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Denied boarding -bevare if you hold a previus us visa


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Going on Escape next May with my wife and daughter theses stories make me worry a little. Me and my wife have only been once before on US soil, 8 years ago for a professional co convention. It will be my daughter's first visit. We will be applying for ESTA and thought that was just enough.

Now I will certainly print every single document I get.

I would also like to see that site with our travel info.

 

Bracarense, we are in Coimbra. Can you drop me a line to

 

Colin dot lane2 at gmail dot com

 

I would like a chat and will give you a call if you leave your number.

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It is interesting to see another "Slam NCL" based thread.

 

We were on the Star going to visit India and the same thing was happening on board by people who had got the wrong visa.

 

They had applied for and received an eVisa which was not going to allow them off the boat. WHY, you ask? Because the application for an eVisa CLEARLY states that an eVisa is for arrival by AIR.

 

They wanted to blame NCL for that fact when they had not bothered to read the instructions before filling out the application form.

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It is interesting to see another "Slam NCL" based thread.

 

We were on the Star going to visit India and the same thing was happening on board by people who had got the wrong visa.

 

They had applied for and received an eVisa which was not going to allow them off the boat. WHY, you ask? Because the application for an eVisa CLEARLY states that an eVisa is for arrival by AIR.

 

They wanted to blame NCL for that fact when they had not bothered to read the instructions before filling out the application form.

Do you mean that the ESTA I'll get to go by plane to the USA isn't enough for my cruise on NCL afterwards?

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It is interesting to see another "Slam NCL" based thread.

 

We were on the Star going to visit India and the same thing was happening on board by people who had got the wrong visa.

 

They had applied for and received an eVisa which was not going to allow them off the boat. WHY, you ask? Because the application for an eVisa CLEARLY states that an eVisa is for arrival by AIR.

 

They wanted to blame NCL for that fact when they had not bothered to read the instructions before filling out the application form.

 

Do you mean that the ESTA I'll get to go by plane to the USA isn't enough for my cruise on NCL afterwards?

 

Sorry, but I don't see the connection.

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Do you mean that the ESTA I'll get to go by plane to the USA isn't enough for my cruise on NCL afterwards?

 

Don't worry Bracarense. Once you have landed and cleared security entering the US, you are free to board the cruise. The ESTA is just to get you into the States.

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Once you have landed and cleared security entering the US, you are free to board the cruise. The ESTA is just to get you into the States.
Just because you're already in the US doesn't necessarily mean that you are allowed to board a cruise ship that leaves and re-enters the US. Now, thousands of non-US citizens successfully do this every single day, so it's really not a difficult thing to pull off. But do your homework beforehand (which can include asking people on CC, but should not be limited to that).

 

Without hearing more details from the OP, it's hard to say if they did anything wrong or if the port agents (acting on behalf of NCL) were being overzealous.

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Ncl denied boarding to two of our children due to what they call "improper" documents.

 

They Both had expired student visas to the us. But now travelling on ESTA (european residents).

 

NCL stated that they could be on the hook it they had not been out of the US after the expired visa. we told them that they had been back home and now travelling on ESTA. We even logged into the travel history in us immigration site showing them they had records on leaving and returning....but it seems they had made their decision .....so did not help us.

 

Really bad customer service. So do you have an expired visa in your passform You need to be aware when you change to ESTA.

 

Doing that change is fine with the US immigration when coming in on a flight, but still NCL is has its own "interpretation" of this and might not allow You on board.

 

Have not gotten a response to my complaint yet - but i am guessing the $5000 are lost..... so not very happy with them at the moment.

 

Did they. Depart the US before the expiration of their student visa and remain out of the country until their return for this trip?

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It's a good thing OP found this site to complain about something that could have been asked about prior to the cruise.:rolleyes:

 

I have a question...could this be a post to get readers up and arms? This is the first post by poster. Not that everyone who posts for the first time should have wonderful things to say but it is odd at least to me that the OP never returned to the post. Or perhaps the poster just needed to vent and then go away.

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Did they. Depart the US before the expiration of their student visa and remain out of the country until their return for this trip?

 

This is the key. If the student stayed beyond his or her student visa, which a lot of people do not realizing how serious it is, and even if it was some time ago, the U.S. can make it very difficult for that person to enter the U.S. again. And if the U.S. does let the person who has previously overstayed a visa back in for whatever reason, they can still bring that visa overstay up again at a later time and deny entry or movement into or within the U.S. If your student did overstay, even for a day, it sounds like ncl was following the law. I sympathize with you because I find US immigration law can be very confusing. Hopefully, there was no overstay.

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Everyone seems to assume that the issue involves entering leaving the US. If the visa and/or ESTA document(s) are for travel to/from the US that does not mean that they can be used to enter/leave the other foreign countries that would be stops on the cruise.

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Everyone seems to assume that the issue involves entering leaving the US. If the visa and/or ESTA document(s) are for travel to/from the US that does not mean that they can be used to enter/leave the other foreign countries that would be stops on the cruise.

