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B1/B2 visa
Johan.z
Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 6:51 PM
Joined: 18/08/2009
Posts: 4


Hi!
I´m planing to go to Ft Lauderdale and try to get in to the yachting industry. I have heard that I should get a B1/B2 visa, is this correct and how do I get it? I´m a Swedish citizen and I haven´t had any problems with the law enforcement.
I´m grateful to al the help I can get.

-Johan

El Velcro
Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2009 11:26 PM
Joined: 19/03/2009
Posts: 17


I think, though I could be wrong, that a B1 B2 visa is a Business visa and you shouldn't need one. A normal tourist visa should be all you need as you shouldn't be applying to work on an American Registered boat anyway. Apply through the normal channels and they will see you right. Don't listen to people who 'guess' what kind of visa you may or may not need, go to the Embassy and ask in the first instance. Good luck.
Thomas Shipton
Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 11:21 AM
Joined: 24/01/2009
Posts: 6


Hi, Im looking to get a B1/B2 asap. Whats the best place to get one? Hoping to get one next weekend. How do i book appointments? Any idea on average wait times before i can see someone? Thanks for your help
Salvador
Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 8:53 PM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


   Hi !

Email the embassy, they make an appoitment, you go, they tell you how's and whats. I believe each case is a different case...!

 


Henning
Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2009 2:17 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


B1/B2 is pretty simple for yacht crew. The thing is you should (people have managed without) have a letter of employment from a foreign flag vessel, the veracity of which is seldom questioned. If you are just getting started, well, you'll have to cheat a bit more, but don't do anything stupid and all will be well. Just enter on a regular A1-A2/ e-tourist visa and then get to know some yacht people and within a couple of days and a 12 pack of beer you'll have a letter that you can take with you on a $129 round trip to the Bahamas, and when you come back you present the letter and they give you a B!-B2.
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, March 19, 2010 8:02 PM
I'm still trying to make sense of visas for yacht crew. If my boyfriend who's African, comes to the US on a B2 tourist visa to visit me, and he happens to get a job offer while here, is it true he can work on a foreign flagged vessel? Even if it is FF, does the vessel need to be working outside US waters? Are there visa requirements for FF vessels too from other countries? Which visa does he need to work on a US flagged ship? Thanks so much for the help.
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, March 19, 2010 8:17 PM
" Which visa does he need to work on a US flagged ship? Thanks so much for the help. "......A green card. There is no Visa to work on US Flagged vessels, period. ( Before i get jumped on i better add that there is such a thing as the H1B visa which allows foreigners to work on US soil, but it is given to people who prove they can add to the quality of American life....basically if you have a skill that no other Americans possess, Like an Athlete or an Actor or Physicist, not chamois wielding)
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, March 19, 2010 8:26 PM
You obviously have the internet, research this yourself.....this forum is great for gathering opinions but when it comes to something like this you need to go to the proper source of information, don't trust anyone here, situations can vary greatly from person to person and country to country. http://www.workpermit.com/us/employer_b1_b2.htm
Henning
Posted: Friday, March 19, 2010 11:10 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


Technically, he would need the B1 portion of the B1/B2 visa to work on a foreign flag yacht and he cannot accept the offer while in country, he should by statute be employed before he gets here. The B1/B2 will not be sufficient for legally working on a US flag vessel in US waters. There are a few other temporary visas that will allow him non officer positions given various circumstances but they are complicated to get.

Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, March 20, 2010 1:31 AM
Just make sure you have a letter of employment before applying as just saying your looking for work on a foreign flagged vessel won't cut it! Trust me I found out the hard way. Best to enter on either a visa waiver or tourist visa, find a job and then apply.
14Freedom
Posted: Saturday, March 20, 2010 2:36 AM
Joined: 16/04/2009
Posts: 155


Hey All,

Just fly on in from ??? and get it at the border. Depends on where you are coming from though...

Most EU/NA fly by but if from or routed through the Middle East prepare.

