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B1/B2 Visa
Lauren
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 3:18 AM
Joined: 23/06/2010
Posts: 8


I have previously posted about this visa and am thankful for all the advice (even if somewhat conflicting!)

However it is time to make a decision about having this interview, lying, being honest, or not sitting the interview at all!  I think my current situation might affect what i should do as it may be impossible to 'lie' my way through my interview, because...

I have just returned to Australia after 9 months travelling (so am i really going travelling again?!)

I am only here for 6 weeks visiting family and therefore I am unemployed and will be at the time of interview (my funds at the time of the interview will be limited to few thousand that i would need in FortL, but not really enough to say I'm travelling around the US for a few months).

I already have a Visa Waiver Code as I had to transit through the US to get back to Australia just last week, which is actually valid until 2012. (Will they grant a B1/B2 tourist visa ontop of this?  Seems unlikely).

Basically I'm not sure my current situation would hold up any story!  I have a current Canadian Working Visa, but i still think they would just make me use my waiver visa if i said i was travelling US and then going to Canada.

Or i tell the truth (if you get rejected do they put any comments on your file?), or i will have to enter on the waiver and buy a very nice Captain some very nice and very cold beers!

Thanks again for everyone's help and advice!

 


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 1:25 PM
I had a similar situation when i got my B1/B2, fortunately i had a close family friend who deposited a couple thousand in my account. I printed off the account balance blanked out all unwanted information and said i was travelling through the USA to see friends and had a return ticket for 5 months later so needed a B1/B2, of course repaid the cash and lost the return ticket as I was working out of FLL on a yacht. Goodluck
14Freedom
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 3:44 PM
Joined: 16/04/2009
Posts: 155


However it is time to make a decision about having this interview, lying, being honest, or not sitting the interview at all!  I think my current situation might affect what i should do as it may be impossible to 'lie' my way through my interview,

Hey All,
Either do it the right way or don't do it at all.
I'm not being xenophobic...but I would never consider going elsewhere and LYING about why I was there...this is the EXACT reason why US crew are angry with foreigners coming and job hunting while here...and keep in mind you are LYING to a Federal Official. Consider being deported and not being allowed into the US for ten years...where would you be then? Job hunting down under.
ATB-
The Slacker


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 4:49 PM

If I were you, I'd go on the visa waiver (that gives you 90 days in the country, right?) and if you find work you can get a B1/B2 legally with the boat papers. Despite what a lot of uninformed xenophobes say, it's not illegal to look for work in the U.S., as long as your main purpose for visiting is tourism (that comes straight from a U.S. immigration attorney). So you go on your waiver, for some fun, and if you get a job, you can't legally join the boat in the U.S.; you would have to leave and come back with the boat papers with a B1/B2 anyway. If you have the boat papers, you won't have to lie and it should be easy I would think to get that nice B1/B2. Or you could join the yacht down island or in the Bahamas, and get the B1/B2 before the yacht's next stop in the U.S. The main question is can you get a job without that visa that captains love to see on your CV.

I also think that to justify getting the B1/B2 , your "tourism trip" to the U.S. would have to be more than 90 days, less than 6 months. (Double check that the visa waiver allows you in for 90 days.) So they'd probably want to see a lot of money in your account. I've also done the "use a friend's money to bolster the account" trick several times to get work visas (UK, Oz and others) and it works, but do you have someone who would lend you that much...likely more than $10,000.

Best of luck to you!


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 10:13 PM
Are you out of your mind, have you heard about what laws Arizona has had passed? And how Florida plans to duplicate the law implemented in Arizona, enforcing the immigration law is not black and white because of the Politically Correct do-gooders that think it’s unethical or unreasonable to checks people’s immigration (legal) status in America are fighting to protect the rights of people that have no right to live and work in the USA. Yachting is not the same issue as the influx of Mexicans etc that work under the table, nevertheless there are plenty of people that think its unfair to allow non-americans to have an advantage over the locals yachtie thats searching for work in his/her own country. When the new laws arrive in Florida it will get sticky for crew houses letting out rooms to day workers that are working in shipyards, on docked boats without papers, because you cant rent to people without the correct immigration status. The USA is not interested in the welfare or unemployed foreign seafarers and backpackers. If I was a crew agent, crew house or a dock-walker I’d be absolutely sure I contacted the right people about advice. Ignorance of law is not an excuse for bending or breaking them. Tell you what come to the USA on the visa waiver and try and exit and return with only a visa waiver, when you’re on a yacht. I can assure you it’s possible to leave if the Captain is dumb enough to take you on, but returning in on the yacht you will have an issue and getting a B1B2 will be difficult if you get black labeled. You can’t get a B1B2 in the USA, it has to be done outside of the USA and immigration in Nassau can be difficult and have denied people before, I’ve seen it. Let’s cut the BS and be very clear the B1B2 is not a work permit or permission to look for work. If you arrive in the USA and start looking for work you may be in a tight spot if you have a legal snafu (car accident, DUI etc) and or are directly affected by these potential laws that make it possible to directly question your immigration status and legitimacy to work. I can’t imagine it will be long before a drunken yachtie ruins it for everyone and tests the system when more pressure is applied to clear the job cues of non-citizens and non-residents.
14Freedom
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 4:54 AM
Joined: 16/04/2009
Posts: 155


Despite what a lot of uninformed xenophobes say, it's not illegal to look for work in the U.S., as long as your main purpose for visiting is tourism (that comes straight from a U.S. immigration attorney).

