The lesser-known C26 visa category is a unique visa program in the United States that is designed for foreign nationals employed by foreign airlines. The visa is specifically meant for crew members who frequently enter and exit the US.
In this article, you’ll learn about the C26 visa category, its requirements, application process, and how it compares to other visa categories available for foreign nationals.
Here are the key takeaways you should know about the C26 visa category:
- The C26 visa is meant for foreign airline crew members who frequently enter and exit the United States
- The visa is valid for 29 days and cannot be extended
- Applicants need to show proof of employment with the foreign airline
- The visa is not eligible for dependents or family members
Who Is Eligible for the C26 Visa?
The C26 visa is strictly available for foreign airline crew members, including pilots, flight attendants, and any other crew member who is not a US citizen or permanent resident. It is important to understand that the visa is restricted to employment with foreign airlines.
How Does the C26 Visa Compare with Other Visas Available for Non-US Citizens?
Compared to other visa categories available for non-US citizens, the C26 visa is unique and has specific requirements. Here are the key differences:
- The C26 visa is not a dual intent visa, which means the applicant cannot intend to stay permanently in the United States.
- The C26 visa is valid for up to 29 days, compared to the B1/B2 visa, which can be issued for up to 10 years, but only allows a stay of up to six months per entry.
- The C26 visa does not allow for dependents or family members to accompany the visa holder, unlike the L visa, which allows for dependents to join the visa holder in the United States.
How to Apply for the C26 Visa
Here are the requirements and steps you need to take in order to apply for the C26 visa:
Gather the required documents
- A valid passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in the United States
- A valid C26 visa application
- A recent photograph
- Proof of your employment with the foreign airline
- Letter from your employer explaining the purpose of your visit
- Evidence of your intended itinerary for your stay in the United States
- Evidence of your intent to depart the United States after your stay
Apply for the visa at a US embassy or consulate
- Schedule an appointment for your visa interview
- Pay the visa application fee
- Attend your visa interview and provide all required documents
Can You Extend the C26 Visa?
No, the C26 visa is valid for only 29 days and cannot be extended under any circumstance. You must leave the United States before the visa expires.
How to Convert the C26 visa to Another Visa Category?
Since the C26 visa is not a dual intent visa, it cannot be converted to another visa category in the United States. If you wish to stay in the United States after your visa expires, you will need to return to your home country and apply for a new visa that is appropriate for your circumstances.
If you are a foreign airline crew member who frequently enters and exits the United States, the C26 visa may be the right visa for you. It is a unique visa category that has specific requirements, so it is important to ensure that you meet all of the eligibility requirements and follow the correct application process.
Q: Can family members or dependents apply for the C26 visa?A: No, the C26 visa is not eligible for dependents or family members. Only foreign airline crew members who are directly employed by a foreign airline can apply for the visa.
Q: Can you extend the C26 visa?A: No, the C26 visa is valid for 29 days and cannot be extended under any circumstance.
Q: What happens if I overstay my C26 visa?A: Overstaying your visa can lead to serious consequences, such as future visa denials, deportation, and being barred from re-entering the United States. It is important to abide by the visa requirements and leave the United States before your visa expires.