Effective June 16, 2004, the Department of State (DOS) will eliminate crew list visas. This rule was first published December 13, 2002, and is now final on an interim basis.
The crew list visa enables crew persons to enter the U.S. on temporary bases as long as their names are listed on a crew manifest visaed by a consular officer. However, the crew list visa was originally intended to be utilized only as a temporary or emergency measure until individual visas could be issued to all crew persons.
The DOS is eliminating the crew list visa as part of its continued tightening of measures related to immigration and national security. According to the DOS: “by eliminating the crew list visa, the Department will ensure that each crewmember entering the United States will be required to complete the nonimmigrant visa application forms, submit a valid passport and undergo an interview and background checks.”
In addition, according to the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act (2002), all visas issued after October 26, 2004 are required to have a biometric indicator. This requirement would in effect necessitate the elimination of the crew list visa.