Hey All,
It is patently obvious Lauren is not here for tourism...and LYING to an Federal Employee (ICE) is a CRIME. PERIOD.
ATB-
The Slacker

johanrosander
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 8:53 AM
Joined: 18/06/2010
Posts: 8


So do you recommend some other places in the world to look for work? I'm from a EU country and it's 6+ months to wait for the Mediterranean season. Although I could use this time period to be out at sea to boost my CV for the upcoming Med season . Not to forget...
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 1:25 PM
mate theres a reason many US crew are overlooked.......
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 3:15 PM

Mate, there's a reason why Freedom14 is overlooked. The vast majority of US crew are not paranoid, ethnocentric conservatives who are ultra-protective of their borders - these type of people don't fit in yachting. But there are just a few of those American crew and unfortunately, they have the loudest voices.

Immigration is a complicated hot topic in most countries with no easy answers. But yachting is and should be different. We're an elite group of travel-savvy internationals whose jobs span many borders.

Come to Lauderdale, join the international yachting community and I hope you find work.


Lauren
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 5:00 AM
Joined: 23/06/2010
Posts: 8


Thankyou for your posts.  I am an intelligent woman and i would prefer not to lie at all, as i understand the serious  ramifications of doing this and i do not want to jeopardise my present and future travel plans to the US.  Unfortunately though, it seems to be the general consensus that saying "travel" is ones reason for wanting this visa. 

I do also have a friend in the US that i do intend to visit and spend some time with before heading down to FortL, although prob can't really get a hold of a spare $10,000 floating around someones bank account.


salty spanner
Posted: Saturday, August 7, 2010 9:43 AM
Joined: 28/02/2010
Posts: 14


We have a mate/deckie facing a similar dilemma right now. Does he go to Ft Lauderdale without the B1/B2 & look for work & then apply for the visa once employed?? Or, does he go to the US embassy in the UK first & apply for it without the support of a vessel?? I think plan b might be OK for him because his resume/cv is very strong so he will probably be hired on his merits anyway.... I have told him not to tell lies to anyone but the problem is there is zero consistency with the US immigration offices/officials. It would be nice if the USA could create a new visa that better suited the "grey" immigration circumstances for yachties because we are not trying to back-door our way to a US green card or steal jobs from Mama & Papa yankee.....we just want to work on yachts,.....yachts that happen to be tied-up in Florida a lot. One question we would like to ask: Why is there all this anti-foreign crew sentiment from the yankee crew? The Aussie/English/SA/whatever crew that find & accept work in the USA are joining FOREIGN FLAGGED VESSELS! We could join those vessels in any port around the world & effectively "steal" a job from the locals in that country too. If Americans wish to work onboard a foreign flagged vessel, they can. If Americans wish to work onboard a US flagged vessel, they can. But non-US crew members can rarely ever work on a US-flagged vessel....so who has it harder? An American citizen could probably join a foreign flagged vessel in Australian waters yeah?
Chief
Posted: Saturday, August 7, 2010 2:54 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"Why is there all this anti-foreign crew sentiment from the yankee crew?"


I'm not so sure it is so much xenophobia as poorly articulated frustration at a group of people skirting the immigration laws. This just happens to be an emotional issue with many people as jobs are getting even harder to find.


I really don't want get sucked into the arguments about yachting and yacht crew being a "special" case and "different" from others who lack the privilege to work in the US but playing the seafarer card just doesn't fly. Except for domestic trade, all shipping is international, so yachting isn't any different that way either.


A Croatian or a Malaysian seafarer can't fly in on a visitor's visa and walk the docks of Port Everglades or Charleston or Long Beach to present his CV to the captains of containerships or car carriers. He or she can't walk into a shipyard and ask the captain of a drydocked tanker if he needs any day workers. These guys are also "an elite group of travel-savvy internationals whose jobs span many borders."



Maybe people are just getting tired of the fog of fraud and deceit that surrounds "day workers" skirting the rules that apply to legitimate contractors and other taxpayers. Doesn't the fact that most of these threads begin with or include a request for advice on how much to lie or what lie to tell indicate that something is not quite right?


Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, August 8, 2010 5:22 PM
If your a british passport holder, the visa waiver only applies to flying in/out.  If you need to leave the US via sea you need a B1/B2 or a seafarers visa C1/D1.  The C1/D1 allows you to enter/exit by sea and allows 28 days in US waters.  There is no point in trying to get a job on a yacht that will be in US waters without a Visa.  Your wasting your time & money.  No Captain is going to take on a crew member without the relevent visa.  It's just too much of a pain in the ****.  Even with a C1/D1 I had the joy of being detained in Miami for four hours.  US homeland security are not known for their sense of humour or their ability to bend the rules.  The interview is not that big a deal..just lots of hanging around..bring a good book.  Good luck.
rubio
Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010 7:18 AM
Joined: 20/04/2010
Posts: 1


Mostly the B1/B2 visas are issued as one. B1 is for people who have to travel to the US on business - working for a foreign company and intending to leave. This is what yachties need - you can only work on a foreign owned boat and have a limited time that you can be there (however this goes for the boat too) - You are there on business. They normally give you the B2 so you can go on holidays while you are there. Though if you say you are going to holiday for less than 3 months you will be told to just get the automatic visa waiver and you dont need a visa.
Even when you have a B1/B2 you can not legally arrive on the B2 (ie as a tourist with no boat to go to) and then get a job and leave on the B1 (though everyone does - and most captains and crew agencies have no idea). Really you are meant to depart as a tourist and come back in with boat papers on the B1 or meet the boat outside. I dont think you can change from one to the other - someone else here may have more recent info on this.
The last B1/B2 visa I got in Florence (2005) specifically stated "Private Yacht Crew Member" this has been very helpful as many immigration people in the US dont know which visa you need and think you need a C1/D1 (because it mentions "Crew" in the title. Do not get this visa the yachts often need to be there longer than that visa allows and I dont think you can stay long after you sign off a boat to go touring.
I would suggest all crew flying into join a boat with the B1/B2 copy the relevant section from the US immigration web page about the B1/B2 visa for yachties. It can help if the immigration person does not understand why you are crew and coming in on a business visa. Dont pull this out if you are coming in without a job as you will enter on the B2 and you are not meant to be there principally to look for work (though if you happen to get offered one while "on hollidays" on SE17th, Ft. Lauderdale,,,,,)
The US is a terrible place to look for work for the first time without the correct visa. Better to go to St Maartin or better yet start in the Med. Spend the time getting recent relevant experience. Join a yacht club, get a jetski instructor certificate, do some service work, learn a language, wine course, etc, etc.
I agree with the comments above. Dont mislead or lie, if caught out the very least of your problems is that it will be recorded against your name forever and will come up every time you enter the US.
Good luck Lauren, dont get discouraged, you will get lots of conflicting info, some of mine may be out of date already (another poster may correct it). Crew agencies I have found to be a very poor source for this type of info, go to the US visa web pages instead.

Henning
Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010 1:51 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


Tell the truth. "I work on yachts and I understand that I need a B1/B2 visa should I be arriving on a yacht." The less you try to BS, the better off you always are.

Capt Kaj
Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010 5:19 PM
Joined: 05/08/2008
Posts: 83


You have hit the nail on the head by telling us you have a Canandian work visa, the perfect entry into the States. But in the meantime, apply for a B1B2 Visa when in OZ and tell the interviewer that you want to travel through the States and that you will need it to travel back through the US for some months when finished your work in Canada. Hence why 6 mths will be better than the 90 days Visa Waiver. No lies, as they will trip you up. Sadly the entry points in the US are all different and they are all quite unfamiliar with their own rules. I entered a few years ago and was in pocession of a B1B2 Visa and I had a job supported with legit paper work. I was told I need a C1 Visa, he didn´t know what he was talking about but was adamant he did. I went through a long grilling even though I had the correct paper work.

Someone correctly pointed out that foreign flagged yachts in the US are entitled to hire foreign non-American crew. Sadly Mr Bush and those after him have no idea nor do they care, about foreign yachts and crewing in the US. The Stateside industry have been lobbying Government with little success to date regarding this B1B2 Visa thing and foreign crews. Now with this American paranoia OTT on terrorism gig, it´s not going to get any better in the next 100 years, not at least until America realises it won´t win over the Taliban in Afganastan and Iraq and pulls out it troops and let´s the countries go back to what they have been doing since the 10th C.

Let me also point out, there is another paranoia in all of the world amongst the yachting industry regarding "those foreigners taking our jobs" scenario. I have gotten it for years as a Kiwi. Let me tell you, if you are good enough to get and keep the job, then you deserve it.

Capt Kaj


Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2010 2:01 PM
Hello, That´s for sure... knowledge and experience beats nationality... Do you know what are the immediate obligations once you earn a Green card? If you get a job with the green card you pay taxes, that's it right? Thank you!
Henning
Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2010 2:25 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


Anonymous wrote:
Hello, That´s for sure... knowledge and experience beats nationality... Do you know what are the immediate obligations once you earn a Green card? If you get a job with the green card you pay taxes, that's it right? Thank you!

Actually, you don't need a green card for that. There are multiple other visas that allow you to work in the US that open the requirement to pay taxes, and there are other ways that require no visa whatsoever that legally earn you income that is also taxable. There are also ways with a green card or citizenship to earn an income that is not taxable. Tax-ability and Visa status are two separate issues.

Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2010 7:21 PM

That's great to know.

Thank you


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013 11:35 AM
what did you do in the end?
 
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