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svmidnightsun 03-16-2013 07:48 PM

USA Visa
Hi, We are preparing for our next leg; New Zealand to Sitka. We have our Visas. What a drama. We would like to spend the winter in Juneau but have been told a visa would only be issued for 6 months. Then we would have to cross the border into Canada for a few days and then return in order to get another 6 months. There are 5 of us, so flying would be an expensive exercise. So Question 1: Can you drive across the border from Juneau to Whitehorse and get a stamp? Question 2: Can you get a 12 month stamp?
Thanks in advance Paul

rgscpat 03-17-2013 01:12 AM

Re: USA Visa
Ferry to Haines? But it may have seasonal limitations that wouldn't work for you, or there may be weather cancellations, so maybe direct contact with local folks will tell you the winter situation.

Alaska Marine Highway System :: Official Site :: Alaska DOT&PF

Ferry - Book the ferry to Haines; All major Alaska, BC & Washington Ferries plus most major European Ferry Crossings online.

Alaska Ferry, Alaska Marine Highway, Inside Passage, Alaska Tours

Q: Is it possible to drive to Haines in the winter?
A: Yes, the Haines Highway is well ploughed on both the Canada and USA side of the border. However it is wise to factor in the possibility of some delays in winter and always travel prepared to spend the night in your car (sleeping bags, food, water, etc)

Minnewaska 03-17-2013 07:44 AM

Re: USA Visa
Be careful. We had an employee (Australian citizen in the US) do this several years ago and when she tried to re-enter the US, they denied her. She sat in Canada for nearly a week sorting it out. Maybe work visas are different, because I don't recall this being necessary every six months. Still, the re-entry process to the US is not simple since 9/11. At least half the time I fly back in through customs, I feel treated like a criminal. And I live here!!

MarkofSeaLife 03-17-2013 11:45 AM

Re: USA Visa
1 Attachment(s)
Times have changed. You can't do a visa trip accross the boarder into Canada and back again. You need to be out of the USA for two weeks. You maybe OK if it's 10 days.
I flew out of New York last year to Australia for 10 or 11 days and was fine.

The chances of getting a full 6 months when you come back is not very great. When I came back in they gave me 6 months, but I had only used 3 months of my previous 6 month entry. So my total time in the USA was 9 months. The immigration guy said I would have great difficulty getting back into the USA in under two years. Subsequently I found out they have a guide line of 9 months in 20 months.. Yes, weird amounts!
Anyway, I wouldn't bank on getting 12 months. In fact, I wouldn't plan on it at all... Plan for two weeks in Canada, and then back for a total USA time of 9 months.

Mark :)

hellosailor 03-17-2013 12:40 PM

Re: USA Visa
Last time I was in Juneau I was told there were 22 miles of paved road and they did not leave town, so your only options in or out are boat or plane, unless you are hiking. FWIW.

Paul, you don't mention what citizenship(s) you all have, that will of course affect your options.

svmidnightsun 03-17-2013 07:33 PM

Re: USA Visa
citizenship is Australian
Visa type 10 year multi entry

hellosailor 03-18-2013 12:36 AM

Re: USA Visa
That lost something in translation. Your visa is a 10-year multi-entry type but is only good for six months?

What type of visa is it? "Type" in the formal sense, i.e. type B-2 ?

They can get quite complicated, depending on whether a visa is required, what the purpose of your visit is...and without referencing a specific visa type, there's a good chance someone won't know what applies to the one that's been issued to you.

svmidnightsun 03-18-2013 02:11 AM

Re: USA Visa
hellosailor visa type is b1/b2 and its a multi entry visa the form is a DS160 and when it is issued it will be good for 5 or 10 years. When we arrive in the US the customs officer will
issue a stamp for an allocated time ie 6 or 12 months but I believe they have only being giving 6 months at a time but I don't know this for sure.
Regards Paul

hellosailor 03-18-2013 10:51 AM

Re: USA Visa
From what I found online, apparently three to six months is the default period, which is supposed to be set to match the purpose of your trip, i.e. to give you enough time to conclude your business or tour. And knowing our bureaucrats, they wouldn't let a dangerous Australian have anything besides "the usual" simply to protect themselves from being told "that's not what we do". The phrase here is "CYA" and no, that's not a nautical club.

Country Reciprocity Schedule

But our State Department indicates they have a one-year reciprocity with Australia on visa entries, which would appear to mean that you CAN be allowed one year on the first entry, if you can explain why you need one year, why you're not a threat, and the man stamping the passport knows how to count that high.

I'd suggest corresponding with our State Department, explaining that this is a recreational vessel and your travel simply is s l o w and to a remote area, and confirm that twelve months is both appropriate "from what I have read on your web site" (i.e. prompt them along) and suitable. If you can get that acknowledged, bring the letter or printouts in with you, and let the ICE guy see it and read it before they stamp you in. Assuming that you actually get acknowledgement that 12 months is acceptable.

That doesn't guarantee they will, but usually if these folks see something in writing "from upstairs" they will go along with it. Once anything has actually been STAMPED and put in writing--these guys are extremely reluctant to override or change it. If they indicate they don't do 12 months, ask politely to see a supervisor, again show him the papers. And of course, let the supervisor know Juneau is landlocked. Most Americans have no idea how things are in Alaska and the very idea of a state capital being that isolated is unthinkable.

Then when you get to Juneau, you can let them explain why the bronze outside is of three pelicans in a state where those don't fly, either.<G>

MarkofSeaLife 03-18-2013 11:21 AM

Re: USA Visa
1 Attachment(s)
If cruisers could get 12 months we would all have been there for 12 months.


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