TWIC Cards: Learn About Eligibility

When you began working in the maritime industry, you probably never realized all of the rules and regulations that go along with your line of work. One confusing situation some people run into is when their employer requires that they have a TWIC card. A TWIC card, more formally known as Transportation Worker Identification Credential, is a vital security measure that ensures individuals who pose a threat do not gain unescorted access to the secure areas of the nation’s maritime transportation system.

If you work on Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) regulated vessels or at a MTSA-regulated facility, your employer has probably requested that you obtain a TWIC card. To begin with, you must be a U.S. citizen or be in one of these eligible immigration categories:

  • Permanent residents
  • Citizens of Micronesia, Palau, and the Marshall Islands
  • Refugees admitted under 8 U.S.C. 1157
  • Aliens granted asylum under 8 U.S.C. 1158
  • Non-citizens granted withholding of deportation or removal
  • Mexican and Canadian citizens who are commercial drivers who are licensed to transport hazardous material or conduct business in the U.S.
  • A-1 Visa holders and immediate family
  • A-2 Visa holders and immediate family
  • Business visitors with OCS or Outer Continental Shelf annotation on Visa
  • Business visitors with TWIC Letter Received annotation on Visa (TWIC annotated B-1 Visa)
  • Non-citizens with a C-1/D Visa
  • E-1 Visa holder or the Visa holder’s child or spouse
  • E-2 and E-3 Visa holders or the spouse of the Visa holder
  • F-1 Visa holders sponsored by MARAD
  • G-1, G-3 and G-4 Visa holders and immediate family
  • H1-B and H1-B1 Visa holders
  • J-1 Visa holders sponsored by MARAD

To apply, you need to contact a Transportation Security Administration TWIC enrollment center. Once the appointment has been scheduled, you will need to pull together certain documentation that is required. At the appointment, you’ll present your documentation, take care of paper work, get fingerprinted and photographed and pay an enrollment fee. Once you’re done, it will take about six to eight weeks for the TSA to look you know if you’ve been approved.

If you’re just in the beginning phases of learning how to get your TWIC card, be sure to bookmark this page as a reference.

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