the U.S. to a foreign destination may apply for the C-3 Visa. The maximum duration of stay is 29 days. Your family members and personal employees may also apply for the C-3 Visa.|
II. Procedures for applying for a C-1, C-2, and C-3 Visa:
- Complete Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/, upload photos while completing the online Form I-160, and print the confirmation page for interview
- Pay the non-refundable visa application fee
- Make an appointment for an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate
III. Documents Required for applying a C-1, C-2, and C-3 Visa:
- Valid Passport: Applicant’s passport must be valid for at least six months beyond his/her period of stay in the U.S.
- Form DS-160 Confirmation Page
- Application fee payment receipt
- Photo – Applicant will be required upload photo while completing the online Form DS-160; if uploading photo failed, Applicant will be required submit one printed photo to the U.S. embassy or consulate during the interview.
- Applicant’s photos or digital images must be:
- In color
- Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50% and 69% of the image’s total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
- Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
- Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
- Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
- With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
- Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis
- Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.
- Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
- Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
- Eyeglasses are no longer allowed in new visa photos, except in rare circumstances when eyeglasses cannot be removed for medical reasons; e.g., the applicant has recently had ocular surgery and the eyeglasses are necessary to protect the applicant’s eyes. A medical statement signed by a medical professional/health practitioner must be provided in these cases. If the eyeglasses are accepted for medical reasons:
- The frames of the eyeglasses must not cover the eye(s).
- There must not be glare on eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).
- There must not be shadows or refraction from the eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).
- If you normally wear a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn in your photo.
- Applicant’s photos or digital images must be:
- Documentary of evidence showing the purpose of the trip is to transit while traveling onward to another country and that you intend to depart the United States
- Evidence of funds to cover all expenses while in the U.S.;
- Documentary of evidence showing that Applicant has a residence in his/her home country and his/her intent to return there.
IV. Additional Notes
- if you already have a valid Visitor (B) visa, you may be able to use it to transit the United States (Please refer to our website for related information)
- If you are a citizen of a participating country, you may be able to transit the United States on the Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”) (Please refer to our website for related information)
- Citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not require visas to transit the United States.