D Visa for Crew Members
D visa can be issued to persons who are members of a crew serving on board an aircraft or a sea vessel in the United States. To qualify for the D visa the applicant must provide services that are required for normal operation of an aircraft or a sea vessel (e.g. a beautician or a lifeguard on board of a luxury ocean liner). The D visa applicant must intend to depart from the United States on a vessel for a foreign port within 29 days. The D visa applicants do not need to be employed as crew members when they apply for a visa but they need to be employed or be trainees on the vessel when they arrive to the United States.
Spouses and children of the crew member visa holders do not qualify for a D visa. If they intend to enter the United States they need to obtain a different kind of visa depending on what is the purpose of their travel to the U.S. (If they come solely to accompany the crew member and for pleasure, they may qualify for a B-2 visa)
Crew members of a private yacht which will be cruising in the United States waters for over 29 days and crew members going to the Outer Continental Shelf do not qualify for a D visa and need to obtain a B-1 visa.