Aliens that are usually admitted under D visa into the United States are workers those work on both ships and airplanes. Usually crewmember must be part of the regular functioning of the vessel, and his family members cannot get derivative status.
Except in a few limited cases, D visa holders have been specifically prohibited from performing longshoreman work. If the US crewmembers have an agreement with the country of origin of crewmen to do longshoreman work, then D visa holder can do the longshoreman work in the United States. Also, crewmembers are usually allowed to load and unload hazardous materials. Alien crewmember will be able to perform longshoreman work if the areas’ longshoremen’s union has a collective bargaining agreement allowing alien crewmembers to perform such work. Incase, there is no such collective bargaining agreement, the employer will be allowed to attest to the prevailing practice of allowing alien crewmembers to do such work.
It is required that the person in charge of the vessel must present to the USCIS a crew list showing the names of all crewmembers, their position on the ship, and information whether they will be discharged at that port. However, Vessels working solely within the Great Lakes do not need to fulfill this obligation, except for crewmembers that are not US, Canadian, or British citizens. At the time of leaving, a person in charge of vessel must present a list documenting any changes in the crewmembers. The person in charge should submit, if there have been no changes, a statement to that effect.
An Alien crewmember must be inspected by the USCIS before they can be allowed to leave the vessel. Unless given a conditional landing permit, crewmembers cannot leave the vessel even after the inspection. If the Operator of the vessel fail to follow these rules is subject to harsh penalties. The crewmember has no right to appeal the denial of shore leave.
Crewmembers that are not able to leave with their vessel because of unforeseen circumstances may be able to change to another crewmember visa that will allow them to leave with another vessel. As a general rule, crewmembers are not allowed to extend their stay or change their status, and are not eligible to seek relief from deportation or removal order. They are not allowed to apply for adjustment of status except under INA section 245(i).
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