us transit visa

US Transit Visa for Indians - Procedure, Fees, etc.

The United States of America is a major transit hub. Be it for flights or seven ships, a number of these transports have a stop at a US airport or seaport. If you have a similar purpose, you will need a type of US transit visa for Indians.

What is US Transit Visa?

us transit visa

The American transit visa is issued for people who have to transit through the US for different purposes. This is only required for nationalities that do not come under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), such as Indian nationals.

Eligibility for US Transit Visa

In order to be able to apply for the transit permits, you will have to meet certain eligibility criteria as required by the US embassy - 

  • You must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry. 
  • You must apply for a visa from India. 
  • You must be only passing through the US on your way to your final destination (a third country).
  • You must have no intentions of taking part in tourism or business. For this, you will require a B1/B2 visa.

For the D or C1/D visa, you must be one of the following - 

  • Flight attendant or pilot on a commercial aircraft
  • Captain, deckhand, or engineer on a vessel
  • Lifeguard, waiter, cook, or other supporting staff on a cruise
  • Trainee on board a training vessel

How to apply for US Transit Visa?

The application for the US transit visa from India is done through the US embassy and consulates. The US transit visa application form is the DS-160 form (Non-Immigrant). The application process can be explained as below -

  1. Visit the US Department of State Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website, and fill in your details in the DS-160 form. Make a note of the DS-160 form barcode as you will need it for the rest of the procedure.
  2. Proceed to pay the application fees. Make a note of the receipt number.
  3. Log on to your account and proceed to book your appointments. You will have to book 2 appointments. The first one is for the biometric submission at one of the five VACs, and the second one is for your interview at the US Embassy or Consulate.
  4. On the day of your first appointment, visit your VAC along with a passport, appointment confirmation page, documents, and a DS-160 confirmation page. You will be subjected to a fingerprint scan, and a digital photo will be taken.
  5. For your visa interview, you will have to visit the embassy or consulate along with a valid passport, documents, appointment confirmation page, and the VAC stamped DS-160 page.

Note that the application form has to be filled correctly. The documents that are submitted have to be valid and legitimate. Fake or invalid documents can get your application rejected. A visa denial can deem you ineligible for other US visas as well.

USA Transit Visa Categories

There are 3 types in which a transit visa is issued. These can be mentioned as follows -

  • C Category - This category is issued for people who have a flight or ship layover in the United States.
  • D Category - This permit is issued for crew members of commercial ships or international aircraft who have to travel through the US on their normal operations.
  • C-1/D Category - In certain cases, the C1 and D are combined and issued. This happens when the person has to enter the US first before boarding the aircraft or vessel to travel through the US.

US Transit Visa Requirements

As per the requirements, the following are the documents required for US transit visa


  • DS-160 application form.
  • A valid passport which has at least one blank page. 
  • One photograph as per the specifications 
  • Transit visa fee payment receipt. 
  • Visa or permit for the country of final destination.
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover expenses during the transit.
  • Proof of return to your home country after the stay in the US. 

D or C1/D -

  • DS-160 application form.
  • A valid passport which has at least one blank page. 
  • One photograph as per the specifications 
  • Transit visa fee payment receipt. 
  • Covering letter from your employer, explaining the details and purpose of the visit. 
  • Proof of return to your home country after the stay in the US. 
  • Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC).
  • Copies of your work record from the employer.
  • Travel authorization from the company.
  • Certificates proving your qualifications.
  • Police Clearance Certificate.

Photo Specifications for US Transit Visa

As per the requirements, the photos submitted for the visa application must meet the following specifications - 

photo specifications for us transit visa

  • Dimensions:  50mm X 50mm
  • Colour: Coloured
  • Recently taken
  • Background: plain white
  • Must have 70% face coverage
  • Facial expression: neutral
  • Eyes directed towards the camera and wide open 
  • Glasses: allowed for medical reasons only
  • Uniforms are not permitted
  • Headgears: allowed only for religious reasons
  • Facial hair is permitted.

USA Transit Visa Validity

The validity and stay duration for the transit permit is normally up to 29 days, or according to the date of your onward journey, whichever comes first. However, the D or C1/D permit can be issued for a duration of up to 29 days only.

US Transit Visa Processing Time

Although the actual processing time may be just around 2 weeks after your interview, getting an appointment slot for the visa interview can take quite some time. Apart from this, the processing time can also vary on certain factors such as the volume of applications at the embassy/consulate, your previous travel history, staff availability, and so on. As a result, ensure that you apply well in advance.

US Transit Visa Fees

The total US transit visa cost depends on several aspects such as biometric fees, service charges, etc. The fees also can be changed by the embassy or consulate without any prior notice and as a result, ensure that you check the exact amount before starting your application.

Entry Stay Duration Validity Fees
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 10 years 13440.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 10 years 13440.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 10 years 13440.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 10 years 13440.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 10 years 13440.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 10 years 13440.0

After Submission

Once you have submitted your application and attended the interview, your application will be processed by the embassy. Note that once submitted, you will not be able to modify the application. As a result, ensure that you do not make any mistakes while making the application. Prepare well for your visa interview as well since this decides a large portion of your application’s approval.

The visa fee is non-refundable. As a result, even if your application is rejected, you will not receive a refund. Therefore, it is advised to make your application through a reputed travel agency.

How to check US Transit Visa Status?

While you are awaiting a response, you can check your visa status. This can be done in multiple ways. You can do this by visiting the CEAC website and using the interview location, and DS-160 form number to view it. Or, you can email at ‘’ with your passport number.

When you have this visa

Once you have received the visa, there are a few things you must keep in mind. These are as follows- 

  • Before you travel
    1. Note the validity, stay duration, and the number of entries mentioned on your visa. You must not stay in the country beyond this period. 
    2. Carry all your travel documents before you travel to the country.
    3. Ensure that you have the tickets and visa for your onward journey as well.
  • At the border
    1. You must show your passport with the visa to the immigration officer at the port of entry. Your entry stamp will be placed on the passport.
    2. You may be asked to show the copy of the other documents submitted as part of your application. 
    3. You may be asked about the basic details of your visit. Ensure that you answer honestly and without any hesitance. 
    4. Note that the US border control officials have the right to reject your entry if you don’t meet the requirements. The visa alone does not guarantee you entry into the country. 
  • When you enter the USA
    1. You must leave the country according to the allowed duration.
    2. As per the US transit visa rules, you will not be able to extend or convert this visa.
    3. On the D or C1/D visa, you must exit the US through your port or dock of entry.
    4. On the D or C1/D permit, if you have to enter the US again, you must apply for a new permit only after 6 months from your last exit.
    5. You must respect the culture and customs of the country, as well as abide by the immigration laws during your stay.


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