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Old 17-04-2013, 11:56   #1
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Puerto Rico. How to clear in as a Non-us Citizen

Hello

I'm new on the board, and hope some of you guys can help me. I'm on a boat in boca chica and we want to sail to puerto rico before BVI and USVI. But i get different answers how to clear in at Puerto Rico, i read that we can sail directly and get visa at arrival and i heard that we have to get it in advance.

Anybody have some experience on this issue?

Thanks in advance

Bjarke, S/Y Victoria, Denmark
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Old 17-04-2013, 12:22   #2
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Re: Puerto Rico. How to clear in as a Non-us Citizen

I have not done it but from all my research PR is exactly like the USA for people who are from visa waiver programme countries. You must have a B1B2 visa before you arrive. This also goes for USVI and American Samoa.

Check Noonsite for the latest info.
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Old 17-04-2013, 13:14   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uggalugh View Post
Hello

I'm new on the board, and hope some of you guys can help me. I'm on a boat in boca chica and we want to sail to puerto rico before BVI and USVI. But i get different answers how to clear in at Puerto Rico, i read that we can sail directly and get visa at arrival and i heard that we have to get it in advance.

Anybody have some experience on this issue?

Thanks in advance

Bjarke, S/Y Victoria, Denmark
I have been there on my boat... The general rule if you arrive in your own boat is that you need a B visa before arrival, even if you have passport eligible for Visa Waiver Program when you travel by plane... The exception is that some officers sometimes will let you "reuse" a visa waiver entry stamp that has not expired yet (for example if you entered the US at Miami airport a few weks before and you are now outside the US but the expiration date of the stamp you got has not been reached).
Do not try the visa upon arrival thing; these guys can get very unfriendly...
Cheers
C
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Old 17-04-2013, 18:28   #4
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Re: Puerto Rico. How to clear in as a Non-us Citizen

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
I have been there on my boat... The general rule if you arrive in your own boat is that you need a B visa before arrival, even if you have passport eligible for Visa Waiver Program when you travel by plane... The exception is that some officers sometimes will let you "reuse" a visa waiver entry stamp that has not expired yet (for example if you entered the US at Miami airport a few weks before and you are now outside the US but the expiration date of the stamp you got has not been reached).
Do not try the visa upon arrival thing; these guys can get very unfriendly...
Cheers
C
Okay Vi er skipping Puerto Rico for this time and goes directly to Tortola, and take a ferry from there to St.John and back again with visa, then to sail over to St.Thomas. What a shame with this silly rule, then we are missing puerto rico for this time.

And many thanks for all the answers
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Old 17-04-2013, 20:35   #5
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Re: Puerto Rico. How to clear in as a Non-us Citizen

You won't get a visa in St John, but you can clear in by "scheduled carrier" ie, commercial aircraft or flight NOT private boat or plane. Make sure your ESTA is in date and carry a copy of it, BVI ferry companies will ask for it (even though the esta form itself states that it is not necessary to keep a copy!) You will then get a 90 day clearance into the States. This is NOT a "come and go" permit. Once you leave, technically you have to re-enter. Having said that, its best to ask the advice of the St John Homeland Security guy who clears you in. Explain that your boat is in Tortola and you want to come back in. They often let you do it - but sometimes they don't!!

Before esta, it was easy and I did it all the time. It should be easier with esta....but it aint! Good luck, Tony
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Old 18-04-2013, 01:34   #6
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Re: Puerto Rico. How to clear in as a Non-us Citizen

I understand that the St John/Tortola shuffle is good for USVI and Puerto Rico, but not mainland USA. IIRC US visas are available in Trinidad, Barbados and Dominican Republic.
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Old 18-04-2013, 05:43   #7
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Re: Puerto Rico. How to clear in as a Non-us Citizen

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bjarke.
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