 

This particular issue is entering US only. The problem seems to be NCL not understanding how you can travel on ESTA after you have had a visa (which you can....:))

 

None of the countries visited during a standard caribbean cruise needs any visa if you hold most European or US passport.

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This is an excellent example of understanding what the various visa types permit you to do relating to entering and exiting this country (how and why).

 

A very expensive lesson to learn for not having precisely accurate travel documentation and validating the requirements thoroughly.

 

Sorry you had this disappointing (but self-induced) experience.

 

I really cant understand why it would be selfinduced. Actually the problem is only in NCL head. They came in via a flight from Europe the day before without any problem with US immigration on their valid ESTA. So am assuming they know the rules better than NCL :)

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Every one is jumping on NCL but this had nothing to do with NCL. Wouldn't it be the customs people at the port that OP should blame?

 

IMHO they should really only blame themselves for not having all paperwork in order before trying to board a cruise.

 

Well, thats is the problem isnt it: we had the paperwork in order. It was ok with the US Immigrations officers coming in on the flight the day before.

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Good to see some engagement on this :)

 

So to recap for some of the questions:

1. They did have valid ESTA (was used the previous day coming in on a flight from Europe).

2. They did have the actual paperwork ESTA - and showed them

3. The US Immigration site https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home shows the travel history on record for all visitors to the US using name, birthdate and passport number.

 

So the problem that NCL was rasing was they had previous Visas (expired) and they didnt see in the passports how this could now be on ESTA.

 

NCL seems to be in the last century where they need to have everything documumentet in the passport- while the US immigration now uses systems to track travelling - and that is available to everyone.

 

I really got the feeling that once they had made their decision - it was principle - they didnt want to change, even if i showed them the travelhistory online on this site. It clearly documentet them leaving US before visa expiry and clearly documentet them entering the country again before the cruise......

 

The problem is NCL still classifies this as "improper documentation" - I wlll follow the case with them as far is I can. Any ideas on who to "appeal" to if NCL declines to refund ?

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The OP is far from being the 1st European traveling on an Norwegian cruise from the US.

 

All that was posted were a few short paragraphs of what transpired at check-in.

 

The post makes it sound like the check-in agent took a cursory look at the OPs travel documents, looked at some website, and said "Nope. Sorry. No cruise for you!.... Next in line please!!!"

 

It's not in NCLs best interest to deny boarding to anyone who's paid their cruise fare. There's got to be way more to this.

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Did a little digging, and found some answers that relate to overstaying a visa (not what OP's kids did, but it has to do with proving they didn't). The best recommendation is when exiting the US at the end of a visa stay, keep the travel documents, your I-94 copy (I think they still give you one), and have your passport stamped at your destination. Even if the country to returned to doesn't normally stamp inbound citizen's passports, request it and explain that it has to do with US visa requirements.

 

This should have been brought to a supervisor's attention right away, and they could have reached CBP for clarification, but NCL's stand is understandable, as should they carry the person involved, and that person is denied re-entry into the US at the end of the cruise, NCL is liable not only for the transportation of the individual back to country of origin, but for bonded security the entire time that person is in the US (guard, hotels, meals).

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The OP is far from being the 1st European traveling on an Norwegian cruise from the US.

 

All that was posted were a few short paragraphs of what transpired at check-in.

 

The post makes it sound like the check-in agent took a cursory look at the OPs travel documents, looked at some website, and said "Nope. Sorry. No cruise for you!.... Next in line please!!!"

 

It's not in NCLs best interest to deny boarding to anyone who's paid their cruise fare. There's got to be way more to this.

 

 

Exactly right. Blame yourself for not having all original documents when traveling outside the country. If you have questions before you travel you should read all the required documentation before arriving at port. Especially with the OP situation they should of taken every precaution and doubled checked with the US government what documents you will need to travel outside the US.

 

My wife is a green card/permanent resident and we always check on US govt website before we travel, because things change all the time. We always bring all our original documents even if they don't say to. We always have problems boarding every cruise, but we understand her situation and their duty (NCL) to obey the laws pertaining to documentation. But we have never been denied, just a longer wait at check in and a few more questions. The key is making sure YOU have your documents in order NOT NCL.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Did a little digging, and found some answers that relate to overstaying a visa (not what OP's kids did, but it has to do with proving they didn't). The best recommendation is when exiting the US at the end of a visa stay, keep the travel documents, your I-94 copy (I think they still give you one), and have your passport stamped at your destination. Even if the country to returned to doesn't normally stamp inbound citizen's passports, request it and explain that it has to do with US visa requirements.

 

This should have been brought to a supervisor's attention right away, and they could have reached CBP for clarification, but NCL's stand is understandable, as should they carry the person involved, and that person is denied re-entry into the US at the end of the cruise, NCL is liable not only for the transportation of the individual back to country of origin, but for bonded security the entire time that person is in the US (guard, hotels, meals).

