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Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
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Zangskar Valley, India

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Old 18 Nov 2015
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visa question for USA when travelling by bike

I need your help to advise me about visas.

We are a couple, both European nationality, Irish & German. Will send our bike to Anchorage and will arrive ourselves a couple of days later.

If we do things the right way we should apply for a non-immigrant visa (B2? multiple entry) for the USA - but have we the risk they won´t give us the visa, when: we don´t depart by plane, have no fixed address (camping or looking for accommodation as we travel) and we will be travelling for 10 months - therefore can´t prove income, ie, we are not working (could prove we have money in a bank account)?

I have seen another option where people buy a cheap flight to leave the USA, but my worry is: we will go with our bike from Alaska to Canada and then re-enter the USA with the bike: so it is not very believable that we will depart USA by flight and they will probably ask what we will do with our bike, etc.

What should we do? Any help or advise appreciated.
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Old 18 Nov 2015
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Posts: 58
Hi Karen,

I applied for the B1/B2 visa for my trip through North-America in Germany. In the interview the lady in the embassy asked my a few questions, why I wanted to visit the US "so long", what my profession was (engineer) and how I would finance such a trip (I showed her a print from my bankaccount) and the interview was over and I had my visa.

This is my experience, yours might be different.

At the border into the US (small crossing at Walhalla, south of Winnipeg), I was asked again, what my profession was, if I had a job, and how I would finance my trip (I said I had 20k€ in my bankaccount and would access it by my credit card).

Understand, that the border officers need to type an address into their system. Just look for someone here, or at ADVRider (tentspace), or adress from a hotel or something and they are happy.

I had a flight booked back from Cancun, for the reasons you described. I could rebook it for my flight back, so no money is lost (look at the conditions for that), but noone asked my about my flight back. At the border I told them, that I would go on into Mexico. Thats it.

Note that a visa is not a guarantee to get through the border! The officer at the border might decline you the crossing.

These were my experiences. Yours can be different. A differrent officer in a different mood can make the difference ;-)

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Old 19 Nov 2015
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Thanks Martin, your answer is a great help, thanks
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Old 19 Nov 2015
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 58
your welcome
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Old 19 Nov 2015
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NSW Australia - but never there
Posts: 1,235
We applied for the B1/B2 visa on the stated basis that we had bought a US-registered motorhome and wanted to spend 3 to 6 months each year for the next 5 years exploring the US, Canada and Mexico. Did give an on-line friends address as a contact point, and when we arrive by air, give the RV storage lot as our address on the first night.
If you can't prove that you have the financial resources to survive for 6 months at a time, then yes, you might have problems. We always bring current bank statements and credit card statements and local council rates notices for our house back home, plus have access to a lot of cloud-stored documents as well. Never needed it of course, but ...
As stated, the man at the immigration desk can deny entry and there is no appeal. General advice - often ignored by Americans to their detriment - is answer only questions asked, don't try to prove you have a great sense of humour, and no smart-arsed comments.
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Old 20 Nov 2015
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Thanks Tony, that´s great
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