Let’s just cut to the chase, the B1B2 visa was not designed for yacht crew, neither was the C1D visa program. These two visa are explained further down.
The American’s are not interested in creating a yacht crew visa and the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is designed to protect the American Merchant Marine. And in case you didn’t notice Trump is president and I doubt he will change laws for foreigners.
Stop crying about a visa system that was never intended for yachting and realize America like all other countries is protecting their borders and simply applying the laws of the land.
Yachting was a small cottage industry that has grown exponentially in recent years and loads of foreign Crew with ZERO experiance and hopes to get on a yacht fly into America, Europe and anywhere yachts go.
The Jones Act, The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly known as the Jones Act, is a United States federal statute that provides for the promotion and maintenance of the American merchant marine. Among other purposes, the law regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. Section 27 of the Jones Act deals with cabotage (coastwise trade) and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents
There are four types of Visitor Visas, none created for yacht crew:
Business Visitor Visa (B1) – You should apply for business visitor visa if you plan to travel to the US for a business convention or a seminar, negotiate contracts, meet with business associates, buy or sell an estate. Personal and domestic employees should apply for this type of visa if they are accompanying their employer who is a US citizen based abroad and visiting the US temporarily or if they are accompanying a foreign citizen employer who is in the US on a non-immigrant visa.
Pleasure, Tourism or Medical Treatment – Visitor Visa (B2) You should apply for this kind of visa if you plan to travel to the US to visit friends or relatives, or with tourist purposes, for medical treatment, or to participate as an amateur in musical and sports events for which you will receive no payment.
The US Department of State (DOS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has strict rules about who it lets in the US. It is vital that all prospective applicants apply for a visa in the correct category using the correct application forms. Failure to submit the form correctly and accurately can result in delays and sometimes denial. Failure to submit the correct supporting documents or to lie on your application can lead to a denial and in many cases you will not be allowed to apply for a US visa for a period of ten years.
The C1/D Crew member/Transit Visa is a non-immigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States as a passenger to join a vessel or aircraft.
D1 visa: For crewman serving aboard a vessel or aircraft in any capacity that will land in the U.S. to enter the U.S., except U.S. based fishing vessels. Persons on a C1/D visa would be admitted into the U.S. up to 29 days.
D2 visa: For crewman serving aboard a fishing vessel with a home port or base of operation in the U.S. and is only available if the fishing vessel is temporarily visiting Guam. Persons on D2 visa may stay in the U.S. for a period of 6 months.
Crewman may obtain an individual visa, or may be included in a crew list visa.