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Old 02-06-2011, 16:55   #16
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Re: Getting a US Visa

So my British friend flew into New York for meetings last week. No Visa was required because he FLEW into town on a major airline under the Visa Waiver Program. He has offered to fly down to Tortola to help me sail my boat back to the Chesapeake. To do this, will he have to fly back to Britain and obtain a B1/B2 Visa? Sounds like it.
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Old 02-06-2011, 19:12   #17
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Re: Getting a US Visa

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Originally Posted by s/v Sunsets View Post
So my British friend flew into New York for meetings last week. No Visa was required because he FLEW into town on a major airline under the Visa Waiver Program. He has offered to fly down to Tortola to help me sail my boat back to the Chesapeake. To do this, will he have to fly back to Britain and obtain a B1/B2 Visa? Sounds like it.
There is a trick with the USVI. If you sail into St Thomas you get a US visa waiver, I believe. Then sail off to the US.

Someone else here will know about it.

But if he has time/money and going to US often its always great to have the 5 year multiple entry B1/B2
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Old 02-06-2011, 19:29   #18
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Re: Getting a US Visa

Hang on a sec, if he has a plane flight booked out of the USA for use after you sail into the US then he would be able to get a visa waiver, wouldn't he?
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Old 03-06-2011, 00:19   #19
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Re: Getting a US Visa

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Originally Posted by s/v Sunsets View Post
So my British friend flew into New York for meetings last week. No Visa was required because he FLEW into town on a major airline under the Visa Waiver Program. He has offered to fly down to Tortola to help me sail my boat back to the Chesapeake. To do this, will he have to fly back to Britain and obtain a B1/B2 Visa? Sounds like it.
Any form of entry into the USA other than by a commercial carrier like an airline, ferry boat, or cruise ship (the big ones, not private ones) requires a B1/B2 visa which is normally obtained in your home country through the US Embassy there.
- - However, there is one exception for private recreational vessels and private mega-yachts and that is you can apply at any US Embassy that is nearest to the physical location of you and your vessel and get your B1/B2 there. So if you (non-US citizen) are transiting the Atlantic from Europe to the Caribbean you can stop in Barbados and get your B1/B2. Barbados is probably the best place as they are used to getting a significant number of cruising boats arriving from Europe.
- - The next embassy is in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic then Belize. Do not under any circumstances try to get a B1/B2 from the US Embassy in Trinidad.
- - The "trick" MarkJ is referring to in the US Virgin Islands involves using a commercial ferry service from the BVI to USVI to get a visa via the VWP and then continuing to use the VWP visa to cruise the USVI on a private recreational vessel. That is a unique and one time/location "loop-hole."
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:38   #20
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Re: Getting a US Visa

a few yrs ago I crewed for/with 4 Americans on an Atlantic crossing (I am Dutch and live in Curacao) ... no one thought about my B1/B2 visa, until Bermuda, where we were advised to go to their US Consulate (faster than Norfolk) ... got my B1/B2 for 6 months ...

last january I had to cancel a sailing trip to Puerto Rico and because of not having a visa and to avoid all the hassle to go to the BVI, then by ferry to the USVI, get temporary visa and back to the BVI, I applied for a US visa through the Venezuelan Embassy (we don't have one) ...

telephone interview with Caracas (credit card in hand, costs $19,-) and they made an appointment with the US Consulate on Curacao ...
I paid $140,- and now have a 10!!! yr US visa ...

I think you can only get a 5 or 10 yr visa in your home country, otherwise it might be the 6 months visa for crew members ...

my 0.2 cents ... spend them the way you like ...
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:53   #21
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Re: Getting a US Visa

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got my B1/B2 for 6 months ...
and I will sponsor your visa again anytime you need. You are one of the two best crew I have ever sailed with.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:00   #22
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Re: Getting a US Visa

thanks Dave ... I'd crew for you anytime, wherever ...
but it must be a fun delivery ...
(done working April 2012) ...
but always free my flexible 9-11 days in between my 5 (or 4) nights working ...
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Old 07-06-2011, 15:47   #23
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Re: Getting a US Visa

I found a link to the code. It says visitors travelling on the Visa Waiver Program can maintain their status and be readmitted to the US after a short visit to an "adjacent island" even if they return on a non-commercial carrier (car, sailboat, etc) as long as its within the 90 days waiver period. At least that's how we're interpreting it.

http://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-11261/0-0-0-22152/0-0-0-22177.html#0-0-0-14773
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Old 07-06-2011, 16:52   #24
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Re: Getting a US Visa

I would be rather wary of citing that link as the heading contains:
Sec. 217.3 Maintenance of status. (Section revised effective 4/1/97; 62 FR 10312 &nbsp
Notice the Date that is prior to 9/11/2001 when the whole world of Visa procedures changed dramatically. Even the Department of Homeland Security did not exist then.
- - Current real life and posted information by the U.S. Homeland Security is that you cannot use VWP for any form of entry/exit other than by approved commercial carriers. As stated earlier, a formal B1/B2 is needed for private recreational vessels except for the singular situation in the USVI's.
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