WARNING for NON-US cruisers debarking in a NON-US port!

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olafLover

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
As some of you might be aware, there were visa issues with the EBTA cruise this year. We were told by Disney this was the first time it ever happened and they hoped it would never happen again. I thought, it's one of the few cruises that starts in the US and ends somewhere else, so there isn't a big change of it happening again soon. Well, I was wrong. It was brought to my attention yesterday that UK cruisers on the May 20th Wonder cruise (Alaska) are experiencing the same issues.
So I want to send out a warning to all NON-US cruisers who disembark in a NON-US port (and fly home without entering the US again), please check the status of your I94 visa!
This is the visa you'll get at the border if you enter with an ESTA and it'll be valid for 90 days after entry. If you're lucky you'll get an email 80 days in stating you only have 10 days left to leave, but why wait for this warning, which may never come, when you can quickly and easily check your status on line after you got home?

You can check your status here: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/
There are two indicators, for both of which you'll have to log in with your passport details. First is the Compliance, this shouldn't have a number after "Days Left to Leave the Country: " (so it should be N/A). Next is the travel history, make sure your departure is present.

In the next post I'll give details about what to do if your departure hasn't been processed properly.
 
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olafLover

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
If the CBP I94 website doesn't indicate you left the US (I don't know how long it takes to process! We found out after 80 days, which clearly is to long, but I'd give it a week or something before you take action), you need to send proof to CBP you did leave.
First, send an email to DCL (dcl.guest.communications@disneycruise.com) and request proof you did embark on the cruise (or in case of an Alaskan cruise, disembarked in Vancouver). They'll resend your booking confirmation and you'll get a (unsigned) letter stating <names of the entire party> were on board. You need to make a screenshot of the booking confirmation (explicitly stated by CBP, sending the email itself won't do apparently).

Go to https://help.cbp.gov/app/ask and select in the dropdown menu entering or exiting the US and then the other drop down menus to what is most likely what has happened. Explain what happened and attach the proof you left.
What's needed:
  • passports of entire party
  • screenshot of booking confirmation by DCL
  • letter supplied by DCL
Also make sure the following information is present in your appeal:
SURNAME
GIVEN NAME
DOB:
Passport#
Arrival Date
Departure Date
Departure Port
Flight Number/Vessel number:

Until Passport# it should be present for each person in your party, the arrival en departure information can be shared. Vessel number apparently is the name of the ship, but just to be sure I also added the IMO and the MMSI.

They also asked for a summary of your previous travel to the United States.
I’m not sure if that’s only the arrival and departure date also mentioned above or all you’re travels (or the ones on your current ESTA). We’d only been three times in total, so I included information (arrival and departure date and time) of all of them
 
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SundayGirl

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 3, 2012
Thanks so much for sharing this information!

My family and I were on the 9 night Alaskan cruise last month (we're from the UK), I checked on the off-chance after seeing this and could not believe it - our departure was not recorded.

Following the above instructions - thanks so much again!!!
 
  • olafLover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2017
    Thanks so much for sharing this information!

    My family and I were on the 9 night Alaskan cruise last month (we're from the UK), I checked on the off-chance after seeing this and could not believe it - our departure was not recorded.

    Following the above instructions - thanks so much again!!!
    You're very welcome! I'm glad you got the information in time and can now handle this stress free!
    Which sailing were you on? I'm trying to see how much sailings are affected
     
  • kaseyC

    Mom to 3 lovely Princesses
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2002
    Wow!! This is definitely starting to look like this is an issue on DCL's end. Horrible that folks are dealing with this.
     

    _auroraborealis_

    I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2015
    I don't know. This is a DCL board, but I wonder if Princess or NCL is seeing similar issues.

    Border Patrol are spending a lot of resources on other things and may not be doing due diligence on routine stuff.
     

    kaseyC

    Mom to 3 lovely Princesses
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2002
    I don't know. This is a DCL board, but I wonder if Princess or NCL is seeing similar issues.

