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Old 25-05-2014, 00:27   #1
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Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

Hi All I'm new here and yet to familiarize myself with the etiquette and general in's and out's of this site but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it!
I am after some guidance from those who have done it before. My husband and I are planning on buying a Catamaran in the USA and sailing the Coconut Milk Run in 2015. We live in NZ, both Kiwi's and need to apply for the correct Visa for our duration in the States. Ideally we buy the Boat, spend a month or so preparing for the passage and leave..
However not all plans run so smoothly and here are my questions:
* The feel is that the B1B2 Visa will suit our need, is this the appropriate Visa for the purchase of a Boat/Negotiations and stay in the USA purely
for this purpose? (No working other than on our boat)
* If this is the correct Visa, how long can you stay/what are the restrictions?
* Can you be in the USA and change your Visa type? (i.e - enter on a Visitors Visa then change it to a Working Visa) Or do you have to leave the country, re-apply for another Visa and return?

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
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Old 25-05-2014, 00:37   #2
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

I did it using a normal tourist visa. When I had my interview I told them exactly what I was planing and had applied for a 12 month visa, the interviewer increased it to 5 years in case I decided to cruise the US or missed a window to leave. The three month visa wave program is too short.

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Old 25-05-2014, 03:20   #3
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

Good advice SimonV
Always best to explain purpose and ask their advice..... A tourist shopping for an expensive toy is always welcome
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Old 25-05-2014, 03:28   #4
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

We have done it twice now and just used tourist visas. Total honesty always and there were no problems.
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Old 25-05-2014, 04:30   #5
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

You need a B1B2 visa.

You may not enter the USA on a visa waiver as your intention is not covered by a visa waiver. Your intention is to buy a boat. So when you have boat you would be required to have a B1B2 visa. The visa, in this respect, covers you while you are there with a boat.

Also you will be on a one way aur ticket. Visa Waiver requires an onward ticket.

Its best not to screw with the USA. They really get pissed off with people trying to play games with them and their laws.

Anyway, a B1B2 Multiple Entry visa is very handy. It is well respected in your passport in any country.

The B1B2 allows you 6 months, but you can get an extension to 9 or 12 months without difficulty, but they will then want you out for a while. Their guideline is 9 months in 20 months, but its kinda flexible.

No you cant alter visa in the country as you need to apply for the B1B2 in another country, not the USA. Once you have the B1B2 in your passport you always enter on that.

The other posts that mention "tourist visas" must mean B1B2 as the one you get at the airport is NOT a visa it is a visa WAIVER.
To be eligable for a visa WAIVER you need to have a return or onward air ticket. You can not get one on a one way air ticket. And why would you pay more for a return ticket if you are buying a boat?
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Old 26-05-2014, 00:14   #6
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

Thank you all for your helpful reply's. I appreciate it! My husband is on this forum and very familiar with the site but I am playing my hand at getting involved and having my own account
Yes, I'm not intending on playing games with the USA re the appropriate Visa type. I'm just finding it difficult to get a straight answer out of my inquiries without actually fully applying for a Visa that I feel 'I need to get right'. I'm just feeling a little perplexed. I'm getting the impression you apply on-line, you set up an interview, they tell you the appropriate Visa for your reasons to visit, it's approved, you hop on a plane..
Correct?

We'd ideally like to have the option to work casually if our plans changed, or if refit took too long etc, but outside of under the table stuff (not something we want to do), I guess its not really an option.

Thanks so much for your wisdom!
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Old 26-05-2014, 00:22   #7
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

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We'd ideally like to have the option to work casually if our plans changed, or if refit took too long etc, but outside of under the table stuff (not something we want to do), I guess its not really an option.

Thanks so much for your wisdom!
No, a work visa is entirely different and as in most countries, more effort and difficulty. And to change visa types would require one to leave the country and return.
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Old 26-08-2014, 19:36   #8
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

Aloha and welcome aboard!
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Old 26-08-2014, 21:00   #9
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

Welcome aboard and good luck on your visa. We always had good luck getting our Kiwi visas when we sailed to New Zealand. And we were always treated well while we were there.
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Old 26-08-2014, 21:07   #10
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

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You need a B1B2 visa.

You may not enter the USA on a visa waiver as your intention is not covered by a visa waiver. Your intention is to buy a boat. So when you have boat you would be required to have a B1B2 visa. The visa, in this respect, covers you while you are there with a boat.

Also you will be on a one way aur ticket. Visa Waiver requires an onward ticket.

