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Sailboat Reboot
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Discussion Starter #1
As I plan my Pacific transit I have been researching visa requirements. I am finding that in many places, like the Schengen Zone in Europe that it is fairly easy for a US Citizen to get a short term visa. This might be 30, 60 or 90 days. Usually it is possible to extend an "initial" 30 day visa for up to 90 days although every country reminds one that an extension is not guaranteed.

Many countries, as is true of Schengen, require that one leave for 90 days prior to return on a short term visitors visa. This is obviously not something I would choose to do. So the alternative is to apply for and receive a longer term visa (usually good for one year.)

With due respect to Joseph Heller the Catch-22's that I encounter is the apparent requirement to obtain the visa within 90 days of arrival. It also seems that one has to apply in person in their home country. This of course is impossible on a US cruising sailboat looking to cruise in SE Asia without flying home and waiting around for the visa.

For those who have gone before - what did you do? Limit your visit? Fly home? Or do something else?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Roger
 

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It depends on the country, but most visas can be arranged thru their local consulate in whatever country you happen to be in.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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These are the current Schengen countries. None are in the Pacific

Austria Belgium Czech Republic Denmark
Estonia Finland France Germany
Greece Hungary Iceland Italy
Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta
Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal
Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden
Switzerland

I guess you are looking ahead. The current situation for non EU citizens intending to cruise in Schengen countries is pretty murky.

Noonsite carries some good info see clicky

N.B.
Applying for the visa once you have left your home country is very difficult indeed
Do not pole up to immigration expecting them to be unaware of the time spent in country. Computers are wonderful.
Comment received November 3 2010 from Frank Balmer, SV Freewind
Don't be so sure you will not be caught on a Schengen overstay. Upon leaving our boat in Spain my wife and I flew home on seperate airlines. She flew through Frakfurt and was questioned about how long she had been in Europe. The immigration officer got frustrated going through her passport and passed her through.

I went through Switzerland and was not so lucky. When the officer could not find the right stamp I was escorted to the immigration office and notified that I had illegally overstayed the alloted 90 days. Papers were filled out that will be sent to the courts for determination of the situation. From the demeanor of the officials I don't feel that I will be fined but who knows.

I do know that I will not be allowed to re-enter for at least 90 days. I was one of dozens that had been stopped for questioning.
It does seem that the Schengen agreement did not consider the pace that cruisers like to move at.

The UK is not a Schengen member so time spent there does not count. Try to fit in the west coast of Scotland which is a wonderful cruising area in summer IF and it is a BIG IF the weather is reasonable.
 

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The UK is not a Schengen member so time spent there does not count. Try to fit in the west coast of Scotland which is a wonderful cruising area in summer IF and it is a BIG IF the weather is reasonable.
Excellent suggestion. Also Ireland, Montenegro, Albania and Turkey are options.
Croatia and Cypress are options at the moment but they are going to be joining Schengen, so it depends on your timing.

It's becoming harder.
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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Discussion Starter #5
I am sorry I added the keyword "Schengen" to my post. I have been in Spain and Portugal - including the Azores and Canaries and am all too familiar with the problems. In addition to the visa issue the non-Schengen Zone countries seemed to have reacted by substantially raising their marina costs. Or maybe like everything else prices have just gone up a lot.

My particular interest is in the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia.
 

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These are the current Schengen countries. None are in the Pacific

Austria Belgium Czech Republic Denmark
Estonia Finland France Germany
Greece Hungary Iceland Italy
Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta
Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal
Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden
Switzerland
Well Schengen Agreement is only for European countries... 26 in total.. not even close to pacific!
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Going beyond Europe, there is no one rule that applies about visa extensions across the world. It can be a major problem though. In some cases, Australia is an example, you can get a longer visa up front, with more hoops and more cost than the shorter stay ones. In South Africa you can arrange an extension in the country, but may have to return to your port of entry to do so, (think you enter in Miami and are currently in NYC, but have to back to Miami (not with the boat of course)).

If we decide to go to Europe I will figure out the impact of taking British residency since my parents were born there. In long distance cruising dealing with officialdom is costly and often complicated and it is not getting better.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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The French have so many different kinds of status for what used to be called colonies. French Polynesia, including Tahiti, is semi-autonomous and makes its own decisions about issues like this. In contrast, Martinique and Guadeloupe are French departments like Brittany and likely would be Schengen although the issue was not raised when we there. Reunion is something else again, 'overseas departments', what the difference I don't know.
 

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Asia Visa

Malaysia-90 days visa upon arrival
Thailand- 30 day visa on Arrival- We get a 60 day visa in Penang for 30 bucks extendable for another 30 days for 60 bucks. I can get a retirement visa for 1 year multiple entry visa for 200 bucks.

Indonesia- require a cruisng permit- with this you can get 60 day visa extenable for another 30 days.