ATB-
The Slacker

bjstetson
Posted: Saturday, March 20, 2010 4:00 AM
Joined: 31/01/2009
Posts: 4


You obviously have the internet, research this yourself.....this forum is great for gathering opinions but when it comes to something like this you need to go to the proper source of information, don't trust anyone here, situations can vary greatly from person to person and country to country. http://www.workpermit.com/us/employer_b1_b2.htm 

Listen up these forums are here to help people . You did give a good web site but your attitude sucks. this is the next generation of yachties . Lets give them all the help we can instead of putting them down
rodsteel
Posted: Saturday, March 20, 2010 6:00 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277


Anonymous wrote:
You obviously have the internet, research this yourself...

Anons (Posted: 19 March 2010 20:26 and 20 March 2010 06:32 [oops it disappeared] - answers),

 

There could be several legitimate reasons that someone would not be able to conveniently perform their own internet research and needs assistance (not the least of which is the lack of necessary Internet access "bandwidth" and/or search experience).

 

In the case of US visa issues I have found (due to visa research requirements for reasons not related to "working on Foreign Flagged [FF] yachts while in US waters"), that the US Embassy, State Department, USCIS and "visa processor" web sites can be obscure, contradictory and inconsistent and the visa acquisition and entry process can be a logistical nightmare.

 

P.S. If you posted under your own name or an Avatar and developed a history like Henning, it might improve your credibility(s) on the site.

 

 

Anon (Posted: 19 March 2010 20:02 - question),

 

Based on my research, the logistical scenario for "working on FF yachts while in US waters" is exactly as Henning outlined above (and several other threads have discussed). To break it down into individual steps (that meet all the USCIS requirements and conditions):

 

1) Acquire a multi-entry B1/B2 US visa from a US Embassy.

 

2) Arrange a legitimate tourist visit to the US and receive a CBP Form I-94 with a B2 (tourist) visa classification (this usually requires "someone/somewhere to visit", “accommodations” and "a return ticket"). While visiting on this visa do not solicit permanent employment or perform “day work” (even for no compensation on an FF yacht – if I read the rules correctly you can’t even baby-sit a friend’s children ;o).

 

3) However, if, while visiting on the tourist visa, the visitor "happens" to meet a FF yacht Captain who is "interested" in providing employment to said visitor, request that the Captain provide a "letter-head" written offer of employment that is sent by (expedited?) Postal Mail (in a "letter-head" envelope) to the visitor's (non-US) home address (preferably AFTER you have left the US).

 

4) Arrange to leave the US and surrender your tourist I-94 (if you wish to go elsewhere on “vacation”, Bermuda, Mexico, Bahamas or other Caribbean countries can provide economical tourist destinations from the East coast).

 

5) If you are temporarily vacationing in one of these locations, arrange to courier the letter of employment (including the "stamped" envelope with the home address) to your current location.

 

6) Assuming the yacht is in the US, return to the US (preferably on a one-way or open-return ticket provided by the hiring Captain) with the letter of employment (and the envelope) and request a CBP Form I-94 with a B1 (business) visa classification for that yacht.

 

7) Join the yacht as specified in the letter of employment.

 

Good Luck,

 

Rod

 


Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, March 21, 2010 1:48 PM

Hi,

Rod's got it right. Simply put if your boyfriend gets a job offer, he would have to leave the country and return with ship's papers in order to accept it. Or he could join the yacht in another country if the boat is on the move. Only non-US flagged yachts.


christhorburn
Posted: Sunday, March 21, 2010 7:22 PM
Joined: 23/02/2010
Posts: 1


I remember how confusing the whole visa situation was when I started in the industry. I didn't know about dockwalk back then, but if I did I sure would have appreciated the help these forums actually provide for newcomers. Just because you are now a 'seasoned' yachtie and know everything about the politics of foreigners working on yachts, doesn't mean you can't afford somebody 5 mins of your time. Think about it... It took you 5 mins to log on to the forum, read all the post , then take the time to tell somebody to go research it themselves?? I think if there ever were a definition of arrogance...
Martin
Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 4:15 PM
Joined: 11/01/2010
Posts: 1


Hi Henning

Thanks for your great input (and for sticking up for us safas)! I'm a South African who recently came to the states on a C1/D Visa whilst doing a delivery and currently find myself working full time on a 96ft S/Y. I'd like to surrender my C1/D for a B1/B2 of course -would I be able to to it in the same way? (Round trip to Bahamas and return with letter of employment).

