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The Importance of US Visa

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  • The Importance of US Visa

    Hello everyone,

    My question is basically: how important is travel to the US for this industry? I probably should have considered this before getting into the whole thing but there it is. Basically, due to my youthful 'exploits' it will be pretty much impossible for me to get a US visa. Is this likely to be a major problem for my training/career or only a relatively minor nuisance?

    I am only asking about the US as I assume other countries have a more sensible visa policy. Correct me if I'm wrong though. Any help will be appreciated.

  • #2
    Depends on where you want to work, if you wanna go deep sea then you'll probably end up heading for the US at some point, if you want to do cruise, same applies, if you want to stick around here though, doing coastal cargo, standby, buoy tenders etc, then you'll be OK


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    • #3
      Have you been offered a place yet and if so what company with? Goes without saying if you have previous convictions which you haven't mentioned in your application which subsequently come out either due to you visa application being denied or for some other reason then you may well be in a bit of trouble.

      HOWEVER, I would imagine if you already have a place with a company which is North Sea or deep sea but doesn't trade to the US and therefore doesn't require you to get a US visa, then you might be ok.

      Obviously once you are qualified it is a different matter and may affect the range of companies you are able to work for. Although at least by then you will have your ticket.


      • #4
        Most companies use the US Visa request as a Security Check - primarily for the Americans and I have a feeling its a recommendation (not compulsory) of the ISPS code ... but Im probably wrong :-p


        • #5
          Originally posted by AndyK View Post
          Most companies use the US Visa request as a Security Check - primarily for the Americans and I have a feeling its a recommendation (not compulsory) of the ISPS code ... but Im probably wrong :-p
          Yeah, thats wrong. Thats not what ISPS is for. I'll write more about that later on.

          It depends on what you did, without knowing that we can't really comment on whether you will get a US visa or not. Also, if you have not disclosed to your company that you have convictions or arrests, and they find out then they will bounce you for it as you are meant to disclose it during the application stage.
          I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

          All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.


          • #6
            What was the end verdict of your 'exploits'? If it's a caution, you can still get a Visa I think. If it was a conviction, then you'll be paddling upstream though from what I hear. Be honest with them though, I am pretty sure that the Yanks can/do check your record, and if you lie and they catch you, then you'll never be sipping a cocktail on Miami beach for a very long time, I think it's a 10 year ban or something.

            You could always do platform supply if you don't want the hassle, or short haul Europe trade.


            • #7
              Hmmmm that reminds me i need to ask some odd questions bout mine too, or stay verwy verwy quiet
              you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky


              • #8
                GM AndyK is actually correct *some*comapnies use the US Visa as a form of "cheap" security check on company emplyee's while it was not the purpose of the ISPS Code nor how it was meant to be implemented it is how it works for *some*, under the egis of "you may have to go to the US as tome point" then we all need C1/D's beofre the event and to save the hassel of not being able to send "anyone anywhere" it is better we have them before hand, this applied even to those who would never ever go to the US (people on AHTS's etc)

                So the impression was given (admitedly wrongly)that US Visa is a requirement of the ISPS code...where as the reality was that it was more a consequence and a way for companies to carry out checking without A) invading provacy B) costing too much (like the price of a private contractor for instance)
                Trust me I'm a Chief.

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                • #9
                  I know other cadets who have criminal convictions , however they work for companies that dont go to the US and have been honest about there past
                  Maybe I will never be
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                  • #10
                    My mate has just been in a similar situation, he has just started his cadetship, but due to drink driving ban 3 years ago he was denied a US visa.

                    Dont panic unduely, you can still do it, only as he found, the options are a little limited, usually to offshore standby/supply/ahts or similar.


                    • #11
                      Almost all Deep Sea companies require a US C1/D Visa; as it is a mandatory requirement for all crew to possess one should the vessel enter the United States.
                      Rejection for a US C1/D will depend on the severity of the offence and whether you were fully convicted or cautioned (which is still a convinction, since you are formally admitting guilt by accepting it), and whether it is considered "Moral Turpitude".

                      You should be completely honest with any employer, and could suggest them to send you straight for a US Visa application as a condition of employment should it be an issue. As has also been said, you could do a cadetship on vessels which operate primarily in the UK or Northern Europe such as Offshore etc.


                      • #12
                        Also be aware, your visa could be put forward for additional 'Adminstrative Processing' in Washington DC. I have had this occur once before with a crewmember and it took around 3 months before the visa was eventually issued.

                        You can include in the visa application a letter from yourself explaining your situation and explaining that you realise the errors of your way etc etc.

                        And one final note; DO NOT LIE OR OMIT ANYTHING ON THE APPLICATION. I had one crewmember who I escorted into the Embassy do this, and got a very public bollocking from the consular officer. As soon as they bring up your application on their computer, they have all the information availabe on your criminal offences and US travel history.


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