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Some family members that were booked to join us on a cruise had their B-2 visas stolen from them last week.

There are less than 5 weeks to go before the cruise, and the chances of procuring replacement B-2 visas are slim to none, due to the scarcity of appointments.

However, C-1 visas appear to be available with very short lead times at their local consulate.

We were hoping that our family members may be able to get a C-1 visa, enter the US at the closest land port of entry (San Ysidro, CA) and drive to the cruise terminal in San Diego, where they could board the ship.

The ship itself would be traveling to ports that are only in Mexico, and returning to San Diego a week later, at which time our family members would drive back into Mexico.

Would the C-1 visa work for this situation?

Clarification: The B2 visas that were stolen were Border Crossing Cards. Our family members still have valid Mexican passports in their possession.

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  • If the cruise travels into Mexico, potentially you could contact the cruise company about them joining from Ensenada rather than SD
    – Midavalo
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 19:11

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Their B-2 visas were stolen? Do you mean the passports were stolen? So they will get new passports and apply for new US visas, right? The purpose you have described in the question is perfectly valid for a C1 visa. That is, the purpose of entering the US is to transit, and no other reason to be in the US. So a C1 visa would work in this situation.

Getting the visa depends on if the interviewing consular officer thinks that the applicant qualifies for the visa at that point of time or not.

It is better to get the visas first and then book the cruise unless you are willing to forgo any cancellation charges in case they are unable to get the visa. You need to look at the timelines about getting the replacement passport and available appointments to make that decision.

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    They do have valid passports. Because they live along the US-Mexico border, they have Border Crossing Cards, and they use those to cross. The cards were stolen, but they still have their Mexican passports.
    – Dan C
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 18:38
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    @ThomasCruise a Border Crossing Card is a B2 visa for Mexican Nationals that is a physical ID card (credit card sized) and not a stamp in the passport. Mexicans can use this without a passport to enter the US border zone, or with a passport to travel further into the US
    – Midavalo
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 19:05

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