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Old 08-07-2011, 02:14   #1
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US Visa Blues

Im a Dutch sailor in Tahiti, French Polynesia right now. Ive been asked to crew for a delivery to San Diego in the USA. The skipper plans to sail by Hawaii (to reprovision) then go to Vancouver, Canada to finally sail down to San Diego.

Id like to do this delivery but I dont have a US visa. Its not possible to get a US visa here in Tahiti. According to the US consul the nearest place is Auckland, New Zealand. It will however cost me 1200$ for a return ticket there.

1) Do I really need the US visa before going to Hawai? Or could I stay on the ship while the others reprovision. I could then apply for the visa in Vancouver.
2) If I apply for this visa in Auckland, what are my chances to get it? I have limited ties to my home country (no house, no job, just my family and a decent amount of money in my bank account, Ive entered the USA 4 months ago with a Visa Waiver for my flight layover)
3) Are there any better options Im not seeing?

Im new to this forum but Id really appreciate any advice.
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:34   #2
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Re: US Visa Blues

if your current passport is of the e type passport you can go online 48 hrs (I think ) and apply for a visa My niece did this recently and had no probs landed ( by yacht )some where in key west Florida
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:07   #3
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Re: US Visa Blues

We had just the opposite problem than the above post. A friend from South Africa with multiple entries into the USA. Couldn't get a visa to enter again.othing in his life had changed.

He sailed with me before out of & back into the USA. So when we arrived here in Panama I went to the embassy to see if we could help in some way. We were accused of shopping for a visa, and bluntly told by the official that was frowned on, and we would have to go through him. Pointy his finger at himself.

It depends on who you get, and what kind of mood they are in. We had the same problem in S.F. Ca. with immigration, and my wife, Filipina. One person was rude, and a tyrant, and the next was very kind, and helpful. Giving us good advice, and even making a phone call for us to another office to help us make a decision. BEST WISHES in resolving the issue.......i2f
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:12   #4
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Re: US Visa Blues

As a citizen of the Netherlands a Visa is not required to travel to the US.
You will need a Travel authorization via ESTA at a cost of $14. The authorization is available on line.
See: Visa Waiver Program | Consulate General of the United States Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sorry for the inconvenience, our country has been taken over by nuts.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:31   #5
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Re: US Visa Blues

jim767 - the visa waiver does not apply to entry via a private boat.

Erik - As the visa requires a personal interview at a US consulate or embassy, I know of no online method to go an get it, you will have to return to New Zealand in order to do it.
I did my U.S. visa in Sydney, Australia while I was living there; and it too a matter of weeks before the paperwork was processed and I could do my interview. For some reason, understandable only to Americans, officialdom there assume that everyone in the world wants to emigrate to the United States and thus the burden of proof that a visitor doesn't wish to permanently remain there is shifted to the applicant. I was in a similar situation as you were as I was working in Oz and had to no real permanent ties to my home country; but I did have a track record of having been to the US over 50 times and had also had various Visas before (including having lived there for many years); but the consular official could have denied my visa because of that lack of proof of binding.
If it makes you feel any better, every time I enter the US now I get stopped and asked why I have a visa - but when I mention entering the US via boat they nod and wave me on.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:42   #6
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Re: US Visa Blues

On no account enter without a VISA, bad things happen and you will unlikely to be allowed enter the US again.

in practice you may have to give up on the trip I'm afraid.

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Old 08-07-2011, 07:34   #7
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Re: US Visa Blues

We just got our 10-year US visa at their embassy here in Panama without any trouble (also Dutch living aboard and emigrated from Holland).

But... we tried it before in Curacao and were told they do not do visa there and one has to go to Caracas in Venezuela... so we didn't do that... now, we hear you can do that interview by telephone !!! Friends in Curacao did just that, had a telephone interview with the embassy in Caracas and the physical visa in their passport from the embassy on Curacao.

You might be able to get the telephone interview too. Dutch sailors do get the visa, no problem if you don't have a house in Holland as many sailors do the same and they are all accepted.

ciao!
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:10   #8
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Re: US Visa Blues

Welcome Aboard Cruisers FORUM
Go to Noonsite: The global site for cruising sailors go to the country section, look up United States then go to entry procedures
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:20   #9
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Re: US Visa Blues

[QUOTE=Zanshin;724278]jim767 - the visa waiver does not apply to entry via a private boat.

Sorry my bad you are 100% correct.

I guess I should forget the State Department as a career possibility.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:46   #10
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Re: US Visa Blues

Sorry to hear about your problems. I would also recommend that you go to noonsite.

While I understand everyone's frustration with dealing with the US, please understand that we DO have a problem with folks sneaking in. Depending upon who is counting, right now there are between 15 and 21 MILLION people living in this country illegally. Once they are in, it is nearly impossible to find them. The laws are in place, however enforcement is very lax, and no one asks for your "papers".
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:14   #11
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Re: US Visa Blues

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Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
While I understand everyone's frustration with dealing with the US, please understand that we DO have a problem with folks sneaking in. Depending upon who is counting, right now there are between 15 and 21 MILLION people living in this country illegally. Once they are in, it is nearly impossible to find them. The laws are in place, however enforcement is very lax, and no one asks for your "papers".
ha! that is a problem for every "rich" country in the world, not just the USA. But just to be clear:" tell me how many of that 15-21 million illegals entered by private yacht?! Just owning a yacht or even crewing on one puts you outside the profile of the illegals in our countries.

ciao!
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:25   #12
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Re: US Visa Blues

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
ha! that is a problem for every "rich" country in the world, not just the USA. But just to be clear:" tell me how many of that 15-21 million illegals entered by private yacht?! Just owning a yacht or even crewing on one puts you outside the profile of the illegals in our countries.

ciao!
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How many of them are Dutch? Wouldn't one solution to illegal immigration be to make it more straightforward to get a visa legally?
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:44   #13
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Re: US Visa Blues

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How many of them are Dutch? Wouldn't one solution to illegal immigration be to make it more straightforward to get a visa legally?
No because you need to defend the charge of $140 per person

Even with that, US tourists are still welcome to sail into Dutch harbors without a visa and without paying anything.

I believe there will be Dutch students overstaying their visa while partying in downtown NYC (which is still half Dutch anyway) or SF or some lost souls, but I do not believe there are "real" Dutch illegals in the USA. That is one of the reasons that Dutch people don't need US visa when they enter by plane or ferry. But owning a boat means they can be squeezed for that extra $140.- a head.

ciao!
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Old 08-07-2011, 15:37   #14
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Re: US Visa Blues

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
You might be able to get the telephone interview too. Dutch sailors do get the visa, no problem if you don't have a house in Holland as many sailors do the same and they are all accepted.

Nick, thanks for the tip. Do you know when they got the visa by telephone interview? Ive been told by the local American consul that this is no longer possible since around 2004. I couldnt find anything on the internet about this option.

As it turns out we might now go nonstop to Vancouver from Tahiti. A long haul but it will save us spending US dollars to reprovision in Hawai.

Everybody, thanks for the excellent info.
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Old 08-07-2011, 15:44   #15
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Re: US Visa Blues

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Originally Posted by Erik Stelwagen View Post
Nick, thanks for the tip. Do you know when they got the visa by telephone interview? Ive been told by the local American consul that this is no longer possible since around 2004. I couldnt find anything on the internet about this option.
Definitely after we left there, which was in 2007. I also never read anything on the web about it, but things are changing so quickly that it's hard to keep up for even the consuls

ciao!
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