How to fill the DS-160

(for crew members that need the VISA C1/d)

We created this tutorial in order to help you on how to correctly fill out the DS-160, the first step in order to apply for the American C1/d VISA, that crew members need in order to join a vessel in the United States. There are plenty of tutorials about the DS-160 on the internet, but this one is very specific, designed for seafarers only.


Some personal information has been omitted from this guide. Let’s start? Access the United States consulate by clicking on the link: 

Apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa


This is the initial page where you start the form. Before we begin, have all your personal documents with you, including but not limited to your national ID, your passport number, your full address, your company full address, the ship you’ve been assigned and its identification number (this can be found on your Letter of Employment).


As the whole website is in English, if you need assistance you can also select the language of the tool tip help, on the right-top side. But follow our instructions and you should be fine.


The first information you need to select is the city that you’re going to apply for the VISA. This should be the closest to your living place as you can. Fill out the captcha phrase in order to proceed.

Application Information


On this next page you will receive a serial number that will represent your Application ID. If you lose connection or for any reason you have to go back on the form, you don’t need to start over, just type your ID and your secret answer to start from the part you last completed.


Your application id is: AA007AQPD0


The secret answer is something just for you to go back on this form, you will not require it later. So pick something easy to remember so you don’t lose precious time.

Personal Information 1


Proceed by writing down your personal information EXACTLY LIKE YOUR PASSPORT says. If you ever changed your name due to marriage/divorce, ignore it and fill out as your passport.


Then, there will be a question about your name. If you ever changed it, select YES and a new field will show up so you can write it down. Otherwise, just select NO and keep going. Unless you have a telecode name, the other question should be also NO.


Keep filling with your basic personal information, your gender, marital status, location and date of birth.


From now on, once you finish a page, just click NEXT. If you need to stop the form at any point, click SAVE and then the form will save and close. You can go back to it by inserting your Application Code and your secret answer.

Personal Information 2


We reached Personal Information 2. Keep filling with your info and select your nationality. If you select that you have more than one, another field will show up where you can insert your second nationality.

The second question is related to the one before, as it asks if you live in a different country than the one you’re born.

You will then be asked about your National Identification Number, so just type the number of your Government issued ID (without dots).

In the last two field, it basically asks if you have an American citizenship. If you do, you shouldn’t be filling this form to start with… so just select Does Not Apply at the Social Security Number and TAX Payer information, as the fields will turn gray.

Address and Phone Information


You will now fill your complete home address.


Mailing Address: This is your alternative address if you receive mail somewhere else than your home. Also, you have to fill out this form in case that you need the passport to be returned to a different address once approved. If you want the passport to be returned to your home or if you don’t have a different mailing other than your home, just select YES.


Fill out your phone numbers in case someone has to get in touch with you (very unlikely). All information regarding the status of your VISA will be through email.


So make sure you fill your correct email information on the field.


Once you’re done, as this page is important, check your information again and click NEXT to proceed.

Passport Information

We’ve reached the Passport information.


To start with, select that you have a REGULAR passport. And then, fill out the number of your passport. Example: FA458798


Passport Book Number: Most likely that will be Does Not Apply. Check your passport if it does contain a book nº.


Country that issued the document: If you lost your passport somewhere outside your home country and it had to be re-done, select the country where you made it. Otherwise, just select your own country.


Issue date / Expiration Date: It’s written on your passport.


The last question on this page will ask if you ever had your passport stolen. If you never had it stolen, just select NO and proceed to the next page. Otherwise it will open new fields so you can fill out the old passport number and information.


Click NEXT to proceed.

Travel Information


Purpose of Trip to the U.S.: In this section you need to select the purpose of your visit to the United States and a lot of people select the wrong option. As we mentioned in the beginning, this tutorial is for seafarers that have to acquire the C1/D VISA, not the one that says D – CREWMEMBER. Once again, do not select this one or you will have the VISA denied.

The correct way:

First, select the option ALIEN IN TRANSIT (C), and then a new field will show up so you can select the option CREWMEMBER IN TRANSIT (C1/D).

Now that you selected the right VISA, keep filling out the form:


Have you made specific travel plans? No, as you will join a cruise ship or yacht and therefore not stay in the country.


Intended Date of Arrival: Check your Letter of Employment and fill out as it says. Mostly it will be one day before your ship joining date.


Intended Length of Stay in U.S.? 6 Months *


NOTE: Some people say to select other option like less than 24 hours which is technically incorrect. This comes up as the C1/D is a transit VISA but in fact it allows crew members to stay up to 29 days in transit before joining a vessel. There is no exact input on this field, as the more correct one it is the one we mention: 6 months.


Person / Entity paying for your Trip: If you’re paying for the flight tickets, select yourself or the person who is paying for it. If the Company will provide you with your flight tickets and cover all the airfares, fill out your company information (that can also be found on the Letter of Employment).


