7 Ways To Nail Your First 7 Days As A Yacht Stew.
Each episode, you’ll hear about the real yacht life, info on how to kickstart your superyacht career and tips on becoming a super stew.
I’m a Chief Stewardess with over 6 years experience in the superyacht industry. I help aspiring yacht crew land their first job and teach the skills needed to an amazing JUNIOR STEW.
Why you need a B1/B2 visa if you’re planning to work on a yacht which does the famous Caribbean season?
The Caribbean yachting itinerary includes cruising in U.S waters so it is necessary for all crew to be legally entering the country on the correct visas. If crew don’t have the right visas it can lead to the yacht being detained.
As we all know yachting offers a very transient lifestyle, however, there has been no specific visa created for yacht crew entering the US on boats or looking for work onboard. The B1B2, though it is the most appropriate for crew working (or looking for work) on yachts, however it was in no way created for that purpose.
This is where it gets confusing! According to the US Department of State, the B1B2 is classified as a visitor visa. This means that it is a non-immigrant visa for people wishing to enter the United States temporarily. There is a B1 visa for those who wish to enter for business purposes and a B2 visa for those coming for pleasure or tourism. A B1B2 is, obviously, a combination of the two. The B1B2 is not a work permit, nor is it equivalent in any way to a Green Card. It is also different from a C1/D visa which is primarily intended for airline personnel. To the American embassy, the yachting sector is considered a private industry therefore the C1/D visa is not always applicable.
So how do you get a b1/b2 visa?
There are two ways.
Scenario 1: You manage to get a job on a yacht traveling from Europe to the Caribbean, or the boat is possibly already stateside. You will use the boat papers to go hand in hand with your Visa application to the US embassy. This proves you are working on a ‘private vessel’ that needs to temporarily enter US waters. We never mention anything about the c-word to the embassy- CHARTER! As I mentioned before the industry is considered private.
Scenario 2: You apply to the US embassy for your visa appointment even though you don’t have a job on a yacht yet, or any boat papers. You have some money in your bank account and basically, cross your fingers and hope the embassy officer has had his morning cup of coffee. As I learned the hard way the biggest chance of being refused is if you are not able to prove strong ties to your home, whether they are familial, social, or economic. This proof can come in the form of bank or mortgage statements, house bills, photos of your wife or children back home… anything that will make them believe you are not planning on abandoning your home and planning to stay long term in the USA. I really don’t recommend doing it this way as it caused me so much frustration and hassle at the start of my yachting career with the US embassy.
Here are some other things to consider:
Best of luck with the visas! If you have any questions send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
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I’m a chief stewardess with over 6 years experience working in the superyacht industry on boats up to 88m. I help aspiring yacht crew by propelling them with the know-how and tools to confidently break into the superyacht industry.