    Border Patrol are spending a lot of resources on other things and may not be doing due diligence on routine stuff.
    True. But if it was happening with the other mass market cruise lines that sail EBTAs and Alaska itineraries it would probably be discovered even quicker since they have more ships sailing these routes and larger numbers of passengers who would be affected. I think we would have read something about this on Cruise Critic or one of many cruise line specific FB groups.
     

    2XPCV

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 30, 2016
    I don't know. This is a DCL board, but I wonder if Princess or NCL is seeing similar issues.

    Border Patrol are spending a lot of resources on other things and may not be doing due diligence on routine stuff.
    As a clarification to hopefully help direct people the right way: while Border Patrol is under the CBP umbrella, it is a very separate organization with no responsibility for immigration at Ports of Entry. If you do decide to call CBP, make sure you ask for the Office of Field Operations or for a CBP Officer (as opposed to a Border Patrol Agent). In practice they are very separate and I've seen a couple people post in other places that they didn't receive any help when calling the Border Patrol stations/sector in Florida...as an FYI, you will want to find the associated Field Office as opposed to the station or Sector. The Alaska ports fall under the Portland Field Office number/address is below if it helps!

    Portland
    Location Address:
    33 New Montgomery
    Suite 1600
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    General Phone:
    (415) 744-1530
     
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  • olafLover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2017
    Response from DCL:
    We are aware of the situation regarding the Disney Wonder sailings you mentioned and are working with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to correct the issue as quickly as possible. We are also assisting those Guests who have reached out to us for cruise documentation assistance.
     

    p17blo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2012
    I am one of those affected from the Alaska May 20th Sailing. I've contacted CBP but had very unsatisfying reponses from them. I've tried to push for a better answer, but as you can see from their responses below, it feels like i have exhausted this avenue.

    Here is a transcript of the exchanges

    Response CBP Officer 08/20/2019 08:35 PM

    Bear in mind that the burden of proof that you departed from the U.S. in a timely manner is on you, the actual traveler. You will need to bring all your previous departure records (boarding passes, itinerary, foreign country's admission stamp etc.) when you visit U.S. again. You have nothing to worry about if you have never violated any U.S. immigration law before.

    Thank you,


    Customer 08/20/2019 10:44 PM

    I understand that it is possible to have the exit status updated. As I have provided the details of our exit from the US, can I request that the missng exit status is updated?

    Response CBP Officer 08/21/2019 04:22 PM

    As we've explained to you, keep all of your supporting documents to show to our Officers that you have never overstayed in the U.S. before.

    Regards,

    Customer 08/21/2019 07:25 PM

    Yes I understand the information you have provided, but I believe others in similar situation have been able to get redress and have the system updated to correct incorrect status. I am now also able to attached a letter of confirmation from Disney Cruise Line confirming that we did ineed exit as explained. Is there any way to have our status corrected before we travel into the US to avoid any complications?

    Response CBP Officer 08/21/2019 07:27 PM

    Please read our previous responses carefully. Unfortunately, we cannot repeat the same message over and over again.

    Regards,
     

    SundayGirl

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2012
    I am one of those affected from the Alaska May 20th Sailing. I've contacted CBP but had very unsatisfying reponses from them. I've tried to push for a better answer, but as you can see from their responses below, it feels like i have exhausted this avenue.

    Here is a transcript of the exchanges

    Response CBP Officer 08/20/2019 08:35 PM

    Bear in mind that the burden of proof that you departed from the U.S. in a timely manner is on you, the actual traveler. You will need to bring all your previous departure records (boarding passes, itinerary, foreign country's admission stamp etc.) when you visit U.S. again. You have nothing to worry about if you have never violated any U.S. immigration law before.

    Thank you,


    Customer 08/20/2019 10:44 PM

    I understand that it is possible to have the exit status updated. As I have provided the details of our exit from the US, can I request that the missng exit status is updated?

