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VWP or B1B2
Posted: Monday, August 31, 2015 2:52 PM
Joined: 28/08/2015
Posts: 1

Hi everyone,

 UK citizen – No current USA visa, multiple ESTA’s in the past whilst working aboard charter yachts in the virgin islands.

I am looking to fly to the US to oversee a survey and (survey results pending) bottom work on a 22m yacht for a UK national owner.

Should this work go as planned I shall then be taking over the yacht as Captain to make a beeline for the Caribbean.

The yacht is U.S flagged and the owner wishes to change to a UK flag/registration either pre or post departure from Florida to the Caribbean (Say BVI or St Martin).

My query is surrounding visas to allow me to legally do this:

Can I enter on an ESTA/VWP and depart as captain on the yacht without issue, or do I need a B1/B2 visa to enable me to depart as Captain?

Normally I would be fine and just obtain a B1/B2, due to limited timeframes this isn’t currently possible.

How the flag state is to be changed is another question altogether but the owner is confident there will be no issue..

Your help would be greatly appreciated.



Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2015 9:24 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

You'll be fine with a B1/B2. Your situation is somewhat complicated in that you will not be employed by the vessel, however you don't need to be, so leave that whole bit out when you are applying for the visa; just keep it simple, "I am a captain in the yachting industry, the owner I am working for is in the process of buying a yacht in South Florida, and I need to go and represent his interests." Simple as that, that gives the official everything they need to know to issue.
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