Dealing With Immigration and Customs Around the World

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					                                                Presented by Daniel Toriola

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                              Dealing With Immigration and Customs Around the World
                                                            By Lawrence Pane

  We sailed around the world in our Mason 53 Dolphin Spirit for six and a half years, visiting 56
countries, so developed a good knowledge of the requirements of checking into and out of countries,
and a simple rule for dealing with officialdom:

 "You are in their country; the rules are their rules; so smile, do what you are told without complaint, or

Checking in and out of a country when you arrive in your own boat involves various combinations of
Health, Immigration, Customs, Customs Police, Agriculture, Port Captain, Port Police and Beach
Police. In some countries, e.g. Sri Lanka, add the Navy. Plane and cruise-liner arrivals have things
much easier, dealing only with Immigration and Customs and occasionally Health.

 If you carry any sort of firearm or ammunition you must declare it at your first port of entry, and most
countries will then require that these items be removed from the boat, or sealed in a locker, for the
duration of the stay in the country. Any nondeclared material found on board by a subsequent search
will generally result in jail time and probable confiscation of the boat. It is highly unlikely that you will
find another Customs officer like the one in the Cook Islands who told me, after he couldn't find a seal
for the locker containing our shotgun, "Promise me you won't shoot anyone, and we will forget about

 Fiji was the top of the paperwork tree. For us, with three people on board, checking-in required 22
forms and took approximately four hours to get through, excluding the trips to the downtown health
Office and Government Department. All offices provided carbon paper.

 At the other end, the tiny Customs office in Aden, Yemen, seemed to be run by the person with a
souvenir stand just outside the office door. He gave us clearance in return for $US2 each for the lady
who brought in the tea. When we cleared out, the stand was manned by the tea lady, who took a
second $US2, signed forms we hadn't completed, and told us to fill them in after we left. They were
both more interested in selling daggers and shawls. It was really very informal, and we still are not sure
whether it was a real office, with real officials, but no one seemed too concerned.

One of our more enjoyable check-ins occurred in Tonga. We pulled up to the Customs wharf and were

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boarded by Immigration, Customs, Health, and Agriculture. These four very large gentlemen (a Tongan
weighing less than 200 pounds goes on a crash eating course) crowded around our salon table to do
the paperwork. We were prepared, with pots of tea and a five-pound box of biscuits, so everyone was
happy and the papers got filled out, one set at a time.

 After having to check in and out of every country, it was very strange to get to the Mediterranean
where the practice seemed to vary. We certainly had to check in and out of Malta, Israel, Cyprus and
Turkey. Checking into Greece was required, but checking out was needed only if you were going to
Turkey. We then sailed and land traveled to Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Austria,
Switzerland, and Luxemburg without showing a passport, in fact without even slowing down as we
crossed the borders.

 Singapore Immigration and Customs treat yachts as if they were freighters or super-tankers. All crew
members are therefore required to be covered by a bond. The officials realize the silliness of this, and
were amused when I said that, if all it cost me was $S3,000 to leave my wife and son there, they could
have them. Amusement didn't stop them from stamping the bond details into my passport and
collecting the money.

Lawrence Pane circumnavigated with his wife and young son, and his expertise in the areas of sailing,
cruising and travel, expressed through two books, numerous magazine articles and very popular
seminars, has informed, assisted and entertained a wide audience of sailors and non-sailors. Visit to enjoy the photos, buy the books, and check up on coming

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                                        Tips For Finding A U.S. Immigration Attorney
                                                               By Peter Sterling

 Each year, millions of individuals want to migrate to the U.S. They are admitted into the United States
because mainly of their legal preferences, individual qualifications and absolute determination in
working through with the U.S. Immigration law requirements.

U.S. immigration law by far, is very complex comprised of regulations, formal laws, previous decisions
as well as other unstable information providing set patterns and guidance.

Since there is so much information on U.S. Immigration law to cover, you can either pass through that
puzzle yourself or save considerable time and disappointment by hiring an immigration attorney so to
help you get through the way.

It is very practical to hire the services of an immigration attorney for three main reasons:

Immigration U.S. law is in fact a complicated area of U.S. law that comes second to U.S. tax law in

It is constantly changing and hard to follow even for a number of immigration lawyers.

Immigration lawyers will be very helpful in ensuring that your immigration application get through the
immigration bureaucracy quickly and smoothly.

The most excellent way to hire a good and reputable immigration attorney is research carefully before

Here are tips for finding a U.S. immigration attorney:

1. Make certain that your prospect lawyer is an American Immigration Lawyers Association or AILA
member. An AILA lawyer will guarantee you that he or she has access or way in to the remarkable flow
of necessary information to follow through on the continuous change in U.S. immigration law.

2. Ask how your immigration attorney will charge you. If he or she charges hourly, what is your
attorneys estimate of her professional fees so to do your case? If she charges a flat rate, ask what
precisely does that exclude or include?

For instance, if your original request is denied and your attorney needs to file an appeal, will this be
incorporated in her flat rate?

3. Ask how much work experience does your immigration attorney have?

Like other lawyers, immigration attorneys also specialize. Some in asylum, matters in business
immigration or removal cases. Never hire an immigration lawyer who is specializing in asylum cases to
handle his first business visa application at your expense.

4. Check your attorneys MartindaleHubbell rating. Note that MartindaleHubbell generally rates

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attorneys basing on ethical standards and legal ability. Their highest rating is the AV rating.

5. Call the attorney for an interview. If she is reluctant to take time the time to have a talk with you,
therefore she is not likely to respond to questions that you might want clear answers and to any of your
problems when dealing with your case.

6. Consult your attorneys website or directly ask him what percentage in his years of practice is solely
devoted to immigration matters.

7. Ask your attorney for recommendations from contented clients. Call her clients in order that you can
consult with them how the attorney handled their case and whether or not they are pleased with her

A note to keep in mind, generally the best attorneys are busy individuals, because they are attending to
a lot of clients and their attention usually first goes to their clients legal needs.

Expect that you should pay your lawyer for his knowledge, experience, training and for his time as he
listens to the information of any situation that you convey to him as well as for his advices.

Like any other profession, note that the best attorney generally charge the biggest fee, whether it be
flat rate or hourly fee. Of course, an attorneys rate must not be the only criteria or gauge in determining
whether you are hiring the right or the best attorney.

More importantly, you need an attorney whom you are very comfortable or at ease working with as well
as whom you believe will handle your immigration case with diligence and expertise.

For more great immigration related articles and resources check out

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