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Old 31-01-2019, 10:32   #1
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USA visas for crew

I have been cruising for about 2 years in Mexico with a Motoryacht registered inthe States. I have a crew member who is a Mexican citizen with a Mexican Passport who cannot get a us Visa. I am planning to cruise inthe USA and canada for a few months. Can I keep my Mexican crew member. Is there some exception for crew if they stay with the ship or is there some special form of documentation Would the answer be different if I registered the Vessel outside the USA. Is there some advantage to registering with a flag of convieniece. What are the advantages, disadvantages. The vessel was built in Italy. I cannot imagine the cruise lines with a polyglot crw that visits that visits many different countries getting visas for each country for each crew member
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Old 31-01-2019, 10:59   #2
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Re: USA visas for crew

Why can't he get a U.S. visa? Customs/Border Patrol would be upset to find him aboard without one if you arrived in a U.S. port and he needed to have one.
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Old 31-01-2019, 11:08   #3
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Re: USA visas for crew

A boat is just a mode of transport, it doesnt change immigration rules.

Entering USA sans Visa is a very bad idea I think. Especially with current anti-immigrant sentiment.
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Old 31-01-2019, 11:56   #4
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Re: USA visas for crew

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Originally Posted by GoldenRose View Post
I have been cruising for about 2 years in Mexico with a Motoryacht registered inthe States. I have a crew member who is a Mexican citizen with a Mexican Passport who cannot get a us Visa. I am planning to cruise inthe USA and canada for a few months. Can I keep my Mexican crew member. Is there some exception for crew if they stay with the ship or is there some special form of documentation Would the answer be different if I registered the Vessel outside the USA. Is there some advantage to registering with a flag of convieniece. What are the advantages, disadvantages. The vessel was built in Italy. I cannot imagine the cruise lines with a polyglot crw that visits that visits many different countries getting visas for each country for each crew member
B-1 visa needed obviously. See: https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...mber-visa.html
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Old 31-01-2019, 14:13   #5
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Re: USA visas for crew

Hello Golden Rose,

There may be a way, if your Mexican crew does not ever leave the boat while in the US.

However, what you need to do is consult an immigration lawyer, someone who really understands the ins and outs of the issues you will face. It is that you are likely to be held to the letter of the law, and it does not matter if the Immigration website contains erroneous information, you are responsible to know the letter of the law. I am not at liberty to discuss the situation in any detail. I hope you heed this warning. You would not want to be on the wrong side of a people smuggling charge. You could lose the boat. No one at Immigration would care if your boat was forfeit. They would say you had been naive.

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Old 31-01-2019, 18:13   #6
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Re: USA visas for crew

An immigration lawyer is a good idea, but some correspondence with the US authorities (Department of State? and Immigration?) would be less of a risk, as lawyers have been known to not impress actual agents boarding your vessel.

Then again, perhaps if you kept the Mexican crew in a bonded storage locker while you were in the States? [Kidding! Maybe.]

And you might want your Meixcan crew to actually give you a WRITTEN explanation of the problem resulting in his status, signed and witnessed, so it can't come back on you if it turns out there's something he's not being quite up-front about.
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Old 31-01-2019, 20:36   #7
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Re: USA visas for crew

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
A boat is just a mode of transport, it doesnt change immigration rules.
.
That statement is not accurate in certain cases. "Aliens" arriving in the US by boat that this not operated by a carrier do not get the benefit of using certain visa waiver schemes. Many "aliens" who can enter the US without a visa by airline or ferry will need a visa to enter on a private boat of any flag.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:31   #8
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Re: USA visas for crew

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
That statement is not accurate in certain cases. "Aliens" arriving in the US by boat that this not operated by a carrier do not get the benefit of using certain visa waiver schemes. Many "aliens" who can enter the US without a visa by airline or ferry will need a visa to enter on a private boat of any flag.
Is true my Wife and Daughter hold US passports and I UK and we plan to sail into US waters on a private vessel and I need the appropriate visa in my Passport
US waters up to 200 miles and the 12 mile limit I would suspect that any Mexican on a boat registered in the US in US water will face some serious issues with the US CG no matter how innocent it is.
There is different rules for commercial ships
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:46   #9
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Re: USA visas for crew

Contact your nrearest US consulate and ask them what is required for US visas for your crew. They will help you with the correct advice.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:10   #10
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Re: USA visas for crew

Was your crew refused a tourist visa? It can be hard for Latin Americans to get a tourist visa to the US (there is an interview, you have to show money for the duration of your trip, a ticket home, places to stay as well as prove income, ties to your home country such as a job, wife/husband, children etc.). I imagine it would help if you wrote a letter to the effect that this person would be working or helping on your boat and explained the purpose of the stay in the US (itinerary, timeframe etc.). Perhaps you could accompany him/her through the visa application process as well. I hope you can get it sorted out.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:30   #11
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Re: USA visas for crew

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenRose View Post
I have a crew member who is a Mexican citizen with a Mexican Passport who cannot get a us Visa. I am planning to cruise inthe USA and canada for a few months. Can I keep my Mexican crew member?
Aren't they building a wall to keep people like this out of the US?
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:14   #12
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Re: USA visas for crew

As far as I know , Maritime International treaties treat differently CREW than PASSENGERS . If you Mexican National Crew person appears as CREW in the ZARPE , in theory he can remain in the ship while in waters of any country requiring visas.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:34   #13
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Re: USA visas for crew

Have him sneak in through TJ and then pick him up in San Diego. By then he will have been granted asylum and have a green card. That and his Mexican passport will get him into Canada.

