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Old 07-11-2009, 21:24   #1
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Ninety Day Visa in French Polynesia

My understanding is that we can get a 30 day visa with an additional 60 days upon our arrival in French Polynesia.

We will arrive around May 1, but need to return to the USA on July 1 for 3 weeks. Since we will be in French Polynesia for 60 days, then leaving for 20 days, when we return will be be able to stay for 30 more days or only 10?
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:34   #2
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I think it might be best to get information (in writing) from the authorities; since French Polynesia has some peculiarities. My first thought was that you need an airplane ticket out of the country before they will let you fly back in - even if you intend on leaving by boat. I gather you are EU citizens, so posting a bond shouldn't be an issue but I recall that there were taxation issue on long-term stays for yachts a while back. I checked Noonsite: French Polynesia but there wasn't anything on that subject visible there, nor with a quick Google search. But I still have a nagging suspicion that there was some major financial "gotcha" regarding longer stays.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:03   #3
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I understand French Polynesia to be a part of France, hence a European EU citizen should not be restricted to a temporary stay and permit?
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Old 09-11-2009, 15:41   #4
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Since the original post shows San Diego as home port I think we can assume he is American. The bond to enter French Polynesia is the price of an airtravel ticket to your home country. It would logical to assume that bond would stay in effect even though a separate round trip from F.P to San Diego and return air travel ticket is purchased. You cannot enter F.P. by air without a paid ticket that also takes you out of F.P. The original bond deposit would probably cover that.
- - The Pacific Puddle Jumpers group would have right up to the date information on what is happening currently as the same subject is currently under discussion. The 30 day plus extension to a maximum of 90 days is currently the absolute maximum for any USA citizens due to a squabble between the US Immigration(Homeland Security) and the French. So I would suggest to not expect anything beyond the initial date of entry plus 90 days. You might take the boat further on to American Samoa or someplace else and get a much more relaxed set of rules rather than getting trapped because of unexpected delays in returning.
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Old 09-11-2009, 16:37   #5
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EU citizens - prob noblem.

US, Oz, etc - big problem.

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Old 10-11-2009, 21:19   #6
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Thanks...Yes we are American..so big problem I guess. We did sail in France during 2007 and 2008 and even though the 90 rule applies there we never had a problem and were checked by French customs a few times.

Oh well....
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:57   #7
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Jim, 2004 may be old news, but our arrangements were made at the French Embassy in Panama City. It was a 48 hour turnaround on visas, and I'm certain they can answer your questions and concerns there, or even in the French Caribbean Islands. When we travelled, we didn't post the bond until our arrival in Pape'ete, on the far side of FP's great cruising. We cleared in with the Gendarmerie in Nuku Hiva, which made duty free fuel available, but which also started the clock on our visas. It was another month and a half before we made Pape'te and paid the bonds. Boats unconcerned with duty free fuel, waited until Pape'ete to clear, thus beginning the clock then.
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Old 12-11-2009, 14:10   #8
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Faith of Holland - Ah! the good old days of 2004 . . . As with everything political - months or weeks can make all the difference. The Pacific Puddle Jump group is an annual gathering of boats from the Americas that do the run to Polynesia and beyond. It is somewhat under the Latitude38 umbrella and they arrange for a specific waiver from the F.P. Bond requirements for their group of boats each year. Along with that rather major advantage of the group, they also communicate via the group's board: pacificpuddlejump : Pacific PuddleJump
all the latest information - hot off the press - of what's happening out in the Pacific from political problems that would affect cruisers to first hand Tsumani's aftermath reports, and areas of interest such as maps, hazards,and communications in the Pacific. Each year's "graduates" from the run report back their real experiences and advice for the upcoming year's group.
- - For old time's sake you might enjoy reading some to the posts on what is happening this year.
- - Anyway, hot off the press - The USA Consulate for the F.P. region of the Pacific has shut down "all US visa requests" from the region. That is bound to intensify the current "pissing match" between the US Visa bureaucrats and their French counterparts. Prior to this escalation, all requests for extensions beyond the 90 days from USA citizens had been shut down due to a previous "pissing match" involving French nationals wanting to extend their US visas. Tit for Tat in the great bureaucratic sandbox.
- - Eventually bureaucrats change or higher level officials step in and slap the hands of the lower level and things drift back to normal. But meanwhile cruisers currently transiting pay the price for such shenanigans.
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Old 12-11-2009, 16:02   #9
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Sorry, I guess the world's changing too fast for me. It's a shame when we let five years ago be the "good old days."

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Old 12-11-2009, 18:07   #10
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Well, I guess we will just wait and see what's up when we get there...

A couple of years ago I went to Brazil during a "pissing match" between the USA and Brazil. There was one line at customs/immigration for all countries of the world, except...another line for Americans. Someone in their governement was required to have a picture taken and finger prints taken when he went to Washington, so he decided all American would have their picture and finger prints taken too. The Immigration man told me he was very sorry, but "government officials are all very macho".
That's life and actually makes travel interesting.
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Old 12-11-2009, 19:08   #11
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The reality is that a lot of this unfortunately is due to changes in the US bprder administration as a result of 9/11 and homeland security. US requests/demands for advance passanger info, etc etc has caused backlash in other countries. The ordinary people ge caught up in it
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Old 27-11-2009, 06:25   #12
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Some pretty conflicting info in this thread. For those using it to research a stop in FP, your first visit should probably be the Pacific Puddle Jumper yahoo group - pacificpuddlejump : Pacific PuddleJump - where both extended message trails and a variety of files are there to be mined. The PPJ content is, for the most part, offered by folks who've recently (and actually) been in FP.

Here's what I've taken away as a summary from this past year's PPJ postings:
-- Customs, meaning "the boat": duration of stay can be up to one year (e.g. while leaving the boat hauled in Raiatea)
-- Immigration, meaning "the crew": For non-EU citizens, initial visa is for 30 days; extension to 90 days can be arranged at the time of arrival (no need to do this via a Consulate or Embassy beforehand). If your arrival point does not offer post office and banking facilities (so arriving in the Gambiers from e.g. Easter or Pitcairn) this may have to wait until arrival in Pape'ete. For EU citizens, visa is automatically 90 days but not beyond that without seeking a new/extended stay visa - IOW FP is not 'just like the rest of Europe'. [Editorial Comment: The French, it turns out, only wish to be a part of the EU to the extent it meets their own unique needs...]
-- Bond: Required for non-EU citizens only, and can take the form of a return airline ticket (so e.g. USA yachties will likely buy a return ticket to Hawaii, the cheapest option) or a bank deposit equivalent to this cost. Here's the good news: Latitude 38 has arranged with the YC in Pape'ete to sponsor all PPJ Members (which is a 'virtual' group, not just the physical subset that coagulate in Mexico before the Jump). Register your yacht & crew with Andy at L38 and all crew so registered will have the bond requirement waived on arrival in FP (the Gendarmes at the arrival port call Tahiti to verify crew members exempted). This was first done this year, 2009 (along with what apparently was a bang-on Rally event, free to all PPJ crews) and L38 is saying the same arrangements will exist again in 2010. Pacific Puddle Jump Official Web Site for more info

Jack
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