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Old 20-12-2020, 10:45   #16
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

Note that B1/B2/C/D type visas are only temporary visitor visas. They are NOT work visas. If you intend to be an employee working [paid by USA source], and not just visiting as a temporary visiting employee of a foreign firm, then you will need to get a work visa, such as a TN. But I doubt a ship captain would qualify as a being one of the allowed categoriy of TN professional occupation. Note if you are just transiting the waters of the USA and remain on the boat, a C or D visa is required, if you desire to come ashore in the USA then you will also need a B1 and/or B2 visitor visa. Do not leave the boat unless you also have a B1/B2 to permit your shore visitation. Visas are issued for very specific purposes and with very specific restrictions and privileges as to the nature and scope of your travel and activities.

Transit/ship crew visa types and requirements

Visa descriptions
Transit (C visa)
A citizen of a foreign country traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the United States enroute to a foreign destination requires a valid transit visa. Exceptions to this requirement include those travelers eligible to transit the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program or travelers who are nationals of a country which has an agreement with the United States allowing their citizens to travel to the United States without visas.

If the traveler seeks layover privileges for purposes other than for transit through the United States, such as to visit friends or for sightseeing, the applicant will have to qualify for and obtain the type of visa required for that purpose, such as a B-2 visa.

Crew (D visa)
A crew member serving onboard a sea vessel or aircraft in the United States needs a crew visa. Crew members of an aircraft or ship that will be transiting through the United States or its waters generally use a combination transit/crew visa (C-1/D). However, in some cases, individuals may only require the D visa.

Crew members who work aboard vessels within the Outer Continental Shelf, may qualify for a modified B-1 visa in lieu of a crew visa.

Crew members who will be entering the United States during time-off between flights or cruises should also obtain a B-1/B-2 visa to use during these personal/vacation days. Applicants applying simultaneusly for both a C-1/D and a B-1/B-2 visa pay only one visa application fee.

Qualifications
To apply for a transit visa, you must show:

Intent to pass in immediate and continuous transit through the United States.
A common carrier ticket or other evidence of transportation arrangements to your destination.
Sufficient funds to carry out the purpose of your transit journey.
Permission to enter another country upon departure from the United States.

To apply for other C, D or C-1/D visas, you must demonstrate to a consular officer that:

The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States solely for transit or crew purposes.
You do not intend to be paid by a U.S. source while in the United States, unless you have been granted proper approval for a temporary work visa.
You plan to stay for a specific, limited period of time.
You have evidence of funds to cover all expenses while in the United States.
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Old 20-12-2020, 11:37   #17
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

Travel purposes permitted under a B1 temporary visitor visa:

Consult with business associates
Attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
Settle an estate
Negotiate a contract

Travel purposes NOT permitted under a visitor visa B1/B2

These are some examples of activities that require different categories of visas and cannot be done while on a visitor visa:

Study
Employment
Paid performances, or any professional performance before a paying audience
Arrival as a crewmember on a ship or aircraft
Work as foreign press, in radio, film, print journalism, or other information media
Permanent residence in the United States

Reference: https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...t/visitor.html
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Old 20-12-2020, 13:55   #18
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

The only problem with all of that analysis above is that the OP specifically asked about the USVI. The USVI are not subject to the Passenger Vessel Services Act:
Quote:
46 U.S.C. § 55101(a) and (b)- Application of Coastwise Laws
The coastwise laws apply to the United States, including U.S. island territories and possessions. The coastwise laws do not apply to American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.
.
The PSV also does not currently apply to Puerto Rico under an exemption:
Quote:
46 U.S.C. § 55104- Transportation of Passengers between Puerto Rico and Other Ports in the United States
A vessel that is not qualified to engage in the coastwise trade may transport passengers between a port in Puerto Rico and another port in the United States until such a time as a finding is made that a qualified U.S.-flag passenger vessel is available for such service.
https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/fi...p/PVSA-ICP.pdf

On the visa front:
Quote:
The Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) says that a B1 visa is available to any “crewmen of a private yacht who are able to establish that they have a residence abroad which they do not intend to abandon, regardless of the nationality of the private yacht. The yacht is to sail out of a foreign home port and cruising in US waters for more than 29 days.” The FAM is basically the guide book for all State Department and Foreign Service staff, so if you can prove that you fit this description, there is no reason to worry.
While not a government source, this article has a reasonable discussion of the B1/B2 visa in yacht chartering and the reasoning behind the C/D visas not being applicable (intended for scheduled service carriers).

The wrinkle is the US flag on the yacht.
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Old 20-12-2020, 15:47   #19
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
The only problem with all of that analysis above is that the OP specifically asked about the USVI. The USVI are not subject to the Passenger Vessel Services Act:

The wrinkle is the US flag on the yacht.
Partly true:
ARE THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS EXCLUDED FROM THE JONES ACT?

ANSWER: Yes, but it is complicated. By the statute the Jones Act does not apply to coast-wise trade in the Virgin Islands. Very dependent on facts of the case.

But
CAN A FOREIGN CAPTAIN BE THE MASTER OF A U.S.-FLAGGED VESSEL WHEN NOT IN JONES ACT SERVICE?

ANSWER: No, A US flag vessel must always have a captain who is a US Citizen.
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Old 20-12-2020, 15:54   #20
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Other Side View Post
Pandor, Have you read my opening statement ?

None the less thank you for the information provided it will help me navigate to my destination.
I did read your opening statement. But my response was in reply to your following clarification:
So this is the scenario #1

I’m a Canadian citizen working for an American flagged charter boat owned by an American coupe and sailing out of USVI and the charter grounds is split 25% USVI and 75% BVI. what do I require for a Visa or work permit to be the Captain of that vessel ?

Scenario #2

Same boat flag and owners but the boat is 100% sailing in of BVI waters.
In either of these scenarios, you will be ineligible to legally operate on this vessel as a licensed officer. If you gained US citizenship, you would still need to separately get licensed in the US as a master since USCG does not accept any foreign licenses as equivalent.
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Old 20-12-2020, 17:18   #21
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

Also partly true (and hence the “wrinkle”)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandor View Post
...
CAN A FOREIGN CAPTAIN BE THE MASTER OF A U.S.-FLAGGED VESSEL WHEN NOT IN JONES ACT SERVICE?

ANSWER: No, A US flag vessel must always have a captain who is a US Citizen.
46 USC 8103 is quite unequivocal:
Quote:
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, only a citizen of the United States may serve as master, chief engineer, radio officer, or officer in charge of a deck watch or engineering watch on a documented vessel.
But, and I know this is contentious around here, 46 USC also says:

Quote:
116. Vessel of the United States
In this title, the term “vessel of the United States” means a vessel documented under chapter 121 of this title (or exempt from documentation under section 12102(c) of this title), numbered under chapter 123 of this title, or titled under the law of a State.
So it is possible for a vessel to be described as “US flag” but not be documented and thus not be subject to the requirement of 46 USC 8103. And since we’re talking the USVI the vessel doesn’t have to be documented.

It is indeed a very tricky subject that requires a lot of very specific information in order to properly navigate.
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Old 20-12-2020, 17:31   #22
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

I thought about this after my previous post. If the vessel is not documented but flies the American flag (as the OP's scenarios suggest), it would have to be registered in a state or perhaps in the USVI. Either way, as an undocumented vessel in is ineligible to an inspected passenger vessel under USCG rules. It is true that a state or USVI registered vessel could operate as an uninspected passenger vessel (UPV) with the ability to carry up to 6 passengers in CONUS and I believe up to 12 in USVI. However, the operator of an American UPV still requires a USCG license. In this case, not as master, but as Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV). While citizenship is not required for OUPV, legal residency in the US is still required. Thus the OP would not be eligible to legally operate any boat that flies the American flag (USCG documented or not) if it was carrying passengers.

But back to the OP's original question, there is a very detailed explanation of the B1B2 visas as they apply to yacht crew explained here:

https://www.onboardonline.com/supery...or-yacht-crew/

The crux it that the B2B2 only applies for foreign yacht crew on a non-US flagged yacht. A US flagged yacht carrying passenger for hire would still require either a master with US citizenship or a permanent resident with an OUPV.
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Old 20-12-2020, 18:14   #23
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

And yet even an OUPV is not sufficient if the journey goes to the BVI:
Quote:
Vessel operators engaged on international voyages are reminded that they are required to hold a Merchant Mariner Credential with an officer endorsement as Master as required by Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations 15.805(a)(7). An endorsement as an Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV) is not suitable for international voyages.
https://coastguardnews.com/coast-gua...ds/2015/03/20/

The short answer would seem to be B1/B2 and any vessel but a US vessel.
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Old 20-12-2020, 21:15   #24
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

As a Canadian I don’t need a Visa.

I can enter the US on my Canadian passport as a visitor no problem, and it’s the same for US Citizen to enter Canada.

Prior to getting Canadian citizenship. My British passport was ok as a visitor.
I needed a crew visa to enter as crew on any commercial voyage which is or was a D visa. I had a C as well.
Actually it was possible with an expired D visa but paper work becomes a PIA. The company had to post a bond.

Bottom line. To work in US or US territory you need a work permit or what they call a green card.

So forget about working on a US vessel in a US territory.

You could work on a Canadian vessel in US territory provided the voyage doesn’t begin and end in US.
It has to be an international voyage.

To work on a Canadian vessel you will need a Canadian certificate. At this time No foreign certificates are accepted though it may change if the New MPR ever get finished.

BVI ? Not a clue, if a Canadian can just fly down there and work on a BVI registered vessel.
You won’t need a US visa cause it’s not the US. Entering the US on a yacht you probably don’t need a visa. But I don’t know

I have not tried to enter the US as acres with a Canadian passport on a 3rd flag vessel. Not a problem on a Canadian vessel, I don’t think a B1 B2 C or D visa is require for a Canadian on for example a British vessel entering the US but I’m not sure. Best to call a US consulate and ask.

Word is RYA is accepted. In most of the Caribbean.

I kind of wonder about some of these training centres.
They get people to pay for courses without informing them they also need to be meet local entry requirements and work permits ect.

I think a UK citizen can or at least could until the end of this year work any where in the EU. So the Med, no problem if you are British or European.
Uk citizen can probably work in some and possibly all British dependant territory.
Commonwealth counties the rules will vary. Depending on the country.
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Old 20-12-2020, 22:06   #25
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

I googled BVI it’s a British Overseas Territory and British citizens can move there,
But they have to apply for residency.
To work in BVI a work permit is required.
Cost 575 for jobs under 25000 per year.
0ver 1000 for jobs over 25000 per year,

Looks like you have to have found a vacancy apply and be offered job first. To apply for work permit.

May not matter if boat is not BVI flag and does international voyage.

If the boat is BVI registered and charter begins and ends in BVI looks like you will need a work permit. Which you will have to renew annually.

I do know Canadians who have worked down there so it is possible.
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Old 21-12-2020, 09:10   #26
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

Reference: Virgin Island Professional Charter Association.

Speak to the experts!
VIPCA Vessel members receive 15% off consultation on licensing / vessel regulations / compliance

Phone 340-244-0710; Visit 19-2-146 Smith Bay St. Thomas; Email info@nauticaltrips.com

https://vipca.org/chartering/

Requirements for U.S. flagged vessels operating ONLY in the U.S. Virgin Islands 6-12 passengers:

OUPV 6 Pack license

CPR & First Aid

Random Drug Testing Program

Yellow Code COI (MCA Power) or Blue Code COI (MCA Sail) if carrying more than 6 passengers *

TWIC Card

US Citizenship or Green Card

Boat Registration

Business Licence

National Park Sticker

Anchor Permit

Requirements for vessels operating between the USVI and BVIs with up to 12 passengers:

Masters License (not OUPV 6 Pack licence)

STCW Training (5 years) including II/3 endorsement for 12 passenger operation

US Citizenship or Green Card or C1/D

Yellow Code COI (MCA Power) or Blue Code COI (MCA Sail)

Business Licence

BVI Boat Masters

Pay BVI Cruising Taxes and Cruising Permits

Radio Licence (see MCA COI)

Correct number of crew per Passenger License

Working On Vessels with 12+ passengers in BVI

-add: STCW Crowd Management

-add TWIC (from TSA)

If your vessel is Foreign flagged and your crew are US citizens:

A foreign flagged vessel may charter a USVI only itinerary on a standard contract with U.S. Crew / Permanent Resident Card holding foreign crew operating the charter. Foreign crew cannot operate an all-USVI charter on B1/B2 or C1/D visas.
It is understood that CBP enforces laws on behalf of the Government of the Virgin Islands and by regulation by the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs any foreign vessel should have a local USVI business license in order to conduct a USVI-only itinerary.


