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Old 11-03-2016, 14:19   #1
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US visa for EU cruisers

We are having a discussion about what kind of Visa we need to enter US destinations, when we arrive in our own boat.

Will an ESTA be enough, or do we need to go to an embassy and get a visa in our passports, before we arrive?
Some say that if you want to go to say St Thomas, you have to go by ferry from an island outside US Virgins, get your visa, and only then you can enter US with your own boat.

Is this correct?

Bent/ SY Karma
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Old 11-03-2016, 14:23   #2
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Re: US visa for EU cruisers

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Originally Posted by BentP View Post
We are having a discussion about what kind of Visa we need to enter US destinations, when we arrive in our own boat.

Will an ESTA be enough, or do we need to go to an embassy and get a visa in our passports, before we arrive?
Some say that if you want to go to say St Thomas, you have to go by ferry from an island outside US Virgins, get your visa, and only then you can enter US with your own boat.

Is this correct?

Bent/ SY Karma
The US VISA waiver program is for arrivals via commercial vessels only. Entering on a private vessel requires to have a VISA in your passport.
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Old 15-03-2016, 12:26   #3
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Re: US visa for EU cruisers

This will be helpful to you for entering the US on a small private vessel...
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...tering-the-u.s.

I am pretty sure you do not need a visa stamped in your passport before arrival, unless you are from a handful of countries not very well liked by our government. The following is a quote from the above link; "Cruising licenses exempt pleasure boats of certain countries from having to undergo formal entry and clearance procedures and can be obtained from the CBP Port Director at the first port of arrival in the United States."
You will need a cruising permit and will need to notify CBP, all of which are laid out in the above link.
I hope that helps
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Old 15-03-2016, 12:29   #4
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Re: US visa for EU cruisers

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This will be helpful to you for entering the US on a small private vessel...
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...tering-the-u.s.

I am pretty sure you do not need a visa stamped in your passport before arrival, unless you are from a handful of countries not very well liked by our government. The following is a quote from the above link; "Cruising licenses exempt pleasure boats of certain countries from having to undergo formal entry and clearance procedures and can be obtained from the CBP Port Director at the first port of arrival in the United States."
You will need a cruising permit and will need to notify CBP, all of which are laid out in the above link.
I hope that helps
A visa and a cruising license are 2 completely different things. Visa is for a human, cruising license is for a vessel.

While it's true you get a cruising license when you arrive, a visa needs to be had before you arrive.
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Old 15-03-2016, 13:01   #5
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Re: US visa for EU cruisers

I knew there was a difference between a cruising license and a visa.

The more I learn about my country the less I like it, and the more I understand why so many outside of it don't like us...
How to get a B-1 B-2 visa for sailing in and around America - Sailing Britican
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Old 15-03-2016, 13:04   #6
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pirate Re: US visa for EU cruisers

I believe one needs a B1/B2 Visa.. applied for and obtained BEFORE you get into US waters.
One reason why I've turned down so many EU to USA deliveries..
I don't do Hoops..
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Old 15-03-2016, 13:57   #7
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Re: US visa for EU cruisers

Yes you need the visa, which requires special photos, appointment with an embassy, waiting, paying a lot of dollars in advance, giving up your passport for a couple days etc. The good thing is that the visa will be good for 10 years and it gives you 6 months instead of 3.
Don't bring a gun or there are more stacks of paperwork, even for guns they sell at every Wallmart
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Old 15-03-2016, 14:11   #8
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Re: US visa for EU cruisers

"The more I learn about my country the less I like it"
Yes. Now, when's the last time you told that to your CongressCritter and asked them to do something about some of these laws?


What was it Pogo said? "I have met the enemy and he is ourself" ?
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Old 15-03-2016, 21:00   #9
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Re: US visa for EU cruisers

The problem is that this seems to only hurt the good guys. The funny thing is that I have sailed into South Florida waters from offshore many times and was never challenged by authorities. My thoughts are that there may be many who do not place the telephone call to the authorities and get away with it every time, while us guys call and are entertained by authorities for hours if not more... and it is the other guys they need to worry about!
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Old 16-03-2016, 09:23   #10
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Re: US visa for EU cruisers

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Yes you need the visa, The good thing is that the visa will be good for 10 years
You may need to check the duration of the visa as it depending on which country you are from and what recipricol arrangements are in place between the 2 countries

EG

UK citizen gets 10 years
Australian gets 5 years
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