For those foreign nationals who intend only to pass through the United States (or who are “traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the United States en-route to another country”), and who do not have a current and valid B-1/B-2 visitor visa or who are not citizens of a Visa Waiver Program qualifying country, a C-1 transit visa may be a viable option. For family members traveling together through the United States a separate application must be filed for each family member.
C-1 transit visas are most commonly obtained by foreign nationals who are on their way to another country but have a brief layover in the United States or foreign nationals traveling on a cruise ship that is traveling to another country other than the United States, but during the course of that trip makes port in the United States, but does not land in the United States. Transit visas are not available, however, to foreign nationals who have a layover in the United States, but their purpose in traveling through the United States is to visit with family or friends or sightsee. Under those circumstances the foreign national must enter the United States on a B-1/B-2 visitor visa or under the Visa Waiver Program.
For more information on the C-1 transit visas visit the U.S. Department of State website or call the law offices of RaslanPla & Company, LLC and speak to one of our immigration attorneys.