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Any Australians who have applied for B1/B2!
Lauren
Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 5:48 PM
Joined: 23/06/2010
Posts: 8


Hi, i am new to the industry and soon will be applying for the B1/B2 US visa and having an interview in Melbourne, Australia. I have been told so many different things about the interview, eg. tell them your travelling or tell them the truth etc etc. Its really confusing and seems quite difficult! I would like to be honest in my interview: I am heading straight to Fort Lauderdale, I will complete my STCW 95 as soon as i arrive with &&&& training company and then join with agencies and look work on a NON-US flagged boat immediately. I have my own business in Australia and i have no desire to work or live in the US. Will being straight up with this information and my intentions get my visa approved? Any advice or thoughts on what i should say? Also will immigration at LAX hassle me even if i do get the Visa approved? Thankyou for any help!!!
Henning
Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 6:09 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1053


Be honest "I am looking to work in the yacht industry and I understand that I need a B1/B2 Visa for working on foreign flag yachts entering US waters." They may actually give you a different visa which gives you even more rights as the B1/B2 while accepted, isn't really the most correct one to have. I forgot which one the CBP guy was talking about though. US immigrations is very easy to deal with, just be honest. My mate has a B1/B2 and he's an Aussie, and my ex girlfriend had one as do many many many people. Like anyone, these people hate being lied to, so don't, there's no reason to. There is one key rule to dealing with immigrations though, and it is the golden rule pretty much every where. DO NOT OVERSTAY. The B1/B2 visa is typically good for 10 years, it however is not the only thing you need. You also get an entry permit which can be for various lengths of time, typically your first one is for 3 months. Be sure to check out of the country before it expires. Always make sure you have a spare $150 for a trip to the Bahamas and back should you need to make a quick trip to get a new entry permit. Make sure of it... over stays can potentially cost you 10 years of no re-entry. Also, if you leave on a boat, make sure to get your entry permit turned into immigrations before you leave. Normally the captain takes care of all that, but don't count on it, it's your future and your passport, not your captains. Immigrations holds you responsible.

Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, June 24, 2010 5:38 AM
Do not tell them you are going to the US to look for work on a yacht. Say you are just covering your bases in case you find a foreign flagged vessel that might be going to the US in the future.
Henning
Posted: Thursday, June 24, 2010 6:54 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1053


Anonymous wrote:
Do not tell them you are going to the US to look for work on a yacht.

While it is probably not the best piece of information to disclose, in fact, there is nothing in US law that prohibits that. You will have to leave the country and re-enter to legally start the position and be on the correct side of the B1/B2 visa, but there is no prohibition from soliciting a crew position on a foreign flag vessel in the US. I never figured out where people got that idea. You aren't allowed to day work when you are checked in on the tourist side of the visa, and you aren't allowed to work on a US flagged boat (though it looks like that'll change in a couple of years), but there is nothing that says you can't solicit a position for a foreign entity legally operating in the US.

Anonymous
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 7:50 PM
If you mention the word JOB!!to INS,then you might as well stay at home.Tell them your going travelling,partying and drinking.Show them you have  cash in your bank account to support yourself for your duration of stay.You better let them know your just going over to be a tourist. Don't listen to all of the arm chair lawers and yachtie experts!
rodsteel
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 12:09 AM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277


Lauren wrote:
Hi, i am new to the industry and soon will be applying for the B1/B2 US visa and having an interview in Melbourne, Australia. ... I am heading straight to Fort Lauderdale, I will complete my STCW 95 as soon as i arrive with &&&& training company ...


 

 

Lauren,

 

You have another option. Since you intend to complete the STCW 95 in Florida, you might be able to enter "for professional training" (hopefully different from "student") and subsequent "tourist" activity at Disney World ;o)).

 

By the way, the State Department provides the B1/B2 visa, the Department of Homeland Security approves your entry using the visa and issues the I-94 document that defines the length of your visit - two different animals ;o)

 

Rod


Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 1:00 AM
Good luck with that one, entering the USA on a B1/B2 ViSA it is illegal to look for work - keep that one in mind. Don't even mention looking for work at your interview or even when in the US, it puts peoples back up here in the US as you are essentially taking away for their workplace. To ensure you get this VISA is to obtain employment first and then present a letter of employment at your interview - this way is the fairest and most truthful way to obtain a B1/B2 VISA. Otherwise lie through your teeth and tell them you are traveling for more than the standard 90 day permit that is issued to the everyday traveller. From one Australian to another, be fair to the USA peeps.
Henning
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 1:37 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1053


Anonymous wrote:
Good luck with that one, entering the USA on a B1/B2 ViSA it is illegal to look for work - keep that one in mind. Don't even mention looking for work at your interview or even when in the US,

Please find a citation in the CFRs that backs your position with regards to a foreign entity.

Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 2:05 PM
I have yet to meet a nice CBP officer that will give you the benefit of the doubt. Customs have a negatively geared mentality assuming that you are trying to enter and stay indefinitely/ find a job etc etc. Give them any snippet of info to support this and its your yachting career off to a bad start. Saying you want to work in the States even if its on a foreign flagged yacht is just asking to be deported. Their selective hearing will ignore the foreign flagged bit. Have personally experienced the same situation and spent many hours in the second interview room waiting for a decision I take these matters very seriously. Go as a tourist on a visa waiver and when you have a job then fly to get a visa somewhere out of the states. What really happens and whats written in the CFR's are 2 very different things in practice. Anyway don't want to scare you and good luck. Yachtings definitely worth a shot!!
Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, June 27, 2010 3:52 AM
Hi Lauren,
As an Australian who has worked in yachting for well over a decade and had B1B2 visas with many, many entries into the US, my advice is to go to your Melbourne interview and don't tell them you are looking for work- it rings alarm bells loud and clear. You are simply travelling as a tourist for up to 6months. Get a B1B2 as this is a tourist visa and will allow you 6 months entry at a time ( depending on the officer you get at LAX- it is their judgement whether they "stamp" you in for 30 days or 90 days etc). Don't be surprised if the Melbourne office only issue you an initial 1 yr or 5yr visa. These days unless you have had a B1B2 before it is unlikely you will get a 10yr visa straight up. Resist the easy route of getting a visa waiver (allowable on an Australian passport) as if you get work on a yacht, you cannot enter back into US Waters as a crew member under the visa waiver program- you must have a B1B2. For future reference, once you have a job on a yacht and lets say you've had a vacation and you fly into the US to rejoin your vessel, you can enter with a copy of the Ships Papers, crew List w/ your name on it and a letter of employment from the Captain and quite legitimately say that you are entering the US to re join your foreign flagged vessel as a crew member. Finally, do not fly into the US with any documents such as a resume, stcw course info etc- mail/courier it ahead. if you get detained having these on you it will not help your case as a "simple tourist". Good Luck

Henning
Posted: Sunday, June 27, 2010 9:16 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1053


So, not illegal then, just not wise, like I said originally. Now, read the wording I gave in my original post;

"I am looking to work in the yacht industry and I understand that I need a B1/B2 Visa for working on foreign flag yachts entering US waters."

You can also got to FtL on an e-visa/waiver, buy some captain at Waxy's a couple of beers, he'll give you a letter with the boats stamp on it that says you're crew (doesn't need to be true, most people get their B1/B2 this way), you fly (or take the Casino Ship) to the Bahamas and fly back in, give them the letter and they issue you your B1/B2 along with your entry permit. That is the typical way of doing it, 99.997%  probability to never have a consequence.
 
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