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Questions about US and Thai Formalities

By doina — last modified Jun 05, 2008 04:12 PM

Published: 2008-06-05 16:12:04
Countries: Thailand , USA

(1) USA: I've heard conflicting information about whether British and Australian passport holders can enter the U.S. on a privately-owned yacht under the Visa Waiver Program (ie without getting visas in advance). What would happen if we tried to enter the U.S. on our boat and the British and Australian citizens did not have visas in advance? Does it make a difference if the boat is registered in the US?

(2) Thailand: Once we check out of Thailand with Thai immigration in Phuket, how long do we have until we have to leave Thai waters? (We want to check out of Thailand in Phuket, spend the night in Phi Phi island, and then continue heading south to Malaysia the next day.)

Wes Fisher [email protected]

Answer for Thailand: The rules are that you should leave within 24 hours of checking out at Chalong One Stop centre. Generally most boats go the leisurely route via Phi Phi - a day stop at Koh Ha and then night anchorage in Rok Nok and maybe a stop down the eastern side of Taratao or to the Butang Islands. So within 24 hours out of Chalong Bay or wherever you are departing from.

Answer for US: We have been informed by Blue Water Sailing Magazine (June 2008), who have spoken to US Customs and Border Patrol , that cruisers on personal vessels visiting the US from abroad, will not at this time be able to take advantage of the Visa Waiver Program. You would still need a regular visa if you are a citizen of a country that requires visas to enter the US.