The requirements to qualify for a C1 transit visa are practically the same as those of the B1 business visa and B2 tourist visa except you must also prove flight reservations to a foreign country and a valid visa for that foreign country.

US Embassy officers automatically assume every C1 transit visa applicant intends to stay in the US permanently and therefore applicants must prove the following:

  • Strong business, social and/or family connections to their home country;
  • Legitimate travel purpose; and
  • Financial ability to pay for travel expenses.

Generally, the most important factors in judging a C1 transit visa applicant’s chances of approval are as follows:

  • Long term job or well documented successful business; and
  • Documented consistent high level of income.

US Embassy officers examine each C1 transit visa applicant’s case individually with the main focus on the background of the individual applicant.  Application form answers, supporting documentation and performance during the interview are all also important factors in the visa application being approved.

US Embassy officers have very broad discretion to accept or reject a C1 transit visa applicant’s case for a variety of reasons.  Generally, C1 transit visas have the lowest approval rates because of the short time period and inexpensive cost required to apply.  C1 transit visa applicants with a strong command of the English language normally have higher rates of approval because of the necessity to speak English while in the US. Specifically, C1 transit visas for students, wives, husbands, fiancées, girlfriends and boyfriends are difficult to get approved due to loopholes in US immigration laws allowing persons to stay permanently in the US after arrival if they marry a US citizen.

It is highly recommended that C1 transit visa applicants do not make any large transactions in or out of their bank account prior to the interview at the US Embassy.  US Embassy officers will focus on long term and consistent financial transaction history of the C1 transit visa applicant’s bank account and not on large recent financial transactions.  Generally, the balance amount of the C1 transit visa applicant’s bank statement should be enough to cover their travel expenses for the duration of the visit to the US unless such expenses are being paid by a US sponsor.

Self Help

US State Department - C1 Transit Visa

Foreign Affairs Manual - C1 Transit Visa