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C-1 Visa Questions

The C-1 transit visa falls under the non-immigrant visa category and is used to allow foreign nationals to enter the U.S. while travelling to another country. To get a C-1 visa, immigration has a few requirements. Applicants need to show flight details and a passport with a valid visa that proves they are allowed to enter their destination country. They also need to pass through the U.S. in immediate and continuous transit and show evidence of transportation to their destination. In addition, they need to show sufficient funds to afford the transit journey and have evidence of permission to enter another country apart from the U.S.

Listed below are a few questions answered by immigration lawyers on C-1 visas.

After a C-1 visa holder marries a U.S. citizen, can he change status?

Unfortunately, an individual who has come to the U.S. on a C-1 crewman visa is not allowed to adjust their status based on marriage to a U.S. citizen. The spouse can file the I-130, but the C-1 holder won’t be able to change status.

I came to the U.S. from Nigeria on a C-1 single entry visa and now plan to visit the Bahamas. After that, I want to re-enter the U.S. and go back to Nigeria from there. Will immigration allow me to do this?

The U.S. customs in Bahamas will normally not allow you to board the plane back to the U.S. You could try and get another C-1 visa by setting up an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Nassau.

I came to Los Angeles on a C-1 visa that says I can transit to and from Sao Paolo, Brazil. Immigration gave me an I-94 that said I could stay in the country for a month. I found a job as a caregiver and the patient I take care of is willing to petition me as his caregiver. My current visa has expired but can I try and re-apply with the help of my patient?

Unfortunately, the law doesn’t allow you to change a C-1 visa to any other kind of visa. Besides this, if you are out of status even for a day you cannot work from within the. You would have to leave the country to petition to come back in. If you stay in the country 180 days after the C-1 expires, you will face a three year ban to re-enter. If you overstay by one year or more, you will not be allowed back in the country for the next ten years.

My husband is on a C-1 visa and we have just had a baby. We’re married now but I haven’t filed a petition for him yet. Can he apply for a Green Card?

Your husband cannot stay in the U.S. and get legal status. He would have to leave the country and re-enter on another kind of visa. When he leaves the country, he will probably face a ten year ban on entering the U.S. The only possible way to lift this ban would be to convincingly prove to the government that you cannot stay with him in his home country because of an extreme hardship like a serious and permanent medical condition.

Activities of a C-1 visa holder are limited to visiting, touring, and shopping. Any exceptions to this rule would need an appropriate visa. Besides this, all family members need to have separate C-1 visas as there is no concept of a dependant C-1 visa. Finally, a C-1 visa holder can stay in the U.S. for a maximum of 29 days and cannot extend their stay beyond that.
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