D- Visa & Status

D-visas apply to crewmen, who are serving in good faith in any capacity required for normal operating and service on board a vessel. Those who are eligible to receive a D-visa include:

  1. People employed by owners or concessionaire (e.g., beautician).
  2. Trainees.

Those who are ineligible for D-visa status include:

  1. Persons on U.S. based fishing vessels, except for those landing temporarily on Guam.
  2. Persons not needed for normal operation or where numbers are in excess.
  3. Persons performing longshoreman’s work unless it is prevailing practice, which is that established by a collective bargaining agreement or employer attestation if there is no agreement, and there is reciprocity for crewman aboard U.S. vessels, or it is being done by automated equipment.
  4. At least one court has relied upon three factors to determine alien crewman status:
  • the nature of the employee’s duties
  • when those duties are performed
  • whether any employee has a permanent connection with the ship, and whether their presence facilitates the operation of the vessel.


Types of D- Visas

There are two types of D-visas–Traditionally there were two methods of obtaining D visas: Individual D visas or crew list visa. Crew list visas have been eliminated for security reasons. D-1 visas are for crew on all types of vessels except U.S. based fishing vessels, and D-2 are visas for U.S. based fishing vessels temporarily visiting Guam.