Originally Posted by El Pinguino
As you say, you can now stay for 36 months, and if an EU ( ? maybe just French) yacht you can stay forever...
I understand the original post was more about the navigational conditions than the administrative ones, but just to clarify this bit as some subtleties are important and misconceptions are common :
- The maximum stay duration for a person
is indeed variable : for French nationals unlimited, for EU citizens as well although they do have to do some paperwork after a 3-month stay (mostly to prove they have the ressources to provide for themselves and have adequate health
insurance) and their permit
is then valid up to 10 years I believe. Other nationalities may stay visa-free up to 3 months, and more if a visa was asked beforehand.
- Now this is the tricky part : any yacht
can now stay in French Polynesia
tax-free for up to 36 months indeed, BUT one of the conditions is that the yacht owner(s) and/or skipper
are not French Polynesia residents or do not become ones during their stay. Now, the immigration authorities consider that if you stay in FP more than 6 months during any civil year, then you become a resident (having spent more than 50% of the year in FP...) This applies to any nationality, and is known to have been enforced especially among visiting Frenchmen.
- In effect, for those crews who are allowed to stay longer than the 3-month visa free duration, this makes it possible to stay in FP with your boat for six months and possibly up to one year without flying out/in : by staying the latter part of one year and the former part of the next. This whole situation is not something the Gendarmerie either knows well or checks. This is a matter enforced by customs
(Douane), and they will report you to immigration (Police aux Frontičres) for the "residency" bit, thereby never giving you a formal definite answer on the subject... Making contact with the yachtie association AVP (AVP 4 Yachties' blog - AVP is a cruisers' association in French Polynesia, please contact us for any question about sailing around
) to get the best up to date information could be sensible, and Noonsite is a good resource as well.
- Just to mention it, your boat could stay forever in FP too... provided it is imported ! The above only applies to avoid importation taxes
, and the risk if caught out is to have to import
the boat, which can be pretty stiff.