I have a connecting flight at Newark Airport, and there is only 2 hours of time in between flights. Can I get exemption for C-1 visa as it was my mistake in not looking at flight details and purchased later it was realized after going through itinerary.

Can the airlines make any adjustments in the last minute if we don't have the proper visa?

  • 8
    Do you have a different type of US visa? Any valid unexpired US nonimmigrant visa (tourist, work, etc) also allows for transit. Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 9:20
  • 1
    The basic problem here is that the US doesn't have transit-capable airports. There is no outbound immigration check, international departure gates are no different than any other--I've walked from my international departure gate to the outside air without passing through any security check. Thus nothing stops a transit passenger from simply walking away. Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 4:02
  • "airlines make any adjustments in the last minute if we don't have the proper visa?" What are you expecting from the airline? They won't let you in, without the proper visa. Check if your ticket is refundable, or whether you can change the flight and obtain the visa. Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 13:42

2 Answers 2


No, there are no exceptions. If you need a visa for the US, and you don't have one, you will not be allowed on the plane or into the country.

Your best bet is to contact the airline to see if they can arrange an alternative routing that does not go via the US, or at least refund some of the ticket costs.

  • 3
    It might be worth pointing out that visas other than C visas may be used for transit. This has been done in a comment under the question, but as we know comments are second-class citizens for a number of reasons.
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 14:06

No, the airline will not transport a non-Visa Waiver Program eligible traveler to the United States without a visa or other appropriate travel document (doing so is a violation of law and will result in a fine for the carrier). If you do not have a C-1 (or B-1/B-2 or potentially other visas, which can also be used for transit), you will not be allowed to board the plane in the first place.

You should contact the airline immediately and ask for an alternative routing. If the airline can't do this, you will need to plan this yourself and you need to get serious about checking visa requirements for potential transit in other countries. This WikiVoyage article may be helpful in avoiding US connections.

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