Mastering the C1/D Visa Interview: A Seafarer’s Guide to Success

As a seafarer, your journey often takes you across the vast oceans and into various ports around the world. One of the most coveted destinations is the United States, offering opportunities for shore leave, crew changes, and new experiences. However, to gain entry into the U.S., you must first navigate the challenging waters of the C1/D visa interview process.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll equip you with the essential knowledge and strategies to ace your C1/D visa interview, ensuring a smooth and successful passage. Brace yourself as we dive into the most frequently asked questions, provide insightful tips, and unveil the secrets to impressing the consular officer.

Understanding the C1/D Visa

Before we delve into the interview questions, let’s briefly explore the purpose and significance of the C1/D visa for seafarers. This non-immigrant visa category allows crewmembers and air crew to transit through the United States, join or depart a vessel, and enjoy shore leave during their temporary stay.

The C1/D visa is crucial for seafarers because it grants them the flexibility to navigate U.S. ports, sign on or off ships, and explore the country’s attractions during their limited time on land. Without this visa, your opportunities for experiencing the vibrant culture and landmarks of the United States would be severely limited.

Commonly Asked C1/D Visa Interview Questions

During your C1/D visa interview, the consular officer will assess your eligibility and intentions through a series of questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions you should prepare for:

  1. What is the purpose of you coming here?

    • Suggested Answer: “I am in the Merchant Navy, and my company has instructed me to obtain a U.S. visa.”
  2. What post have you been employed?

    • Provide your current position or rank, such as Deck Officer, Engineer, or Rating.
  3. What is your experience?

    • Share your relevant experience in the maritime industry, but keep your response concise.
  4. Tell me about your family background?

    • Provide a brief overview of your family, including your parents’ occupations, without going into unnecessary details.
  5. Why did you join the Merchant Navy?

    • Be honest about your motivation, whether it’s a lucrative profession, a passion for the sea, or a desire for adventure.
  6. Where did you complete your Pre-Sea training?

    • Mention the name of the institute, course (e.g., DNS, GME), and location where you completed your pre-sea training.
  7. Describe your duties onboard?

    • Summarize your responsibilities in a concise and straightforward manner, avoiding overly technical terms.
  8. What will be your salary?

    • Refer to the employment letter provided by your shipping company and state your salary in USD.
  9. What is your contract tenure?

    • Again, reference the details outlined in your employment letter.
  10. Where did you come to know about the Merchant Navy?

    • Mention the source that inspired your interest in the maritime industry, such as websites, newspapers, school counselors, or relatives.
  11. Who will take care of you in the U.S. unless you join your vessel?

    • Explain that the agent assigned by your company will receive you, escort you to the hotel (if applicable), and facilitate your joining the vessel.
  12. Green color represents which side of the ship?

    • Starboard.
  13. Which ship are you joining?

    • Provide the name of the vessel and its IMO number, as stated in your employment letter.
  14. What kind of ship is that?

    • Specify the type of vessel, such as a chemical tanker, oil tanker, passenger vessel, bulk carrier, container ship, RO-RO, or gas tanker.
  15. Which is your joining port?

    • State the name of the port where you will be joining the vessel.
  16. Why do you want a U.S. visa if you are joining from a non-U.S. port?

    • Explain that although your joining port is not in the U.S., your vessel’s itinerary includes U.S. ports, and having a visa will allow you to disembark and explore during those calls.
  17. Have you visited other countries in the past?

    • Provide a truthful account of the countries you’ve visited, as reflected in your passport and DS-160 application.
  18. Would you be settling in the U.S.?

    • Firmly deny any intentions of settling in the U.S., emphasizing that you are applying for a non-immigrant visa and will return to your home country upon the completion of your contract.
  19. Describe your action if the Captain orders you to leave the ship during your sailing period?

    • Explain that you would contact the agent or company executives, who would handle the situation safely and appropriately.
  20. During the interview, if a consular officer says, “You will run away from the seaport when the ship is alongside,”?

    • Reassure the officer that during your sailing period, your passport and Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC) are held by the ship’s Master, making it virtually impossible for you to abscond from the port. Additionally, port authorities and guards would prevent any unauthorized departure.

Tips for a Successful C1/D Visa Interview

Preparation is key to a successful C1/D visa interview. Here are some valuable tips to help you navigate the process with confidence:

  1. Dress Professionally: Your appearance sets the tone for the interview. Dress in formal attire, such as a suit and tie, to create a positive first impression.

  2. Be Truthful and Consistent: Honesty is crucial during the interview. Answer all questions truthfully and consistently, as any contradictions or inconsistencies may raise red flags.

  3. Practice Responses: Rehearse your responses to common questions with friends or family members. This will help you articulate your answers more confidently and naturally.

  4. Familiarize Yourself with Maritime Terminology: Review maritime terminology and concepts relevant to your duties and responsibilities, as the consular officer may ask questions related to your field.

  5. Demonstrate Your Commitment: Emphasize your dedication to the maritime profession and your intention to return to your home country upon completing your contract. This will help alleviate any concerns about overstaying.

  6. Remain Calm and Respectful: Maintain a composed and respectful demeanor throughout the interview. Avoid becoming defensive or argumentative, even if faced with challenging questions.

  7. Bring Supporting Documents: Have all necessary documents, such as your passport, CDC, employment letter, and any other relevant paperwork, readily available during the interview.

  8. Follow Up: After the interview, consider sending a thank-you note or email to the consular officer, reiterating your appreciation for their time and expressing your continued interest in obtaining the C1/D visa.

Remember, the C1/D visa interview is an opportunity to showcase your professionalism, commitment to the maritime industry, and your eagerness to experience the United States responsibly. By following these tips and preparing diligently, you’ll increase your chances of a successful outcome and embark on your journey with confidence.


Navigating the C1/D visa interview process can be daunting, but with the right preparation and mindset, it can become a smooth and rewarding experience. This comprehensive guide has equipped you with the essential knowledge, common interview questions, and invaluable tips to help you sail through the interview with flying colors.

Embrace the opportunity to showcase your expertise, commitment, and passion for the maritime industry. Remember, the consular officer’s goal is to assess your eligibility and intentions, so approach the interview with honesty, professionalism, and a deep understanding of your role as a seafarer.

Bon voyage, and may the winds of success guide you through the C1/D visa interview and beyond!

C1/D visa interview questions and answers || US C-1/d visa

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