    Response CBP Officer 08/21/2019 04:22 PM

    As we've explained to you, keep all of your supporting documents to show to our Officers that you have never overstayed in the U.S. before.

    Regards,

    Customer 08/21/2019 07:25 PM

    Yes I understand the information you have provided, but I believe others in similar situation have been able to get redress and have the system updated to correct incorrect status. I am now also able to attached a letter of confirmation from Disney Cruise Line confirming that we did ineed exit as explained. Is there any way to have our status corrected before we travel into the US to avoid any complications?

    Response CBP Officer 08/21/2019 07:27 PM

    Please read our previous responses carefully. Unfortunately, we cannot repeat the same message over and over again.

    Regards,
    This is really worrying - the fact that the onus is on us to prove that we departed and the potential stress the next time we attempt to enter the US.

    DCL have already responded and sent me all our reservation confirmations (email format) together with unsigned letters for each reservation confirming our sailing and disembarkation at Vancouver. I will submit to CBP and hope for the best.

    A part of me is incredulous that this has happened - DCL for failing to contact all non-US guests now they know this has happened on more than one sailing, and the CBP for their lax attitude to record keeping in these security-conscious times we are living in - *amazing*.
     

    olafLover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2017
    The fact is was on us to proof it I can somewhat accept, but the response you got are terrible! Although some in our group also got the response that they’d needed to bring the proof the next time they’d try to enter. We got a message we supplied enough proof and would be put in the pile to have our status updated.
    Somehow magically, the entire ship had their status updated on the same moment, so if they get enough requests for the same sailing, they might dig up the passenger list and re-enter it or something.
     

    71 Truck

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 14, 2018
    I had followed your previous post in regards to this issue and now I am following this post. My question is, has anybody figured out who may be at fault and are they fixing it for the future. If I were an overseas citizen and read this I would have serious second thoughts about coming to the US for a vacation.
     

    Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    I had followed your previous post in regards to this issue and now I am following this post. My question is, has anybody figured out who may be at fault and are they fixing it for the future. If I were an overseas citizen and read this I would have serious second thoughts about coming to the US for a vacation.
    The Alaskan cruises embark AND disembark in Canada, so I'm not even sure how Disney has anything to do with US CBP on this one. And confused why non-US cruisers aren't just going directly to Canada. But if they are going to the US first or after, it seems 100% on CBP at the US border since Disney has nothing to do with them entering or leaving the US.
     

    olafLover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2017
    The Alaskan cruises embark AND disembark in Canada, so I'm not even sure how Disney has anything to do with US CBP on this one. And confused why non-US cruisers aren't just going directly to Canada. But if they are going to the US first or after, it seems 100% on CBP at the US border since Disney has nothing to do with them entering or leaving the US.
    No, they are entering (and leaving) the US by cruise ship, so it's up to DCL to provide the correct passenger list. You need to get a visa to enter the US, also by cruise. This has nothing to do with pre- of post-cruise activities (although a post-cruise activity in the US would prevent the issue, since you'll have a departure by plane on record)
     

    Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    No, they are entering (and leaving) the US by cruise ship, so it's up to DCL to provide the correct passenger list. You need to get a visa to enter the US, also by cruise. This has nothing to do with pre- of post-cruise activities (although a post-cruise activity in the US would prevent the issue, since you'll have a departure by plane on record)
    But they are not. Alaska cruises leave from Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA. They return to Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA. That is not a US port and is not controlled by US CBP.
     

    ivanp91

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2015
    The Alaskan cruises embark AND disembark in Canada, so I'm not even sure how Disney has anything to do with US CBP on this one. And confused why non-US cruisers aren't just going directly to Canada. But if they are going to the US first or after, it seems 100% on CBP at the US border since Disney has nothing to do with them entering or leaving the US.
    You are pre-cleared by CBP whilst going through the cruise terminal in Vancouver, meaning you are technically admitted into the US before you step foot on the ship. Obviously something has gone awry for when the cruise has ended, which is why - like the EBTA - the passengers are showing as still being in the US.
     
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