Can anyone help with what C-1 and B-2 mean in the last column on the image below mean please?

Searches on Google now only relate to current Visa requirements I cannot find what these historical references may have meant.

Passenger list

  • JewishGen.org has an article on Manifest Markings at jewishgen.org/infofiles/manifests but unfortunately they don't give an example of this kind of passenger list. Can you find the page with the Instructions referred to in the form header? The answer might be there. What is the source for this image? – Jan Murphy Dec 29 '13 at 16:29
  • Does the full image show a printed form number for this style of passenger list? – Jan Murphy Dec 29 '13 at 16:43
  • The form number show in the image is the 1-1-57 revision of Customs and Immigration form I-418. This form number is still in use today, but the form itself is very different. The instructions for the ship's master doesn't give us any clues, because they weren't supposed to fill out that column of the form -- it was for office use only. So: how can we find the procedure for the people who were processing these forms in the office? and how can we find out what the procedure was in 1957? – Jan Murphy Dec 29 '13 at 17:17
  • Source: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957. Microfilm Publication T715. The image shown is from Roll 8854. NARA says "Researchers are welcome to contact our New York office for additional information at: 1-866-840-1752 (toll-free) or 212-401-1620 or e-mail: newyork.archives@nara.gov ". Tell them you already have the image (send a copy or a link, so they can see what you are looking at), so they won't think you are making an image request. – Jan Murphy Dec 29 '13 at 18:26

Since this record is fairly modern (1957) it seems likely those references are similar to, or the same as, the modern visa categories.

Most of the entries on that page have a C-1 visa, which is a transit visa that only permits immediate onward travel to another country, and all of these have a destination in Canada, which is consistent with that.

B-2 is the normal pleasure tourist category for entry. B-1 is the business visitor version, and the visa required for both these is a "B" visa. The Philpotts from the UK in that image have that category, despite having a destination in Canada. This could be either because they plan to stop off at places in the US on the way, or (more likely) they already have a US tourist visa from an earlier trip so don't need the more restrictive transit visa.

To confirm that visa categories haven't changed much, if at all, since 1957, on page 58 of that document (Ancestry, subscription required) there are some A-2 visas (diplomatic or official business) going to a military base in the US. There's also an O-1 visa ("extraodinary ability") for William L Fuller on that page, plus the O-2 and O-3 dependent visas for his family.

Page 60 has a G-2 visa for Joan L. Robinson. The G-2 visa is for representatives of a recognized government traveling to the U.S. temporarily to attend meetings of a designated international organization and her destination is indeed shown as the UK delegation to the United Nations, New York.

In summary, many visa categories do appear to be largely unchanged since 1957. The most readable and complete summary of present-day categories is on Wikipedia.

  • +1 good answer! Researching each individual visa type might turn up evidence about whether those categories have changed since 1957. – Jan Murphy Dec 29 '13 at 23:49

A current and detailed list of US visa codes can be found here:

US State Department Directory of Visa Categories

That list currently does not include a C-1 code. It does contain a C code for "transiting the United States".

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