Its best not to screw with the USA. They really get pissed off with people trying to play games with them and their laws.

Anyway, a B1B2 Multiple Entry visa is very handy. It is well respected in your passport in any country.

The B1B2 allows you 6 months, but you can get an extension to 9 or 12 months without difficulty, but they will then want you out for a while. Their guideline is 9 months in 20 months, but its kinda flexible.

No you cant alter visa in the country as you need to apply for the B1B2 in another country, not the USA. Once you have the B1B2 in your passport you always enter on that.

The other posts that mention "tourist visas" must mean B1B2 as the one you get at the airport is NOT a visa it is a visa WAIVER.
To be eligable for a visa WAIVER you need to have a return or onward air ticket. You can not get one on a one way air ticket. And why would you pay more for a return ticket if you are buying a boat?
Your post is factually inaccurate in just about every important respect. The US state website states that a visa waiver IS for exactly the same purposes as B1 and B2 visas, but for periods of less than 90 days.

http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/...2014_print.pdf
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Old 13-11-2014, 14:19   #11
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

Just thought I would let you all know how we got on.
We ended up applying for a B1B2 Visa for our time here in the USA and have had no problems thus far.
We did have to supply an onward forwarding flight tickets when we boarded AirNZ and also present this documentation to the Authorities when we arrived in San Fran.

Make sure that you book return flights or flights out of the USA within your alloted time period otherwise you may well be in for a nasty surprise at the Airport and incur heafty (and unexpected) flight charges to book on site at the Airport if you do not have them readily available to present.
All in all, thank you for your advise!

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Old 13-11-2014, 23:36   #12
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

How long do you got the visa for?

Thanks.
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Old 14-11-2014, 00:09   #13
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Your post is factually inaccurate in just about every important respect. The US state website states that a visa waiver IS for exactly the same purposes as B1 and B2 visas, but for periods of less than 90 days.

http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/...2014_print.pdf
Also if the Visa Waiver traveler can prove that the outbound departure will be via purchased (or chartered) boat that will satisfy "the return ticket" requierment. The only issue with that is that they may need a signed offer, charter contract or some such paper which of course would be foolish commitment on their part unless they're 100% sure that's the boat they're buying.

I would still recommend getting the paper visa in the passport rather than relying on Visa Waiver entry. As far as changing to another status (while in US if you want another status it is not called visa) it is possible but too many unknown variables to give any advice here. For example if they would want to race in some regattas and have in the past participated in high level competition they may ask to be classified for athlete's visa - P1. Also Aussie citizens if in US on B1/B2 visa can change status under special E-3 Visa for Australian professionals.
---------------
Eligibility Criteria
To qualify for an E-3 visa, you must demonstrate that you:

Are a national of Australia
Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States
Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation

Applying for an E-3 Visa from Within the United States
The Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker is used to apply for a change of status to obtain E-3 nonimmigrant temporary worker classification.

Supporting Documents
Your Form I-129 must include the following documents:

A Labor Condition Application (LCA) which cannot be the same application used in a previous H-1B application. Until the Department of Labor develops a new LCA for an E-3, the applicant should use the standard ETA-9035 and ask that it be annotated as an E-3 LCA.

Academic or other credentials demonstrating qualifications for the position

Job offer letter or other documentation from the employer establishing that you will be engaged in a specialty occupation and that you will be paid the higher of the actual or prevailing wage.

If required, before you may commence employment in the specialty occupation, you must have the necessary license or other official permission to practice in the specialty occupation.
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Old 14-11-2014, 07:49   #14
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Re: Correct Visa for purchasing a Boat in the USA

A 5 year B1B2 cost about $200 and mine took 24 hours from interview to passport delived back into my hand.
Its just a simple lil thing that not only solves all your USA visa issues but is respected around the world.

As for this original poster, if they buy a boat in San Francisco wouldn't it be lovely to cruise to to Canada before heading south? Well they wouldnt be allowed to come back into the USA without the b1B2.

What about doing Canada, Inside Passage up to Alaska? Can't do that either without the B1B2.

What about sailing south from California, through the Panama Canal and up to th East coast of the USA. Nup! Can't do that without a B1B2.

It pisses me off that theres such an arrogant mob on this forum who denigrate the B1B2 visa. The stupid thing is it MUST be people who have never been to the USA or people who are USA residents so it doesnt apply to them.

No matter if one has a boat or not, when you get a passport get a USA B1B2 visa! It lasts 5 years and makes world travel so much easier.
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