I would really appreciate your input since I can't seem to find anyone else who can help.

Take Care,
Martin

rodsteel
Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 9:30 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277


Martin,

 

If you do not currently have a B1/B2 visa in your passport, then you will probably have to find a foreign US consulate or embassy that can provide you one. I do not know if the one in the Bahamas can provide visas to non-Bahamian residents. Here is some info.

 

http://nassau.usembassy.gov/againvisa.html

 

This one implies that you may need to go "home" to get one.

 

http://nassau.usembassy.gov/crew_members.html

 

Sorry,

 

Rod


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 2:05 PM
Hi all,
I would like to know who is responsible for the immigration status of crew on a FF vessel in the states.
A friend of mine is working on a FF vessel over 500t that has been in the states for a while.
One of the crew members has had to get a new b1 b2 visa, this was not dealt with until the day her visa was due to run out. Who is legally responsible for the visas, the individual or the vessel??
She has had to organise the whole thing herself and is experiencing difficulties in Canada, she is also embroiled in an argument with the captain over who should foot the bill. He claims that all visas are the responsibility of the crew not the vessel, is this correct?
There are also other crew members on the same vessel who have overstayed past their visa stamp dates. The applications for an extension were refused and they are still in the US, what should they do and who is responsible for the status of the crew in the USA??
If anyone can advise it would be appreciated as my friend is a little worried now.
Will the overstayers be banned? and will there be reprocussions for them?

Thanks
A Concerned friend

Henning
Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 2:39 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


Anonymous wrote:
Hi all,
I would like to know who is responsible for the immigration status of crew on a FF vessel in the states.
A friend of mine is working on a FF vessel over 500t that has been in the states for a while.
One of the crew members has had to get a new b1 b2 visa, this was not dealt with until the day her visa was due to run out. Who is legally responsible for the visas, the individual or the vessel??
She has had to organise the whole thing herself and is experiencing difficulties in Canada, she is also embroiled in an argument with the captain over who should foot the bill. He claims that all visas are the responsibility of the crew not the vessel, is this correct?
There are also other crew members on the same vessel who have overstayed past their visa stamp dates. The applications for an extension were refused and they are still in the US, what should they do and who is responsible for the status of the crew in the USA??
If anyone can advise it would be appreciated as my friend is a little worried now.
Will the overstayers be banned? and will there be reprocussions for them?

Thanks
A Concerned friend



First and foremost NEVER OVERSTAY A VISA!!! ANYWHERE!!! I cannot stress enough how important that is. I've seen so many people over the years ruin their careers that way.... Tell her to get out while she is still on schedule. Nothing outside criminal conviction will keep you from returning to a foreign country faster than a prior overstay, especially the US, it can make you Persona non Grata for 10 years, and with the economy in the shape it's in, it's a hot button topic in this election cycle.

Normally the vessel takes care of it for traveling boats. If she had a Seaman's document it would be much less of a problem as you can stay onboard the vessel with nothing more than that, even if you don't have a passport, they cannot take you off the vessel for an immigration violation.

There are some captains who are lazy and owners who are cheap though and they put it all off on the seaman. There's nothing much you can do about that though as there is no clear legal standard that I'm aware of on this matter. It's always been a matter of "That's just the way we do things at sea." The Yacht sector though doesn't play by the same moral rules as the rest of the maritime industry. In yachting everything is CYA because many of the owners are evil greedy bastards intent on having every dime they can by screwing everyone they can.


 
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