How to Apply for a United States D (Crewmember) Visa

SCI provides the following information for seafarers applying for Crewmember (D) visas valid for 24 months. To give feedback on these instructions or to report a change, email [email protected]. Unfortunately, we cannot answer any questions about visa applications.

For general questions about visas, visit the website of the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. If you have specific questions about your application, contact the US Embassy or Consulate handling your visa application.

The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 in Standard A.1.4.5(b) requires shipowners to pay for crewmember visas.

For instructions written specifically for Chinese seafarers, click here.

Step 1: Complete DS-160 Form

Complete the DS-160 Form (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application). You can find the form at

  • You must complete and submit the DS-160 online prior to your interview.
  • You must upload a photo taken within the last six months. (The following link will take you to more information about visa photo requirements:
  • The interview post you select at the beginning of the form must be the same post where you schedule your interview appointment.
  • If you stop working on the application for more than 20 minutes, your session will expire, and you will have to start over.
  • If you have to stop before you have completed the application, write down your Application ID number and click “Save.” You can use your Application ID number to continue working on the application at a later time.
  • Once the application is complete, you will receive an alphanumeric barcode confirmation page. You must print the confirmation page and bring it with you to your scheduled interview.
  • Once you have printed, hit the “back” button on your browser, and email yourself a copy of the DS-160.
  • You can find more information about the process at

Step 2: Pay Fee

Pay the $160 visa application fee. (You can make the actual payment in local currency.)

In order to pay this fee, you must create a profile with the online applicant system

  • Click on “Schedule Appointment” on the left-hand side of your screen.
    • For visa type, select “Nonimmigrant Visa.”
    • For visa category, select “Seafarers.”
    • For visa class, select, “Crew member in Transit.”
    • Complete other information as appropriate.
  • Once you are on the payment screen, click “Payment Options.”
  • You may pay the non-refundable fee on the payment screen with an accepted debit card. After successfully processing your payment, the online system should allow you to schedule your interview.
  • You may choose to pay cash at an authorized bank. If you choose to do this, you must print and carry the visa collection slip, available to you after logging into your profile. You must bring your passport and the printed deposit slip to pay your fee. Print only one copy of the deposit slip. Once the payment is complete, you will receive a receipt with a visa fee receipt number. Save your receipt with the visa fee receipt number. You must have this number to schedule an appointment.

Step 3: Schedule Appointment

Schedule your appointment.

  • You will need …
    • Your passport number
    • The receipt number from your visa fee receipt
    • The ten digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
  • You may schedule your appointment online by logging into your profile at the online applicant system at

Step 4: Attend Interview

Visit the US Embassy or the Consulate on the date and time of your visa interview. You must bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, your DS-160 confirmation page, a recent photograph and your current and all old passports. Applications without these items will not be accepted.

Although Consular officers rely primarily on the interview to determine your eligibility for a visa, voluntarily providing other supporting documents may help you in your interview. These include

  • Proof of income, tax payments, property or business ownership, or assets
  • A letter from your employer detailing your position, salary, how long you have been employed, any authorized vacation and the business of purpose of your trip
  • An itinerary or other information about your planned trip
  • Bank saving account books or other evidence of liquid assets that indicate the balance in your accounts and your account activity
  • Real estate leases or deeds
  • A joining letter (original preferred)

You may check the status of your visa application at: