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Old 10-02-2018, 11:51   #136
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
The cruising permit one is more frustrating and confusing. Time and time again I’ve heard these stories about US border folks not knowing their own regs, or applying them differently state-to-state or even guard-to-guard. All us visitors can do is go by the letter of the law.
I once crossed the US-Canada border going north in a canoe. We had trouble finding the ranger station and it was getting late in the day, so we just set up camp. The next day we finally found the ranger station on shore and the friendly old guy welcomed us illegals with only a warning:
"When you go oat in a boot on the lake, watch out for the beers!"
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Old 10-02-2018, 12:22   #137
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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These visa questions are all pretty easily answered. Canadians get six months in any 12 — not tied to the calendar. No, you can’t just duck back over the border and reset the clock, but there are ways to get extended visas.
If you can show me where that is written down in black and white, please do. I couldn't for the life of me, find it anywhere in the accessible regs, and got told many different things from many different CBP officers - no consistency. Have you actually gotten a tourist visa for the US? The US embassy in Ottawa told me I couldn't get a tourist visa because Canadians are exempt.
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Old 10-02-2018, 12:43   #138
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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If you can show me where that is written down in black and white, please do. I couldn't for the life of me, find it anywhere in the accessible regs, and got told many different things from many different CBP officers - no consistency. Have you actually gotten a tourist visa for the US? The US embassy in Ottawa told me I couldn't get a tourist visa because Canadians are exempt.
I don’t understand… You can’t get it b/c you don’t need it. Canadians do not require a pre-authorized (written) visa to visit the USA. We are part of the Visa Waiver Program. Go to Google. Type Canadians visiting USA … or some version therein. Or just look up American embassy site for Canada. It’s all there.

There are exceptions, like being a student, or a fiancé, or having a criminal record. If you fall into those categories, then it will be more complicated. The US website I easily found outlines all this.
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Old 10-02-2018, 19:02   #139
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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I don’t understand… You can’t get it b/c you don’t need it. Canadians do not require a pre-authorized (written) visa to visit the USA. We are part of the Visa Waiver Program. Go to Google. Type Canadians visiting USA … or some version therein. Or just look up American embassy site for Canada. It’s all there.

There are exceptions, like being a student, or a fiancé, or having a criminal record. If you fall into those categories, then it will be more complicated. The US website I easily found outlines all this.
Anyone not under the visa-waiver umbrella can apply for a tourist visa to travel the US for up to 1 year - try to do that as a Canadian. Under the visa-waiver program, 6 months is the normally-stated maximum length of stay. I'm not talking about student or work visas, fiancée or criminal record - just a normal tourist visa. Bizarre catch-22. Been there, done it.
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Old 10-02-2018, 19:21   #140
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

Great Post! Thank you for such detailed insight!
I look forward to sailing the ICW in the future.
It warms my heart to hear that you were treated with kindness. I wish the boatyards provided you with better service.
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Old 10-02-2018, 19:49   #141
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Anyone not under the visa-waiver umbrella can apply for a tourist visa to travel the US for up to 1 year - try to do that as a Canadian. Under the visa-waiver program, 6 months is the normally-stated maximum length of stay. I'm not talking about student or work visas, fiancée or criminal record - just a normal tourist visa. Bizarre catch-22. Been there, done it.
I know several foreigners from visa-waiver countries that have applied for and received visitor visas to the US. A visitor visa is for 6 months and can be extended to 1 year.

Of course, if your visit is less than 90 days, it would make no sense to spend the time and $$, the visa waiver program gives you a 90 day stay.

https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...t/visitor.html
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Old 10-02-2018, 21:32   #142
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
Anyone not under the visa-waiver umbrella can apply for a tourist visa to travel the US for up to 1 year - try to do that as a Canadian. Under the visa-waiver program, 6 months is the normally-stated maximum length of stay. I'm not talking about student or work visas, fiancée or criminal record - just a normal tourist visa. Bizarre catch-22. Been there, done it.
Canada is NOT a visa waiver country ... Canadians are not required to have a visa as a visitor to the USA ... therefore the requirement for a visa cannot be waived. Neither the visa waiver program, nor the B1/B2 tourist visa is applicable to Canadians.

from: https://ca.usembassy.gov/visas/do-i-need-a-visa/
Quote:
Canadian citizens generally do not require a visa to enter the United States directly from Canada for the purposes of visiting or studying.
...
Canadian visitors are generally granted a stay in the U.S. for up to six months at the time of entry. Requests to extend or adjust a stay must be made prior to expiry to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.
from: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...h%20of%20stay/
Quote:
The burden of proof that the Canadian citizen is not an intended immigrant (plans to make the U.S. their primary residence) is always on the applicant. There is no set period of time Canadians must wait to reenter the U.S. after the end of their stay, but if it appears to the CBP Officer that the person applying for entry is spending more time over-all in the U.S. than in Canada, it will be up to the traveler to prove to the officer that they are not de-facto U.S. residents.
a summary here from the CBC (dated 2015): Canadian snowbirds: Rules you need to know - Canada - CBC News
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Old 10-02-2018, 23:17   #143
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I don’t understand… You can’t get it b/c you don’t need it. Canadians do not require a pre-authorized (written) visa to visit the USA. We are part of the Visa Waiver Program. Go to Google. Type Canadians visiting USA … or some version therein. Or just look up American embassy site for Canada. It’s all there.

There are exceptions, like being a student, or a fiancé, or having a criminal record. If you fall into those categories, then it will be more complicated. The US website I easily found outlines all this.
EXCEPT - That the visa waiver scheme only applies to visitors entering the country by commercial carrier. If you arrive on your own boat you either need the 12 month pass or a B1 visa. Be prepared, if you apply for the B1 they wanted more documentation and bureaucratic hoops jumped through than when I applied for Canadian Citizenship. And the embassy made me feel like a criminal applying for parole, even made us line up outside - In Montreal in Feb I like the USA folks but they really do need lessons on how to organize a country!
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Old 10-02-2018, 23:31   #144
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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EXCEPT - That the visa waiver scheme only applies to visitors entering the country by commercial carrier. If you arrive on your own boat you either need the 12 month pass or a B1 visa. Be prepared, if you apply for the B1 they wanted more documentation and bureaucratic hoops jumped through than when I applied for Canadian Citizenship. And the embassy made me feel like a criminal applying for parole, even made us line up outside - In Montreal in Feb I like the USA folks but they really do need lessons on how to organize a country!
Good info Roland/Kelkara. Thanks for the clarification … a bit more reading on the US embassy to Canada website clearly states: "Canadian visitors are generally granted a stay in the U.S. for up to six months at the time of entry. Requests to extend or adjust a stay must be made prior to expiry to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. As with all foreign visitors, Canadians are reminded that U.S. law requires entrants to qualify for the desired stay and purpose of travel at the time of their initial entry."
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:07   #145
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

Visa waiver is a bit of a confusing term. You technically do get a visa but you don't have to go in to a local consulate/embassy and get a piece of paper that say's "visa" before the trip. It can simply be a stamp in your passport as you cross the boarder or even just an electronic note in the countries system.

I haven't checked but I suspect the "commercial carrier" requirement doesn't apply to Canada as the vast majority of traffic across the border is by car unlike say European's on arrival are almost exclusively by "commercial carrier".

Yeah, there is some confusion but I suspect a lot of it is because once you get away from the Canadian and Mexican coastal areas, they simply don't get a lot of foreign boats. The percentage of non-commercial foreign boats entering say Virginia is so small, there is a good chance you get a guy who has no clue what you are suppose to do, so some will pull up the book and read you the letter of the law and others will not want to spend the time figuring it out and tell you not to bother them again.

In the EU on the other hand, a large percentage of arriving boats are foreign...but even there, it's hit and miss how they apply the rules.
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:51   #146
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Canada is NOT a visa waiver country ... Canadians are not required to have a visa as a visitor to the USA ... therefore the requirement for a visa cannot be waived. Neither the visa waiver program, nor the B1/B2 tourist visa is applicable to Canadians.
Yes, you are correct. I was using an obsolete term - the Canada/US relationship used to be referred to as a 'visa waiver', but there is now a separate program with a whole bunch of other countries that is specifically called "visa waiver program." Canada and a couple other countries fall under unique circumstances. As you said, the B2 tourist visa is not applicable to Canadians, so comes down to the individual CBP officer and their interpretation of the rules as to whether or not you can stay over 6 months. So you end up with interpretations like Mike's that Cdns can only spend 181 days total within a 365-day period. Or in a calendar year. Or whatever - the rules aren't clear. Out of one of your links, there's this little snippet:

Quote:
There is no set period of time Canadians must wait to reenter the U.S. after the end of their stay, but if it appears to the CBP Officer that the person applying for entry is spending more time over-all in the U.S. than in Canada, it will be up to the traveler to prove to the officer that they are not de-facto U.S. residents.
Which seems to indicate one can spend more than 6 months in the US, at the officer's discretion. It is not so easy finding an officer that knows this.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:30   #147
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

And of course proving a negative is by definition impossible, talk about catch-22.

As usual, being wealthy helps, with most of those assets being back home they're more likely to believe you're not trying to sneak in.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:47   #148
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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And of course proving a negative is by definition impossible, talk about catch-22.

As usual, being wealthy helps, with most of those assets being back home they're more likely to believe you're not trying to sneak in.
Some years ago some friends enroute from Toronto when checking in were asked by CPB. "What is your residence". Unfortunately they responded "This is it", an impeccable Whitby 42. They were denied entrance as they "don't need anymore vagrants".

They eventually got it worked out but it took them several weeks.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:56   #149
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

Canada and the US - Brothers and sisters.

Most other countries do not understand just how close the bond is between us.

Many of our own people have never thought about it. But if Canada was attacked the US people would react in full outrage and ... woe be unto you.

Canadians are much alike. For example when Pearl Harbor was attacked, Canada declared war. Much the same for 9/11.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:04   #150
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Canada and the US - Brothers and sisters.

Most other countries do not understand just how close the bond is between us.

Many of our own people have never thought about it. But if Canada was attacked the US people would react in full outrage and ... woe be unto you.

Canadians are much alike. For example when Pearl Harbor was attacked, Canada declared war. Much the same for 9/11.
Some truth in that but they (CPB) don't seem to want us cruising their waters and spending our retirement money.
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