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Advice on finding jobs in Fort Lauderdale for deckhand position?
Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 4:49 AM
Joined: 29/08/2017
Posts: 1

Hey guys, I'm going to be heading to Fort Lauderdale mid-October, will be getting my certifications like my STCW, power level 2, and probably a couple others. I have a crew house, flying out, yada yada yada. A couple questions however... what other certifications should I get as a starting deckhand? I plan to make a career out of it with the exception of next summer. Also, any advice on finding a good job? What are the best ways to get a job, talk to people, and find the opportunities you're looking for? What's the best way to meet captains or owners, and which one do you have to "wow" in order to get the job? Thanks for the advice everyone.
Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 10:33 PM

Before you throwing at training, a few first ideas for you.

1. Put together a MAX 2 page CV
2. To find work try Networking events Crew Agencies (Good reason for Solid CV) walk the docks
3. If you want to make a career in Yachting consider taking Yachtmaster, and choose you school wisely do not go to the cheapest school. "A good deal is a state of mind not just a price"
Capt. BC

Posted: Saturday, September 23, 2017 9:00 AM

Firstly unless you are American or have an American work Visa (NOT a B1/B2), heading to Ft Lauderdale to 'look for work' is illegal.

If you want to work on a yacht which is based in the USA or heading further South for a winter season, Apply for the job from outside the USA and have a B1/B2 visa  (non yacht specific) already.

Once you have been accepted for the position and have supporting documentation, then you can proceed to the USA

If you cannot get the B1/B2 visa then the Captain should be able to supply the paperwork to facilitate this (SEA/contract, Yacht registration papers and a letter of introduction from the Captain or Yacht management company)

If you ignore this advice, you may well be admitted to the USA on your B1/B2 if you already have one, by telling lies or with other false documentation. But if found to be lying, you could be deported and banned from the USA. I personally know yachtsmen who have been departed and banned from the USA which then really restricts what jobs they can take in the future.

If you are successful and are interred into the USA, walk the docks and are offered work, you then have 2 other possible outcomes:

1) you leave the USA and reenter to join the yacht, with the correct paperwork 

2) the Captain unwittingly employs you with an incorrect entry status. This will have 2 outcomes

A) Your status is discovered when you depart the USA or reenter next time in which the Captain is fined, you lose your job and are deported/banned 
B) Immigration and Border control do not notice your illegal entry status and resulting employment process and you get away with it.
This is probably not the answer or info you were anticipating, but being a UK national who has worked on yachts within the USA for over 15yrs, I have certain 'experiences' with the US immigration and border control. 
A good CV and daywork within Europe (if you are European) all help with a first position. First impressions with crew agencies are important and you can never have too much training or licenses.
Good luck

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