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Old 18-01-2014, 20:41   #1
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Exclamation Crash landing in the USA

I all, been looking at regs for the USA which is more than enough to put you off going, however would like any comments on the following;

I am a Canadian reg boat, skipper (me) is Canadian permanent resident for more than 3 years - just! but has UK passport. Crew are as yet unknown as I am still looking. Starting in March I will be sailing from the Caribbean to Canada doing the pacific leg in one hop on the offshore route.

Question

Although we do not intend to land in the USA in the event of major problems the only safe havens for much of the route will be Hawaii, Los Angeles or San Fransisco. What happens if we turn up as a 'vessel in distress' or have to divert due to bad weather and arrive in a USA port without visas???
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Old 18-01-2014, 20:48   #2
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Re: Crash landing in the USA

We get a bad rep, USA. But in the end I have found the people and the govt here has a good heart. If you are truely in distress I don't think you would have any problems.
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Old 18-01-2014, 20:55   #3
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With a UK passport you don't need a visa
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Old 18-01-2014, 21:00   #4
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Re: Crash landing in the USA

UK national with a valid passport does not need a visa to US. I thunk you can stay for 90 days. Likewise, We can go to UK without visa.
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Old 18-01-2014, 22:04   #5
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Re: Crash landing in the USA

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Originally Posted by Alecadi View Post
With a UK passport you don't need a visa
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UK national with a valid passport does not need a visa to US. I thunk you can stay for 90 days. Likewise, We can go to UK without visa.
Beware what you read on the internet, this is true only if you arrive via a common carrier and even then you still need an ESTA (good for 2 years - $40 on the website for most people).

If you arrive via a private vessel or aircraft, you need a visa.

I go through this periodically for British relatives who sail with us.

Having said that, I'm sure there is a procedure for an emergency.
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Old 18-01-2014, 22:26   #6
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Re: Crash landing in the USA

Newt you are spot on about the American people being good hearted....your Government,,,,No!
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Old 18-01-2014, 23:02   #7
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Crash landing in the USA

See form I-193 Application for waiver of passport or visa. Then it's up to the immigration officer, this can be filled out in emergencies.

Normally crew of commercial vessels have a " D" visa which allows then to request landing permissions for as long as the vessel is present in a US port. But I'm ensure if a " D" visa can be issued to a private vessels" crew"

As a general rule I suggest you get a B1

Caveat , this all above . Based on a conversation

Dave
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Old 18-01-2014, 23:05   #8
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Re: Crash landing in the USA

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I am a Canadian reg boat, skipper (me) is Canadian permanent resident for more than 3 years
Get a Canadian citizenship and passport ... after three years of residency you might be able to apply (can't remember the length of residency required). Then you will be able to come to US over land, air, or water using commercial or private mode of transportation without any visa or any other paperwork (USA/CAN/MEX NAFTA agreements).

There might be some other options for Canadian residents and/or Canadian registered boats ... check this out and give US CBP a call, they were very helpful to me in easing my over water crossings to US: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/pl...t_overview.xml
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Old 18-01-2014, 23:16   #9
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Re: Crash landing in the USA

What seems to happen when a vessel in distress arrives, is that the crew is restricted to the vessel until paperwork is sorted out. I cant be sure, but I dont think it is a big deal unless you have some kind of contraband on board. Our country does not send sailors to Gitmo for being short of food or water, or needing medical help, or boat repairs. They may not let you go sightseeing, but thats not what emergencies are for. Have a safe sail _____Grant.
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Old 18-01-2014, 23:34   #10
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Re: Crash landing in the USA

If, as you say, you have no intention on stopping in the USA then don’t worry about it.

From Panama, make you intended next port… Victoria… or whichever west coast Canadian Port you select and focus on that.

However, if you suspect you may make a US stop, then make sure your crew does not have visa issues in the US or that they have given you the reserve funds for repatriation, as you are financially responsible for them.

If “Force Majeure” causes you to change your plans along the way on such a long passage, then the reasons and allowances become obvious to US Immigration and they usually deal with you in a friendly reasonable manner.
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Old 19-01-2014, 04:21   #11
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Re: Crash landing in the USA

Thanks for all the advice, It's all very different to Europe!
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Old 19-01-2014, 04:42   #12
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Re: Crash landing in the USA

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Thanks for all the advice, It's all very different to Europe!
worst case scenario is you get a $10,000 fine for each crewmember without the correct visa
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Old 19-01-2014, 10:36   #13
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Re: Crash landing in the USA

I would advice to get the 10-year visas for every non-US passport or green-card holder.

You -MUST- have a visa when arriving on a private yacht with UK passport. If you don't have it, you risk being handcuffed and put in jail until lawyers get you out.

I know it's crazy and "can't happen" etc., yet I have seen it happen in Ft Lauderdale in 2003.

You can arrive on most commercial flights and ferries without a visa, if those participate in the visa waiver program.

Plan a stop in Hawaii
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Old 19-01-2014, 11:06   #14
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pirate Re: Crash landing in the USA

I believe there's an International Maritime Law covering these situations where a vessel seeking succor may enter a country/port without prior arrangement in time of distress or threat of safety to the vessel..
Skipper only is permitted to land.. until selected crew have been approved..
However the USA has in the past ignored this Treaty..
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Old 19-01-2014, 11:11   #15
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Re: Crash landing in the USA

The OP used the term VESSEL IN DISTRESS which international regs cover, and keep crews out of jail. Most countries honer these regulations (not all do) and I am sure the USA does. As I said before, the crew will probably be confined to the boat while dealing with the Embassy. I agree that getting the visas in advance is much better, as it gives you the option of stopping in Hawaii, which on a passage as long as you are planning would be a wonderful break. If you phony up a distress just to avoid getting visas, then fines and jail are a real possibility. Like most things in sailing, if you do it correctly up front, you avoid problems later on. My nonlegal advice. _____Grant.
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