C1D visa to green card
It is not easy to overstay in the US on a C1D crew visa and try to obtain a green card. By law, crew members are prevented from overstaying in the US and obtaining green cards (or other immigration benefits) as a means of discouraging violation of the crewman rules. C1-D crew members are supposed to depart the US on time once the work comes on a plane or ship comes to an end. So, any bending of the rules would encourage a crew member to jump ship.
A problem for many C1D crew members is that the overstay was not intentional. Something happened when they entered the US. Some arrive in the US by plane and are not met at the airport by an employee to take them to the cruise ship. The person who enters does not have much money or a SIM card for a cell phone to make a call. Some clients stay at the airport for many hours looking to make contact before giving up. In one case, the client met a friend while waiting for a 3 hour layover for the next flight. They drove around just to see a bit of New York and then got stuck in traffic, missing the flight. Consequently, the connection with the cruise ship is lost and the crew member remained in the US.
No matter what happens, when you enter the US you still are required to depart on time. Often, a crew member wants to work in the US long enough to save money for the ticket to return home. One thing leads to the next, and they never depart. An overstay of more than 180 days results in a bar from the US upon departure. A bar waiver for good cause is possible, but not easy to obtain.
There is the problem of the overstay, but also a question whether you misrepresented your intentions when you entered the US. You didn’t join the ship or plane, so your actions are suspect. Excuses are not easily accepted. There is not much you can do to become legal again. You need a strategy.
Marriage to a US Citizen or Green Card Holder
Most clients contact us because they met a US citizen and want to marry. They want to know how to obtain a green card. It takes some digging and they discover that even marriage to a US citizen will not help them much. Nothing is easy. The C1D visa interferes with all attempts to try and become legal in the US. If it were any other way, many more foreign crew members would jump ship.
C1 Status, Maybe Helps
Our law firm has helped hundreds of C1D crew members become legal. Yes, there is the issue of the C1 transit stamp in the passport, but really, the C1D visa and your contract with a ship spells crew member, not merely transit. Immigration agencies are up on the rules and have taken steps to try and limit your options. Of course, we have many strategies to work through issues effectively and put you together as a family in the US.
There is great value in reaching out to us to try and help solve the problem with a C1D crew member overstay and obtain a green card. We can help if you have a serious romantic relationship and want more information. Our legal fees are reasonable, and we can work with payment plans. There is no charge to call and inquire.