The Coast Guard published the Sector San Juan Marine Safety and Security Information Bulletin 03-15 on March 2, 2015 notifying the maritime community of the new compliance process for Uninspected Passenger Vessels to transport up to 12 passengers in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Sector San Juan Marine Safety and Security Information Bulletin 03-15

https://coastguardnews.com/coast-gua...ns/2015/04/21/

Section 319 of the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 amended the law concerning Uninspected Passenger Vessel operations for vessels in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Under this amendment, vessels less than 79 feet in overall length may now have the option of carrying a maximum of 12 passengers, if the vessel complies with the requirements established by the United Kingdom (U.K.) Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Commercial Motor or Sailing Vessels which is commonly known as the Yellow Code (for motor vessels) or the Blue Code (for sailing vessels).

While the Coast Guard is actively evaluating the Act to determine how best to fully implement it, the Section 319 amendments to Uninspected Passenger Vessel laws are substantially self-implementing. Therefore, some U.S. Uninspected Passenger Vessels whose voyages originate from the U.S. Virgin Islands, upon meeting certain conditions, may now carry from seven to 12 passengers within the U.S. Virgin Islands and on international voyages, but not to another U.S. port outside the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As an owner or operator of a U.S. Uninspected Passenger Vessel operating from a port in the U.S. Virgin Islands, if you wish to carry between seven and 12 passengers, the following steps will be required pending the Coast Guard’s further evaluation:

1) Vessel must be in compliance with one of the Codes listed above;

2) To verify that compliance, the vessel must be examined by a Certifying Authority listed within one of the Codes (Blue or Yellow as appropriate); and

3) The operator must maintain a Small Commercial Vessel Certificate issued by a certifying authority under the Code and keep it on board.

Equipment requirements and frequency of examinations associated with these Codes differ from existing U.S. requirements for an Uninspected Passenger Vessel. The Coast Guard recommends that any owner or operator seeking to utilize either of these Codes become familiar with the requirements and frequency of inspections for the Code applicable to their vessel(s).

Vessel operators engaged on international voyages are reminded that they are required to hold a Merchant Mariner Credential with an officer endorsement as Master as required by Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations 15.805(a)(7). An endorsement as an Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV) is not suitable for international voyages.

Mariners with an endorsement as an OUPV may carry between seven and 12 passengers when operating an eligible Uninspected Passenger Vessel entirely within the waters of the U.S. Virgin Islands, if the vessel is not on an international voyage.

It is the responsibility of the vessel owner or operator to ensure their vessel is maintained and operated in compliance with all applicable U.S. laws. When carrying between seven and 12 passengers as an Uninspected Passenger Vessel in the U.S. Virgin Islands, vessel owners and operators must also ensure their vessel is in compliance with the appropriate Code (Blue or Yellow) and carry documentation attesting to an examination of compliance.

Vessel operators carrying more than six passengers may also choose to do so by meeting the requirements as an inspected Small Passenger Vessel in accordance with 46 CFR Subchapter T.

The law and Coast Guard regulations have not otherwise changed. Therefore, Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations, Subchapter C remains applicable to those vessels carrying six or fewer passengers that forego seeking certification under the Codes.

All owners or operators of U.S. Flagged Uninspected Passenger Vessels pursuing certification under this law are requested to notify the Coast Guard of their vessel name, hailing port, length, tonnage, approved passenger capacity, owner name and contact information once a certificate is issued by a Certifying Authority listed within one of the Codes. Providing this information of certified status under one of the Codes may serve to reduce the possibility of operations being interrupted by Coast Guard officers seeking verification of legal carriage requirements.

For vessels operating in St. Thomas please send an email notification to Marine Safety Detachment in St. Thomas at d07-dgsecsj-msd-st-thomas@uscg.mil.

