Individuals who were admitted into the United States in order to fulfill contractual agreements to work as crew members on ships are barred from adjusting their status. I suppose the policy is that if a pleasure or work ship lost its crew it would be unable to leave the port. This would disrupt commerce on a global level.
The policy makes sense. The Immigration and Nationality Act specifically bars those individuals that were admitted for transit to meet up with a ship and those who were actually admitted as crew members. The passport would be stamped with a "C-1/D-1" notation. The relatively newly introduced family unity policy of Provisional Waiver can now be utilized for such individuals who are married to U.S. citizens. In a recent case, our client, "Dexter," had already fulfilled his contractual obligation to work on a cruise ship. I had a strategy to pursue the case for adjustment of status arguing that "Dexter" was not in fact a crew member when we was admitted into the United States. In any event, we did not have to engage in costly and time consuming litigation because under the guidance of my Partner Donald Madeo, we successfully had "Dexter's" Provisional Waiver application approved in quick fashion. Please enjoy "Dexter's" review that he posted on AVVO.COM click the link to see the review.