Visas to transit/travel to the United States


United States Embassy
states of america
100 Duke & Young Streets, Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana

Installment 22-4

1. I just need to go through (transit) the United States to go to another country. I don’t even intend to leave the airport. Do I need a visa?

Yes. Once you transit through the United States en route to another destination, you will need a valid United States visa unless you qualify for visa-free travel under the Visa Waiver Program. Even if you only intend to be in the United States for a few hours and you don’t plan to leave the airport, you still need a visa. These individuals may apply for either a B-1/B-2 tourist visa or a C-1 transit visa, depending on the nature of their trip.

2. What is a transit visa?

A transit visa is issued to aliens in immediate and continuous transit through the United States en route to a foreign destination and will only be issued when an officer is satisfied that the transit trip will not be interrupted. When issuing the visa, the consular officer must be satisfied that the primary purpose of the trip is to transit through the United States and the applicant will still need to show strong and significant ties to their country of residence.

3. Since I have to stop in the United States, can I take a mini-vacation with my C-1 transit visa?

The C-1 visa is intended for immediate and continuous transit, which means reasonably expeditious departure from the United States and assumes a prearranged itinerary without any unreasonable stopover privileges. If the traveler is requesting stopover privileges for purposes other than transit through the United States, such as visiting friends or sightseeing, the traveler will need to qualify for the type of visa required for that purpose.

4. My connecting flight to my final destination leaves the United States more than 24 hours after my arrival. Should I stay at the airport?

Foreigners in transit are not required to stay in the airport transit hall. If a traveler’s connecting flight to their final destination is not a few hours, they are free to sightsee and stay in a hotel or with family/friends as long as they continue their journey within the time limit. authorized stay. Remember, connecting flights should be booked to ensure reasonably expeditious departure from the United States and not to facilitate stopover/vacation privileges.

5. Can I apply for a B-1/B-2 tourist visa and use it to transit the United States?

Travelers who have a valid B1/B2 can transit through the United States with this visa. A C-1 transit visa is not required. If you already have a tourist visa, you can use this visa both to visit the United States and for onward travel. Visa-free applicants, whose sole purpose of coming to the United States is transit, should apply for the C-1 transit visa.

6. How do I apply for a C-1 transit visa?

The transit visa application process is the same as for a B-1/B-2 tourist visa application. See our application instructions at On the day of the visa interview, it may be useful to bring documents relating to the purpose of your trip and your final destination. For example, if you are attending a conference, please bring a copy of your conference registration. If possible, applicants transiting through the United States may wish to obtain the destination country’s visa (if required) before applying for the US transit visa.

7. I am an entrepreneur working in Guyana and the easiest way to return to my home country is through the United States. Can I apply for a transit visa in Guyana?

Yes. Third-country nationals, such as people working in the oil industry, can apply for Guyana transit visas to facilitate their journey through the United States to their home country. We encourage such individuals to apply early as wait times for appointments are still extended and we are unable to expedite appointments for the sole purpose of allowing the traveler to return home. Only in cases of extreme urgency can an appointment be expedited.


“Ask the Consul” is a monthly column from the U.S. Embassy that answers questions about U.S. immigration law and visa issues. Detailed visa and travel information can be found at https://gy., and Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documentation and avoid third party advice. US consular rules change frequently and non-US government advisors often provide inadequate or inaccurate information. Please contact our Visa Information Service Center toll-free: 1-877-246-6788 or 703-988-5765 if you have general visa questions. »

In this edition of our Ask-the-Consul, we’ll answer some common questions
questions about visas to transit/travel to the United States.


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