Seriously, there used to be such a thing called a "shore pass" which limited the crew members without visas (all of us in those days) to within 25 miles of the port of entry. I was issued them times but that was a kinder, gentler era.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:51   #14
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Re: USA visas for crew

Your Mexican national crew member will not be able to qualify for a crew member [D] visa if your vessel is a private [non-commercial] yacht.

Crewmember Visa
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Crewmember (D) visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons working on board commercial sea vessels or international airlines in the United States, providing services required for normal operation and intending to depart the United States on the same vessel or any other vessel within 29 days. If you travel to the United States to join the vessel you will work on, in addition to a crewmember (D) visa, you also need a transit (C-1) visa or a combination C-1/D visa.

Travel purposes requiring a crew member visa include:

pilot or flight attendant on a commercial airplane
captain, engineer, or deckhand on a sea vessel
lifeguard, cook, waiter, beautician, or other service staff on a cruise ship
trainee on board a training vessel.


Instead the foreign national crew member may pursue non-immigrant [B-1] visa. This will likely not be easy to obtain. Example the wait time for a visitor visa at the US Consulate in Monterrey is presently 23 days.

Any third country national (TCN)* present in the United States and visitors present in Canada or Mexico who wish to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Canada or Mexico, must make an appointment for an interview. U.S. Consulates are located in Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver, Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Matamoros, Merida, Mexico City, Monterrey, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo and Tijuana.

Applicants who wish to apply for their U.S. visa in Canada must visit http://canada.usvisa-info.com/ to obtain information about how to start their application for a U.S. visa at a consular section in Canada. Applicants will be required to pay their visa application processing fee prior to scheduling an appointment. Please see the website for additional information.

Applicants who wish to apply for their visa in Mexico must visit http://mexico.usvisa-info.com to obtain information about how to start their application for a U.S. visa at a consular section in Mexico. Applicants will be required to pay their visa application processing fee prior to scheduling an appointment. Please see the website for additional information.

*Please note that embassies and consulates along the U.S. border can no longer accept applications from non-resident TCNs who are nationals of the six countries currently designated as state sponsors of terrorism. For more information, please see the Notice: Special Visa Processing Procedures Pursuant to Section 306 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act of 2002.

B-1 Visa procedure:

On line application and interview appointment:
https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

Gather Required Documentation
Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

Passport valid for travel to the United States - Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family memebrs listed in your passport.
Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview
Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
Additional Documentation May Be Required
A consular officer will interview you to determine your qualifications for a crewmember visa, and may request additional documents. If transiting the United States to meet a vessel, be prepared to provide evidence you are transiting to meet the vessel, for example, a letter from your employer or your employer's agent.

Additional requested documents may include evidence of:

The purpose of your trip;
Your intent to depart the United States after your trip; and/or
Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.
Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country. If you cannot cover all the costs for your trip, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your trip.

Attend Your Visa Interview
A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive a crewmember visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the visa in the category for which you are applying.

Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans are taken as part of the application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.

After your visa interview, the consular officer may determine that your application requires further administrative processing. The consular officer will inform you if this is required.

After the visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance fee (if applicable to your nationality), and make arrangements for the return of the passport and visa to you. Review the visa processing times to learn more.

Crewmembers Traveling to Meet Vessels
If you travel to the United States to meet and board the vessel you will work on, you need a transit (C-1) visa. (This is in addition to the crewmember (D) visa required to work on the vessel.) The interviewing consular officer may request that you provide evidence you are transiting to meet the vessel, for example, a letter from your employer or employer's agent.

If you apply for the transit (C-1) visa at the same time as your crewmember (D) visa, you may be issued a combination C-1/D visa, if the reciprocity schedule for your country of citizenship allows for issuance of a C-1/D visa, and if the consular officer determines you are qualified. Select the country reciprocity schedules for more information.

Additional Information
You may apply for a crewmember visa without being employed at the time of your visa application. However, the crewmember visa may only be used for entry to a U.S. port if you are employed on the sea vessel or aircraft on which you arrive.
There is no guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
Crewmember (D) visa holders must depart the United States on a vessel within 29 days. The United States is defined as including the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You are not considered to have departed the United States until the vessel you are on travels to international waters destined to a foreign port.
The operating base is where the vessel takes on supplies regularly, where the cargo of the vessel is sold, or where the owner or master of the vessel engages in business transactions.
Spouse or Children -
Your spouse and unmarried, minor children may apply for visitor (B) visas to accompany you, if they will not perform services required for normal operation of the vessel.
If your spouse and/or children plan to enter the United States for another purpose, then they must apply for the visa category required for that purpose of travel. Review all visa categories.
A valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:58   #15
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Re: USA visas for crew

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenRose View Post
I have been cruising for about 2 years in Mexico with a Motoryacht registered inthe States. I have a crew member who is a Mexican citizen with a Mexican Passport who cannot get a us Visa. I am planning to cruise inthe USA and canada for a few months. Can I keep my Mexican crew member. Is there some exception for crew if they stay with the ship or is there some special form of documentation Would the answer be different if I registered the Vessel outside the USA. Is there some advantage to registering with a flag of convieniece. What are the advantages, disadvantages. The vessel was built in Italy. I cannot imagine the cruise lines with a polyglot crw that visits that visits many different countries getting visas for each country for each crew member

A non-US citizen working within the US on a US documented ship maybe??
/ Len


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