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We are traveling to Brazil from London via the US. When we booked we had no idea how complicated the US immigration system is for some nationalities and as a result, we've a few questions... but first here is our brief story:

  • We live and work in London and are taking a 21 day holiday to visit family.
  • I am a British citizen, my husband is Brazilian citizen.
  • On the way to Brazil we will change flights at Washington Dulles International (in the airport for only 2.5 hours).
  • On the way back from Brazil we will change flights at Newark (in the airport for 3 hours).

Here are my questions:

  1. We understand that my husband needs a C1-transit visa for transiting in the US. Is this right even though we're only on US soil for 3 hours each time?

  2. I've been told that we need one C1-transit visa that will cover both entries and exits (Washington on the way, Newark on the way back). Is this true?

  3. If we do just make 1 visa application to cover both trips, how do we show in the application form that we will have two very short visits (2-3 hour layover)? EG, There is only 1 place to enter an entry date and only one place to enter an exit date. How do we show that we are entering and leaving twice?

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1 Answer

Too many questions in one but let me answer them in order:

  • Yes you do need a visa since the US doesn't have international airside transit zones see question: Do I need a US visa to change planes in an American airport?

  • You have been told correctly. C1 Visa is valid for the maximum period of 60 months, which means that if granted for that period you will be able to transit through the United States for 5 years.

  • This is a good question to ask a consulate. Normally a multiple entry C1 visa will cover you but it may happen that you will be required to apply for multiple C visas as I cannot find any definitive information regarding multiple entry travel through the United States.

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