My father is working on board sea vessel, so he "entered" US using C-1/D visa. In the same time he has current B-1/B-2 visa.

Is it possible for him to visit me (i.e. stay in US for a couple of weeks) when he finishes his contract without re-entering US?

The trick here is to not cross the ocean once more.

  • 1
    Is he departing the ship at a US port? This sounds OK to me. Dec 20, 2016 at 4:52
  • 1
    @pnuts When the ship docks at port, the captain presents the passports of all the crew who are staying on board to immigration. These crewmembers are "admitted" in D status. Crewmembers who depart the ship receive their passports back and clear immigration themselves, and generally are admitted in C1 status to travel to the nearest airport and catch a flight home. I don't think it's a problem for a crewmember with a B1/B2 visa to use it instead for a brief holiday in the US before going home. Dec 20, 2016 at 9:39
  • @MichaelHampton Yes, he will be departing the ship at a US port. It is not very clear when paper work done. Usually company provides transfer to airport, tickets and so on for whole crew, so I imagine company clerks do all paper work. If he wants to stay longer does this mean there will be more work for these clerks? Another concern is that he entered US with work purpose and then he will be staying when his contract is completed. Should he make any adjustments/ put any additional stamps?
    – Evgeny M
    Dec 20, 2016 at 13:43
  • 1
    Crew members transiting the US to join or leave their vessel are admitted for up to 29 days. He could also just ask to be admitted in B-2 status instead of C-1, in which case he should get six months. It really ought not to be a problem as long as he makes his plans clear at the time of entry.
    – phoog
    Dec 20, 2016 at 15:53
  • 2
    If the company is booking the airline tickets, then he should coordinate with them so that they book tickets for two weeks later, then. Dec 20, 2016 at 17:30

2 Answers 2


So, just called the CBP Info centre, as well as the CBP at JFK airport

According to both sources, if his visa is a combination C1/D and B2 visa, then he can stay after his contract finishes without further ado.

If, however, the visas are separate, then once his contract finishes, if he wishes to remain in the US for a while as a visitor, he has to:

  • Exit and re-enter the US in B2 status. The quickest and cheapest option, but may require a Canadian/Mexican visa depending on nationality


  • Apply for a change from C1/D to B2 status (costs USD 370) by filing form I-539 and sending it to:


ATTN: I-539

2501 S. State Highway 121 Business

Suite 400

Lewisville, TX 75067

  • One more question regarding this: if the person in question had separate C1/D and B2 visa, and wished to remain for e.g. two weeks (i.e. < 29days) would they still need to exit/re-enter or apply for a change of visa status? This seems to be implied from the A of @Dorothy.
    – mts
    Mar 31, 2017 at 9:27
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    @mts She says "Were he to enter the US solely on the C1/D, he would be allowed to remain in the US for 29 days (even when it is after employment has ended)". That implies the person would be allowed to exercise a B activity even with separate visas, just so long as they don't exceed 29 days. This, however, is not what the CBP (Info centre and at JFK) told me on the phone, and they did not sound unsure about it in the slightest. Only with a combined visa would this be allowed
    – Crazydre
    Mar 31, 2017 at 11:47
  • Quick update: my father had to leave US once his contract ended. He spoke with an officer who worked with crew members documents and that officer told exactly same as @Crazydre did. Thanks for help!
    – Evgeny M
    Apr 2, 2017 at 13:59

It sounds as though he has a C1D & B1/B2 dual visa. It is not uncommon for crew members to apply for, and be granted this dual arrangement, which exists only for C1D and B1/B2 visas.

Were he to enter the US solely on the C1/D, he would be allowed to remain in the US for 29 days (even when it is after employment has ended); entering on the B1/B2 would enable a longer stay.

Crew members who will be entering the United States during time-off between flights or cruises should also obtain a B-1/B-2 visa to use during these personal/vacation days. Applicants applying simultaneusly for both a C-1/D and a B-1/B-2 visa pay only one visa application fee.

Either way, he shouldn't encounter an issue.

  • 1
    Do you have a source for your statement that someone in pure C1/D status is allowed to stay and perform a B activity after the C1/D activity has ended? The CBP info centre told me the opposite
    – Crazydre
    Mar 27, 2017 at 14:25

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