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Old May 31st, 2009, 01:20 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,360
Entering USA with camera gear from Australia

Iím an Aussie and have been asked to shoot some stuff in the USA, Louisiana.

Here is my question to fellow Australians or anyone else really.

This job is through an Australian and getting paid in Australia dollars. The time in the States will be 4 weeks shooting some interviews, gardens and buildings. If I jump on the plane with my gear and enter customs in the USA will they require a work permit from me?
My gear will be:
Small light kit

Now I know I will ask the US consulate before I get this thing underway but wanted to get an opinion from some here that has done this recently.

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Old May 31st, 2009, 10:59 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
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Old May 31st, 2009, 01:56 PM   #3
Inner Circle
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,845
Simon, be very careful. I was once deported from the USA (in 2001, just a few months prior to 911) whilst conducting business where I was paid by the US company in the UK from their UK arm...sure it was a technicality where I eventually got an apology from the US Embassy in London and I then also subsequently got a visa (L1) and worked very frequently all over in the States (well in excees of 100 trips) over the following 7 years....and had a great time enjoying the hospitality of these great people!

My advice would be to talk to the US Embassy in Australia as soon as possible and be open with them about what your doing and I'm sure they will lead you down the correct path that does not result "refusal of entry".

You are treated like a criminal and it's a very unpleasant experience - don't risk it. Everyone who knows me was (and still are) shocked that someone like good old honest me got "deported". It carries a stereotype image that I thankfully don't fit.....

BTW, the only good thing about being deported is that you get to be escorted by an armed guard onto the plane (in my case the one I'd arrived on 4 hrs earlier) ahead of even the 1st class passengers...and up untill that point I'd always assumed these people were VIPs...now I know better and have seen this very same cameo unfold many times on my frequent travels all over the world!

I arrived business class and went home steerage. It's a long way from Oz to the good old USA...and back immediately after for you.

To make matters worse, if the plane back had have been full I'd have been thrown in jail overnight downtown (shared cell with who knows who - I know because I asked that question)....You'd probably never see your gear again either...enough said.
Andy K Wilkinson - https://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
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Old May 31st, 2009, 03:29 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,360
Sorry Chris.

Thanks Andy,

Some great advice there. I'm heading to the US Embssay this week to sus it out.
Would hate to be turned around at the airport.

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