Phillippinies0 30 day visa on arrival. We got 60 day visa extendable for another 30 days in brunei, about $1.50 a day on average, we were there for 6 months.

Brunei-unlimited visa as long as we were on the boat.

new zealand-6 months visa on arrival. we got citizenship after 3 years. Now ythey give you 2 years for the boat.....

Australia-Visa needed for yanks...not sure of the requirement these days.

It's easier than you think and a lot less hassle then Europe....no wonder so many folks are here.
 

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The French have so many different kinds of status for what used to be called colonies. French Polynesia, including Tahiti, is semi-autonomous and makes its own decisions about issues like this. In contrast, Martinique and Guadeloupe are French departments like Brittany and likely would be Schengen although the issue was not raised when we there. Reunion is something else again, 'overseas departments', what the difference I don't know.
Yes, I believe the former are TOM: Territoires outre mer, and the latter are DOM: Departements outre mer. I can't keep straight which one is what but I would be surprised the DOM were not part of Schengen since, as you say, the French see their status not different than e.g. Brittany.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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It was explained to us that Guadeloupe and Martinique (and St Martin?) are not even considered overseas departments now, just garden variety departments like those in what used to be called 'Metropolitan France'.

[Thread drift warning] the French overseas possessions are very impressive places compared to their neighbours. I think that a lot of money is spent by Paris on them.
French Polynesia finds itself in an interesting position. There is considerable support for independence, but the two sources of most of foreign income, high-end tourism and pearl exports , are not doing well.
 

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Antigua is also the country where you can be arrested for wearing camouflage clothing. And if you are "importing" it, it will be confiscated and you may be fined.

So if they are willing--and known--to arrest you for the color of your shirt, why on earth would you even think about violating their clearance laws?
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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Discussion Starter #14
The Caribbean doesn't really fit the model of this thread as I proposed it. You can stay in the Caribbean pretty much forever as there are so many islands and they are so close together that you can hop from one to the next should you have length of stay problems. This used to be possible in the Med - you could hop from Spain to Italy etc. staying in each for 90 days then go back again. You could cycle between Spain and Italy forever under the old rules. Of course you had to get your boat out for one day each year and one half to avoid vat. That is no longer possible because of Schengen.
 

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I know absolutely nothing about Europe or the Med in terms of cruising, but I have always wondered about this situation with having to leave the EU countries for a period of time before returning.

My question is this, why don't cruisers leave the EU and go somewhere on the other side of the Med in Africa ? There are a lot of countries there including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, etc, what's wrong with going there and then coming back to the EU ? Or going to Israel or something ? The distances involved are trivial compared with sailing from parts of the U.S. to the Caribbean and people do that all the time.
 

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I know absolutely nothing about Europe or the Med in terms of cruising, but I have always wondered about this situation with having to leave the EU countries for a period of time before returning.

My question is this, why don't cruisers leave the EU and go somewhere on the other side of the Med in Africa ? There are a lot of countries there including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, etc, what's wrong with going there and then coming back to the EU ? Or going to Israel or something ? The distances involved are trivial compared with sailing from parts of the U.S. to the Caribbean and people do that all the time.
I believe this problem is solved by the folks cruising/staying/basing/living on boats in Turkey
 

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"My question is this, why don't cruisers leave the EU and go [to] Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt"

I must have been watching the Evil Disney Channel. I'd swear I saw riots, mobs, and White Devils being attacked in Egypt last year, and of course, Libya had that nasty WAR going on for how long how recently? Still a bit unsettled?

All of North Africa has a reputation for being a less than welcoming place for Anglos and Americans these days. Oh, and now the US State Department has travel warnings up for Turkey, no doubt in response to totally imaginary threats that have been made to attack Americans there.

And it isn't just the Evil Disney Channel that has had copious coverage on these places. On the whole, I think I'd enjoy a distillery tour of Scotland more.
 

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The Intrepid voyager is signing up for the "Sail Somalia" rally...
 

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"My question is this, why don't cruisers leave the EU and go [to] Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt"

I must have been watching the Evil Disney Channel. I'd swear I saw riots, mobs, and White Devils being attacked in Egypt last year, and of course, Libya had that nasty WAR going on for how long how recently? Still a bit unsettled?

All of North Africa has a reputation for being a less than welcoming place for Anglos and Americans these days. Oh, and now the US State Department has travel warnings up for Turkey, no doubt in response to totally imaginary threats that have been made to attack Americans there.

And it isn't just the Evil Disney Channel that has had copious coverage on these places. On the whole, I think I'd enjoy a distillery tour of Scotland more.
Wikipedia claims that the Islamic uprising since July 2013 has claimed 1300 people's lives in Egypt.

The WHO claims that 2000 people died in Libya during its civil war (Al Jazerra claims 13000).

16000 people were killed in the Mexican drug war in 2013, and 60000-100000 people since 2006, and people go there all the time.
 
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