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US Visa Waiver Program NOT for cruisers

By Sue Richards last modified Dec 21, 2013 10:31 AM

Published: 2008-06-14 13:15:00
Topics: Cruising Information
Countries: Puerto Rico , US Virgin Islands , USA , Hawaii

Blue Water Sailing have informed us that having spoken with an agent from the US Customs and Border Patrol, to get clear on whether or not the Visa Waiver Program or Visa-Free travel might apply to Non-US Citizens travelling to the US aboard their own yachts, it has been confirmed that it does NOT.

To qualify for arrival by sea, one would have to comply as follows: "If arriving by air or sea, you must arrive aboard a carrier that signed an agreement, "signatory carrier", guaranteeing to transport you out of the United States if you are found to be inadmissible or deportable."

This means 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.

Visas are needed not just for mainland USA, but also for Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands.

Details about the Visa Waiver Program are available at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Website

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