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Old 06-08-2012
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Stopping in the US with no visa

I am a canadian who plan to sail to the caribbean this fall with my honduran girlfriend. I do not require a visa to enter the US but she does. We plan to make the trip without stopping in the US, but what would happen if we had to stop and she was without a visa?
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Old 06-08-2012
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Re: Stopping in the US with no visa

I think there are provisions for mariners who have to unexpectedly put into port (for weather, breakdowns, et cetera). But, call the nearest US Consulate and ask them.
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Old 06-09-2012
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Re: Stopping in the US with no visa

I would just pull into a guest dock like you had just been out day sailing and not mention her immigration status. This method has been tried and tested and is currently in use by approximately 6.1 million people in America.

Mike
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Old 06-09-2012
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Re: Stopping in the US with no visa

MasterCard or American Express are sufficient.

And, use them heavily and all will believe she is a citizen.
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Old 06-09-2012
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Re: Stopping in the US with no visa

Whether YOU need a visa or not you still have to check in. Hiding her status would be a bad idea.

It is not unusual for ship's crew to be confined to the ship due to visa or other immigration issues. That isn't usually applied to recreational boats and I don't know if the professionalism expected of licensed mariners plays a role.

Calling a local US Embassy or US Consulate is the "right" answer but the response you get will come from a US Department of State consular officer. I suggest calling the local US Customs and Boarder Protection office in New York or Norfolk and ask them how their officers should respond in such a scenario.

If you do find you must enter the US due to illness or mechanical problems I suggest you call CBP (see Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia - CBP.gov ) as soon as you are in cell phone range and ask for guidance.
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Re: Stopping in the US with no visa

Is there a great expense (time or money) to getting a visa for the US? If it's not a big hassle why not just get one for her in case you do need it.
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It is not a great expense but she is currently working oversea so she cannot apply now. When she get home she will first apply for the canadian visa wich can take up to a month, she has to send in her passport with her application so she cannot apply for the US visa while she wait for the canadian one. I will give CPB a call and try to get more info. Thanks for the response.
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Re: Stopping in the US with no visa

There are special requirements for visas for those arriving by sea. I think it is a B2 visa which is harder to get.
I imagine there is some provision for landing in the case of emergency but that it would be restrictive.
Skip the idea of sneaking in. Your boat would have to be Canadian registered and flagged with the home country marked.
You might also want to think about routeing - it can pay to have alternatives or contingency plans.
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Re: Stopping in the US with no visa

I have to agree with those who are advising against the sneaking in approach. It might well work just fine. BUT, if you got caught, and someone with a case of hairuptheass was in a position to bring down the weight of post-9/11 legislation on your heads, you could be in for a serious amount of grief (maybe even the loss of your boat).
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Re: Stopping in the US with no visa

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinLA View Post
I would just pull into a guest dock like you had just been out day sailing and not mention her immigration status. This method has been tried and tested and is currently in use by approximately 6.1 million people in America.

Mike
Civil disobedience is a wonderful thing.

Homeland security be damned. There might be a few terrorists interested in this approach. I am really surprised by those who like it.

Anyone else up for porous borders?
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Last edited by jackdale; 06-09-2012 at 10:18 PM.
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