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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
I am thinking of possibly sailing from Boston to Vancouver next year. My visa expires in the US and I need to leave. My visa might expire while on the way or right when I leave so I have a question if someone might now. Without a US visa, can I stop at US ports on the way to BC to refuel and get supplies on the way, or is illegal to do so?
I haven't done the research yet on the weather and the best time to do it, and the amount of time it will take so if any have made similar journey you can let me know.

Thank you.
:sailing-pilgrims:
 

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You don't say what country you are from, but seems you should be getting answers from an immigration attorney. As I don't think the Coast Gard is likely to be more lenient when you say, "well some guy from god knows where on sailnet said I would have no problems." But I would not want to cut it close as having problems may well prevent future visas from being given by putting you on a list. Especially in the current environment.
 

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OK just one serious question Boston in what state and I assume Vancouver BC.
 

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I would guess that it is illegal to enter a US port without a visa. Are you ready to do passages of 40 to 60 days? Do you qualify for visas along the way? Like Mexico, etc? No real need to stop in the USA if you can do the long passages.

However you might try negotiating with the US officials. They have the authority to be flexible. And seafarers are not seen as a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No I am not ready for a non-stop long passage so I will need to stop at ports, I was just wondering if there is some international area on ports like at airports. The only Visa I need is for the US.
 

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No, there are no transit facilities in the US for either boats or aircraft.

I wouldn't know about sailing down the US east coast, but I know that the passage along the US west coast must be nearly impossible without stopping.

I would think any sane person, after transiting the Panama Canal, considering their next destination, Polynesia vs. the frozen nervous hectic North, would not turn right but continue SW. :)
 
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I would guess that any officials you meet will quickly figure "There's no way he didn't plan to make entry and stops along a three thousand mile passage" and that planned part of it requires the visa. I doubt you'd get to claim "innocent passage" or "necessary" whatever with a planned voyage of that length and route.

So, you ask for a visa extension, and if you can't qualify, maybe go Boston to Bermuda to the Carib and then across to the Panama Canal...all of which may be unseasonable or even brutal sailing, and still leave you with a long haul to skip the US Pacific coast.

I'd ask the immigration attorney what you can do about some type of extension, no matter what kind of hoops you have to jump through.

But, of course, that's just speculation.
No visa? No intentional planned entry allowed, AFAIK.
 

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I suspect, legalities aside, that doing this (significant) trip whilst harbour hopping will be difficult to do in a single season. Hurricane season, weather windows, and the long slog up the west coast of Central and North americas is going to make this a loooong 6,500 nm trip (not counting port diversions).
 
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