Clearing into the US Virgin Islands
Vessels entering the US Virgin Islands need to proceed directly to a port of entry for clearance pursuant to 19 CFR 4.2 see 19 U.S.C. 1433). An application to lawfully enter the United States must be made in person to a CBP officer at a U.S. port-of-entry when the port is open for inspection pursuant to 8 CFR 235.1.
Passengers and crew are not allowed to go ashore until properly cleared. All passengers must present themselves and their documents to US CBP including the following:
- Documentation of nationality for each passenger / crew member
- Ship's documents
- Vessel Entrance or Clearance Statement (CBP Form 1300)
- Passenger and Crew List (CBP Form I-418)
- Clearance from the last port of call
Clearance Ports in the Virgin Islands:
- Edward Wilmoth Blyden Marine Terminal, St. Thomas 877.305.8774 8am - 5pm Seven Days a Week
- Cruz Bay CBP Terminal, St. John 877.305.8775 10 - 5pm Seven Days a Week
- Red Hook Ferry Terminal, St. Thomas 8 - 5pm by foot only (excluding lunch 12 - 1pm) berth at American Yacht Harbour or anchor in Vessup Bay and utilise the AYH dingy dock
- Gallows Bay, St. Croix 340.773.1011 8 - 5pm Mon - Fri, after hours 340.773.1490
VISAs for foreign flagged/foreign crew:
The B1 visa will be accepted by USVI CBP, for foreign yacht crew arriving into the US Virgin Islands for both:
- Private yachts, not for commercial or charter use
- Yachts engaged on charter – SUBJECT TO the vessel embarking its guests in the USVI, and proceeding directly into foreign waters for the charter itself. Similarly, guests can be disembarked in the USVI, as long as the charter itinerary has been out of US territorial waters.
C-1/D visas are valid for 29 days stay, upon which the vessel must depart to a foreign port. The BVI is accepted as a foreign port.
ROAM system continues to be for private US boats only.
- Yachts should avoid having a mix of B1 and C1/D visas amongst their crew, as it will cause confusion as the yacht’s status with CBP (individual crew having both the B1/B2, and C1/D visas granted to them is fine; different crew having different visas is to be avoided).
- Third party advice for the do’s and don’ts for foreign crew applying for a B1 visa: here
See the list of nationals who do and do not require visas prior to arrival to enter the USVI and BVI. The fee is $160.00 for the online non-immigrant visa form, DS-160, with a 2-3 day processing time.
- Visa info for the British Virgin Islands: http://www.bvitourism.com/entry-requirements
- Visa info for the US Virgin Islands: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html
Any persons requiring a visa to enter the US must arrive in the US on a recognized carrier, i.e. Ferry or Commercial Airline. Charter boats are not recognized carriers. If you picked guests up in non-US waters and they require a visa to enter the US but have not travelled through the US prior to arrival on your yacht, the guests must enter the US by ferry or plane.