NOTE: In our website we have a section that provides air fares with discounts for crew members. Just click here to check out our Airline Tickets.

Travel Companions Information

We’re halfway there, so let’s keep going:


Persons Traveling with you: No


And then click NEXT.

Previous U.S. Travel Information

Have you ever been to the U.S.? If you ever been to the United States before, select YES, even if it was when you were little. If that’s the case, the form will expand and ask for an approximate date and length of your visit. If not, select NO.


Have you ever been issued a U.S. Visa? If you already have another US VISA, like the Student one (J) or the Tourism (B1/B2), select YES. Otherwise, select NO.


Have you ever been refused a U.S. Visa? If you ever applied to another VISA and it got denied, select it here.


Have you ever filed an immigrant petition? No.

Family Information: Relatives


You will now fill out some information about your parents, like the full name, date of birth and if you have any of them living in the United States.


Do you have any immediate relative, not including parents in the United States? If you don’t have anyone from your family living in the United States, legal or illegally, select No.


Do you have any other relatives in the United States? No.


NOTE: If you have any family or relatives living in the United States, legally or illegally, the consul will be able to see it on their screen, so don’t lie. If you lie, you will have the VISA application denied. If you do have relatives living illegally, the consul might ask you if you’re related to them, the last time you spoke to them or if you plan to visit.

Present Work/Education/Training


In this section you will fill out some work related information, like your last or current job. If you don’t work but you study, fill out using your school or university information.


Primary Occupation: Select what’s your profession. If you don’t find it on the list, select OTHER and then another field will show so you will be able to type your occupation.


Present Employer or School Name: Choose to fill out as your work or as the place you study.


Monthly income in local currency: How much do you earn per month in your local currency. If you don’t work, select Does not Apply.


Briefly describe your duties: Describe what you do at work like “I work planning vacations” or in what field you study “I study medicine in the biggest private school in Spain”.

Previous Work/Education/Training Information

Were you previously employed? Select YES if you ever worked. Another field will open so you can fill more information about past experiences.


Have you attended any educations institutions at a secondary level or above? Select YES if you finished High School. Another field will show up so you can fill the information about your current university (if you’re studying) or the last one you attended.

Additional Information


Do you belong to a clan or a tribe? No.


Provide a list of languages you speak: Fill out with all the languages that you speak by clicking Add Another.


Have you traveled to any countries within the last five years? Select all the countries that you traveled to in the past five years. If you never left your home country, select NO.


Have you belonged to, worked in a charitable organization? Select yes if you ever belonged to a philanthropic organization.


Do you have specialized skills or training in firearms, explosives, nuclear and chemicals experience? Unless you have military experience, work with Nuclear energy or work as a Chemist, select No.


Have you served in the military? Select if you ever served the military in your country.


Have you ever served in … insurgent organization? No.

The next five pages are about Security and your Background Check so all the options should be selected as NO. They’re all related to terrorism, crimes, slavery and prostitution.

Crew Visa Information


We finally reached the end of the form, where you will need to fill some information about the company that hired you, along with the ship you’re joining and in which position. You will also need the company full address that can be found on the Letter of Employment and the company’s phone number, that you can find on Google or in other documents previously sent by the recruiter.


Did you acquire your position using a recruiting/manning/crewing agency? No. Even if you got hired by an agency, select no, as the agency is not responsible for you.


Are you serving aboard a seagoing ship or vessel? Yes


Seagoing Ship/Vessel Name: Name of your assigned ship (as the Letter of Employment says)


Seagoing Ship/Vessel Identification Number: IMO number of your ship. If not present on the Letter of Employment, check Google or the website MarineTraffic.

Review, Sign and Submit


Take your time and review all the information collected on this form. Note that the picture field is closed. This happens because you will take a picture at the passport center (ASC).


At the end of this page, you will be asked if someone filled out this form for you. Select NO, as our website doesn’t count.


E-Signature: Fill out using the number of your passport and complete the captcha just like you did in the beginning to sign.


Click on Sign and Submit Application and then you’re done with the DS-160 form! In the next steps you will be required to access another website, create an account using the DS-160 application ID and pay the VISA fee (160 US dollars). Don’t worry about this expense right now, as the company will reimburse you later, once you join the ship. So save the receipts!

Non-immigrant VISA Fee (MRV)

As you successfully completed the DS-160, it’s now time for you to pay the MRV Fee of 160 US dollars in order to be able to get an appointment with the American consulate. Do not forget to save the receipt as you can ask for reimbursement once you join the vessel! After the payment gets confirmed, you will be able to schedule the appointments: On most countries, you will have two appointments, one at the ASC where you will take a picture and collect fingerprints, and one at the consulate where you will go under an interview in order to check your intentions.

You will receive emails from now on with the status of your application. On the same emails, you will also receive a list of necessary documents that you need to bring, but the most important one is the Letter of Employment, given by your company. Without it, you will not be able to receive the VISA, so make sure you print a copy.

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