A C-3 transit visa allows accredited foreign government officials to enter the U.S. while in transit to another foreign country for official work. Each person, including immediate family members (even children and babies listed in parents’ passports), attendants, servants, and personal employees of the official, needs to apply for a separate C-3 transit visa.
An immigration officer at a port of entry can admit a person holding a C-3 transit visa for the duration determined by him/her, but for a maximum duration of 29 days. You must leave the U.S. on the proposed flight or ship of departure, or within 29 days, whichever is earlier. You must pass in immediate and continuous transit through the U.S.
The following documents are required for a C-3 transit visa:
- One photograph
- Confirmation page of online submitted Form DS-160 with CEAC bar code.
- Visa fees
Fees to be paid in advance before taking an appointment.
- Proof of permission to enter the country of your final destination, such as a passport with a valid visa or evidence that a visa is not required.
- A common carrier (flight or ship) ticket or other proof of transportation arrangement to the final destination.
- Financial documents to show that you have adequate funds to cover the cost of your transit journey.
- The consular officer may ask for additional documents to verify the actual purpose of applying for a transit visa, such as the position on which you are traveling, the purpose of the visit, etc. It is not possible to predict the exact documents that may be asked for.
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You must apply for a C-1 transit visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. All applicants between the ages of 14 years and 79 years must apply in person and must schedule an appointment before visiting the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Applicants under the age of 14 and those 80 years and above may apply for a transit visa by mail.
Application procedures vary depending upon the consulates in different countries. If you are applying for a transit visa in India, you can find a detailed application procedure here. Processing times can vary a lot in different countries and there are delays of several months in places, like India, before you can get the visa appointment. It is wise to plan very early because of the constant heavy demand for U.S. visas.
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