For vessels operating in St. Croix please send an email notification to Resident Inspection Office in St. Croix at d-07-dg-secsj-rio_st_croix@uscg.mil.

Anyone wishing to report illegal passenger vessel operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands may contact the Marine Safety Detachment in St. Thomas at 340-776-3497 or Resident Inspection Office in St. Croix at 340-772-5557.
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Old 21-12-2020, 14:27   #27
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
And yet even an OUPV is not sufficient if the journey goes to the BVI:
https://coastguardnews.com/coast-gua...ds/2015/03/20/

The short answer would seem to be B1/B2 and any vessel but a US vessel.

I appreciate all who engaged and to help out with their knowledge and advise.


So I'll describe what I understood so far and please correct me if I am mistaken or going sideways.

1:A work permit is required to crew on an American vessel.

2:An American mariners certification is required for a leadership role on an American flagged or registered vessel.

3:You must be an American citizen to obtain American mariner certificates.

4:An American B1/B2 visa is the preferred document for crews of foreign flagged or registered vessels visiting the USA.

5:I must avoid American flagged or registered vessels.

6:I must avoid charter vessels who start and finish their charters in American territories.

7:As a Canadian citizen I may not be required to have a B1/B2 while working on and visiting an American territory on a private foreign flagged or registered vessel.

8:American and Canadian flagged or registered vessels have similar rules on mariner certificates for leadership positions.

9:With the information gathered here to date it seems that I can turn the page on boats or companies with American affiliations unless the employer has a means of navigating the work permit and other requirements, if that's even possible ?

10:I will begin an information search on the requirements of other Caribbean nations after I've had a stiff drink and re-charged my optimism reserves.
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Old 21-12-2020, 15:03   #28
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

Pretty much you got it, a few nit-picky comments:

3. You can obtain an MMC as OUPV without citizenship:

Quote:
§10.221 Citizenship.
(a)(1) MMCs with officer Endorsements. Only individuals with valid U.S. citizenship may apply for officer endorsements, except individuals applying for endorsements as operators of uninspected passenger vessels authorizing service on undocumented vessels in accordance with §11.201(d) of this subchapter.
This doesn't do you a lot of good. The OUPV is not valid for international charters, but you could, for instance, operate an OUPV on an undocumented boat entirely within US waters (and I think there are also some exemptions for crossing to-from Canada on the Great Lakes, but didn't dig for those).

6. You must avoid vessels that don't visit a foreign port during the charter. As long as your charter/cruise includes a foreign port it is an international voyage and thus is only required to meet the manning requirements of the flag state. In the USVI this is interpreted as requiring you to only embark/disembark passengers and then move on to a foreign port (no local stops other than the point of embarkation/disembarkation).

This is why the Alaska cruise ships shut down this summer. All the ships that generally leave Seattle or San Francisco are registered in places like the Bahamans, Caymans, etc. They all call at Vancouver/Victoria before proceeding to Alaska, and Canada closed quite early on in the current environment. As long as any passenger they embark/disembark in the US has passed through that foreign port they are OK. Without the Canadian stop the foreign-flagged cruise ships couldn't meet this requirement and were thus out of business even though both Alaska and Washington were open until somewhat later.

So you could run a non-US flagged vessel in and out of the USVI as long as each charter went through the BVI or some other island group. The paperwork might become a bit tedious....
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Old 21-12-2020, 20:19   #29
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

There is still some hope,
I do know Canadians who have gone down there and worked on yachts.
It appears reading the post above, British documents are accepted and work in the USVI at least as visitor from BVI.
To work as on a British documented boat resident in USVI looks like us green card and documents are required.

So check out BVI charter company and boats.

There are other Caribbean islands and quite a few yachts do international voyages between them.
Which appears to be the important bit.

From what I read, YM is pretty much regarded as an entry level job qualification for a deck hand. On big shiny yachts. If you have chef skills and qualifications. You might be one up.
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Old 23-12-2020, 10:20   #30
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Re: B1/B2 Visa

Thank you to all who replied to my queries regarding the B1/B2 USA visa. The information gathered will help a great deal moving forward towards my goal.

I will create a new tread to discuss yachting destinations and their rules of employment from a different angle than we discussed here.
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