 

I think this is the problem yes.

 

The thing is they dont have any paper copies of the I94 anymore. Infact nowadays you can enter the US on ESTA using the automated passport control and if all is ok they just check your receipt. Noone even looks at the passport - and no stamping.

 

NCL seems to be "stuck in the old days" - even though they have all the systems available to them to check the correct status.

 

My frustration is that they need to change this.

 

In our case I think the problem started with a checkin agent not sure how to handle it when someone with expired Visa comes in on an ESTA. And when escalating to the security officer they quickly made a denied boarding decision without doing a proper researh with the tools available.

Then when been made aware of this by us they just didnt wanna change their decision (pride ?)

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As a check in agent, when I am presented an expired document I will alert a supervisor.

 

(There are such things as single entry visas, which have little to do with passports or ESTA.

 

My guess is that the student had overstayed their entry, or were not currently enrolled in a US school at the time. There is a type of visa where a letter from the institution showing the status of the student is required.)

 

A supervisor will have knowledge, and/or resources that I don't.

 

Ultimately either CBP or the ship's staff will make a determination.

 

It breaks my heart to see denied boarding for any reason.

 

David

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Ncl denied boarding to two of our children due to what they call "improper" documents.

 

They Both had expired student visas to the us. But now travelling on ESTA (european residents).

 

NCL stated that they could be on the hook it they had not been out of the US after the expired visa. we told them that they had been back home and now travelling on ESTA. We even logged into the travel history in us immigration site showing them they had records on leaving and returning....but it seems they had made their decision .....so did not help us.

 

Really bad customer service. So do you have an expired visa in your passform You need to be aware when you change to ESTA.

 

Doing that change is fine with the US immigration when coming in on a flight, but still NCL is has its own "interpretation" of this and might not allow You on board.

 

Have not gotten a response to my complaint yet - but i am guessing the $5000 are lost..... so not very happy with them at the moment.

 

I think this is the problem yes.

 

The thing is they dont have any paper copies of the I94 anymore. Infact nowadays you can enter the US on ESTA using the automated passport control and if all is ok they just check your receipt. Noone even looks at the passport - and no stamping.

 

NCL seems to be "stuck in the old days" - even though they have all the systems available to them to check the correct status.

 

My frustration is that they need to change this.

 

In our case I think the problem started with a checkin agent not sure how to handle it when someone with expired Visa comes in on an ESTA. And when escalating to the security officer they quickly made a denied boarding decision without doing a proper researh with the tools available.

Then when been made aware of this by us they just didnt wanna change their decision (pride ?)

 

You didn't mention in your 1st post that it was escalated to a security officer. What kind of security officer was this? An NCL Security Department employee? A local policeman? A US Customs and Border Patrol officer?

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This is so sad for the OP and I sincerely hope their money is refunded.

 

We nearly fell into a trap quite a few years ago, not of our making. We left SF via cruise ship for Sydney in September 2008 and went through immigration in the normal way. Passport put in the safe and presented on arrival in Sydney. We got home and put the passport in the safe. In January 2009 we boarded a flight in Sydney for LA. When we got to LA the immigration officer discovered the green form (I think the 94) in my passport which should have been taken and recorded when I left the US. The officer got really nasty and told me I could be denied entry as documentation indicated I HAD OVERSTAYED MY VISA. Initially I just laughed and said clearly I had just arrived on the Qantas flight from Sydney and my passport was stamped when I left the US the previous September. He was not impressed with "my attitude" and told me in no uncertain terms I should have realised the green form was there and posted it back to them! He went on and on about being denied entry and being returned to Australia, eventually his brain must have kicked into gear and away I went to collect my luggage.

 

So don't be too judgemental, weird things happen. I know this was not a cruise line decision but as I say, strange things happen.

 

 

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Edited by kobecat
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The problem is NCL still classifies this as "improper documentation" - I wlll follow the case with them as far is I can. Any ideas on who to "appeal" to if NCL declines to refund ?

 

1. Obviously appeal to everyone at NCL on up in regards to a refund

2. Travel insurance if you had it

3. Dispute it with the credit card used to pay the fare.

4. Not sure where you are from, but keep hearing that UK bookings have protections US bookings don't. Have seen people refer to ATOL? Here, I would file it with the BBB, have had several successful resolutions with businesses that overcharged and refused a refund until I filed a complaint with the BBB against them.

 

Just out of curiosity, what did they do after NCL refused to let them board? I assume the return tickets are for a week or two away. Are they making the best of a holiday while they are here or did they just get the tickets changed to go back home?

Edited by sanger727
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Further proof NCL do not have a clue what the ESTA rules are, and are making the rules up as they go.

 

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/application.html?execution=e2s1

 

U.S. regulation does NOT require a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) traveler to present a printed copy of the ESTA authorization page in order to travel.

 

And that is their capitalisation of the NOT, not mine.

Edited by Froggitt
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