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Old 08-24-2009, 06:13 PM   #1
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Hi Everyone,

I'm still looking for that perfect boat but getting very much closer to getting that compromise everyone seems to talk about. Wont be long now I'm sure.

When I eventually do make a move I hope to slowly travel to far off shores and the problem of obtaining visas has crossed my mind a few times. I've read about the problems associated with getting them in various books but I haven't really been able to find any practical information from a cruising sailors point of view.

Could someone tell me. What's the best way to go about getting them? How do you do it whilst 'on the move'? I believe they vary from about zero dollars up to around $500. Would that be right? What types are best to obtain. What's the best way to pay for them? Where's the best place to find out about them generally apart from contacting each individual embassy, if that is at all possible?

This seems to me to be one of the most difficult aspects of cruising, 'the bureaucracy'....and that's what I'm trying to get away from as much as possible as I've had a lifetime of it.

I'd look forward to hearing from those who are 'doing it right now' and not reading about it in something that I've picked up off a library shelf that's 10 years old.

Cheers and Many Thanks.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:36 PM   #2
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Follow your planned route on the Cruising Wiki - you will find visa details for each country you intend to visit.

In my own experience, the countries I visited issued visas to yacht crews on arrival but, note that some countries do require visas to be obtained in advance so do your homework carefully.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:15 PM   #3
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Oneman, your home country, the passport you carry, determines the ease or difficulty of obtaining visas. Some nationalities do not need visas for very many countries, others need them everywhere they go. The cost for a visa is usually very inexpensive, so:

for more information from members of the board, we need to know what passport you will be carrying. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so you are wise to ask those with experience. Since you seem to have heard/read some incorrect or confusing information (ex., $500 for a visa), help us here and tell us a little more about you.

You can also visit the website of each of the countries you plan to visit to determine their visa requirements, but sometimes it is difficult to obtain the information easily since the websites are generally geared to persons arriving by commercial travel (passenger ships or trains or planes).

Noonsite has a pretty comprehensive list of requirements, and is a good first step as you travel, but remember, what exists now might not be what is the law some time in the future. 9/11 really messed up a lot of places besides the US. NOONSITE

J
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:19 PM   #4
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Thankyou for your advice.

I've had a look at the Cruising Wiki and NOONSITE and it all seems a lot clearer now, but crikey, it all seems so complicated for a poor old Ozzie who has led a somewhat sheltered life as far as travel is concerned. I've no doubt that's about to change quite soon though.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:12 PM   #5
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Okay, with that little bit more information I feel more comfortable babbling away.

Australians enjoy a lot of the same benefits that are extended to citizens of the US, and most EU countries - many countries do not require visas for tourist stays (60 or 90 days, max, usually). *That's where the Cruising Wiki or noonsite is valuable. *However, it is still wise to check a country's web site, if possible, to get more information.

Where a visa is needed, one must go to that country's embassy or consulate in whatever country you might be in. *In other words, for example, we US citizens needed to get a visa for Oz some time before we arrived in your country, and we did so in the next-to-last island before arriving - Vanuatu. *For us to get a visa to go to Venezuela we had to get our visa in one of the Caribbean islands before arriving, in our case it was Grenada. *These visas require that you provide two passport-sized photos, and some form of payment is required (years ago, the Venezuelan visa cost, I think, USD $1.35 - the cost of the form or some such). *

When a visa is not needed to arrive in the country, you still have to go through the formal check in process. *I hear a few cruisers of griping about this, but it's not really a big deal, and you'll be surprised at how nice the majority of the officials are, and how much valuable information they are eager to give you. *And for the lazier, officious ones, bring a book or magazine with you so you can outwait them, calmly, when they make you sit in the waiting room or even their office while they ignore you and go about their busy-busy way. *Look up and smile, tell them it's okay, you understand, and suddenly they are at your service. *Amazing how well it works!

Try to understand that pompous a**es are everywhere, even in one's own beloved country, so the challenge is to outwit and out charm them.

Fair winds,

J
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