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Moving to US VI

 
DPatrick
(@DPatrick)
New Member

Hi

I am a native Californian living in Ireland the past 17 years. My father's family has been in the States since 1643 (Josiah Bartlett, second man to sign the Declaration of Independence, and no, not the Martin Sheen character in the West Wing TV series). I am looking to move to the VI along with my Irish fiancée. What sort of rules/laws do we need, so to speak. I have been a journalist for about 40 years in five countries. Will she need a visa of some sort? We were due to be married in Stateline, Nevada this summer but a medical condition ruled that out. We are getting sick of Ireland (and she is a native Dub, Foxrock).

Any advice? As a US citizen, do I have a right to live there? We have a bit of money, but not a lot. But enough to settle. And we have a cat that we do not want to give up. Rabies vaccine? I took a dog from London to California back in 1993, and the California State Vet in Sacramento said to get him vaccinated within three days of landing. What about the Virgin Islands?

Patrick Sawyer, +353 1 903 4476 (home office) or +353 87 671 0025 (mobile/cell phone)... dpatricksawyer@gmail.com or patricksawyer@mountaineers.net.

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Topic starter Posted : August 21, 2012 1:25 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

As a US Citizen you'll have no problem working here but your girlfriend's situation is a whole different issue. This link should provide you with all the information you need but do be aware that it may be years before she's eligible to work anywhere in the US even if you were to marry:

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

You can find a bunch of general information about moving and living here if you go to the top of this page and scroll down everything from "Home" on the left to "Message Board" on the right. As far as the cat is concerned you'll need a vet certificate to bring her here (I believe dated within 10 days of her arrival).

Good luck with the researching and the move - but I do think your biggest obstacles is going to be your girlfriend's immigration status.

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Posted : August 21, 2012 1:59 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

For non-citizens, living and working in the USVI is the same as living and working in any state. All the same rules and regulations apply.

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Posted : August 21, 2012 2:56 pm
TX9920
(@TX9920)
Advanced Member

As far as the cat is concerned you'll need a vet certificate to bring her here (I believe dated within 10 days of her arrival).

We just moved with our two cats to St Thomas from Texas 4 months ago and we never needed any vet certification or even to prove our animals were up to date on shots. You will need to check with the airline you are flying on because they are the only ones that will require it. We flew on Delta and were never asked to see a vet certification. We did make sure to have their shot records with us just in case. Just check with your airline carrier first and you should be good to go.

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Posted : August 21, 2012 3:40 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

I fly back and forth to the states with my cat and dog often. You MUST have a health certificate within 10 days of traveling. Some agents don't check. I have been asked everytime to see my animals health certificates. I live on St. Croix.

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Posted : August 21, 2012 3:44 pm
TX9920
(@TX9920)
Advanced Member

I fly back and forth to the states with my cat and dog often. You MUST have a health certificate within 10 days of traveling. Some agents don't check. I have been asked everytime to see my animals health certificates. I live on St. Croix.

Let me clarify, we had our cats on the plane as a carry on which has different rules than if you were to put your animal in cargo. Here is the verbiage I got directly from Delta's website:

"A health certificate is required when shipping your pet as cargo. While Delta does not require a health certificate for carried-on or checked pets, upon arrival, the certificate may be required by the state. For clarification, please call your veterinarian or see the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Services."

Like I said before we were never asked to see a health certificate and not only when we flew to St Thomas. We flew with our cats as carry on from Salt Lake City to Texas a few years ago and never got asked to see a health certificate as well. So check with the airline carrier you are on to see if they require it.

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Posted : August 21, 2012 4:24 pm
lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member

TX, it looks like they are bringing their animals from Ireland. Different from bringing them from the States. Check with the airlines and the local vets to make sure you've got all your paperwork and vaccinations covered for the animals coming in from abroad.

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Posted : August 21, 2012 4:33 pm
stxem
(@stx-em)
Trusted Member

I fly back and forth to the states with my cat and dog often. You MUST have a health certificate within 10 days of traveling. Some agents don't check. I have been asked everytime to see my animals health certificates. I live on St. Croix.

Let me clarify, we had our cats on the plane as a carry on which has different rules than if you were to put your animal in cargo. Here is the verbiage I got directly from Delta's website:

"A health certificate is required when shipping your pet as cargo. While Delta does not require a health certificate for carried-on or checked pets, upon arrival, the certificate may be required by the state. For clarification, please call your veterinarian or see the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Services."

Like I said before we were never asked to see a health certificate and not only when we flew to St Thomas. We flew with our cats as carry on from Salt Lake City to Texas a few years ago and never got asked to see a health certificate as well. So check with the airline carrier you are on to see if they require it.

American requires a health certificate for carry-on and checked pets, to/from the island.

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Posted : August 21, 2012 5:30 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

But you were never bringing an animal in from out of the country, either.
Every time an animal whether carry on or cargo that I know of, has been requested to have a health certificate and up to date vacinations.
It would be good to check if there are quarentine issues for bring a kitty in form out of country as well.

Better to have the health certificate and not need it than to get there and find you need it and do not have it.

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Posted : August 21, 2012 5:33 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

i brought my cat carry on and needed the certificate from his vet. One of the reasons is because there is no rabies on at least stx, hence the rabbies shot and cert before coming here so as not to infect any other animals with rabies.

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Posted : August 21, 2012 5:46 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

But you were never bringing an animal in from out of the country, either.

UK is rabies free as of a couple of years ago and UK eliminated quarantine rules in accordance with EU regulations. USVI is rabies-free but alana33 is correct in noting that animal transportation between the UK and the US is way different than animal transportation between the US mainland and the US territories is concerned. Apples and oranges.

Your biggest problem, DPatrick, is going to be your girlfriend's immigration status. The USCIS link I posted will explain all. Good luck!

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Posted : August 21, 2012 5:55 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

We brought our cat as carry on - AA - from STX to Kentucky in January and they asked for and inspected our health certificate.

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Posted : August 21, 2012 11:29 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Glad this was brought up, we have two sweet kitties that we adopted. One is now 2 and the other 1. They are UTD but how did all of your cats do as a carry on? They freak out? Our cats are very social but are inside cats and stress when going to the vet. I recently bought the 2 carriers that we will use for the flight so they can get used to them in advance. How did you deal with poop and pee? We're coming from AZ so flights total about 10-12 hrs depending on what route we decide to take. I imagine we will cut back on water 24hrs before the flight and food as well. What airlines would you all suggest..... I'm DONE with AA after what happened in Puerto Rico on the PMV. Nightmare, lady was such a B! Ugh. I heard jet blue was a good choice that's now doing non stops from Fl to STX. I don't want to have to do the puddle jumpers like we did on the way in.

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Posted : August 22, 2012 12:29 am
watruw8ing4
(@watruw8ing4)
Trusted Member

It is the VI and US Dept of Agriculture who determine the health rules. There was a direct link to the regulations on a previous post. But I can't find it. You can start here. Dept of Agriculture

Whether in the cabin or not, a pet coming from the US to the VI requires an interstate certificate, and one coming from another country requires an international certificate. Then, I believe, there are additional steps new residents must make.

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Posted : August 22, 2012 1:47 am
stxem
(@stx-em)
Trusted Member

Line the bags with newspaper and pee-pee pads. I have flown alot with my animals as well as animals from the Pets from Paradise program. They usually do really well about the bathroom issue--animals won't soil where they sleep. Other tips: I always fly American and usually through Miami. I also have membership (but you can buy a day pass) to the Admirals Club where they have really large, nice shower/bathroom rooms at the club. If I have a cat or dog with me, I'll usually get a bathroom for 20-30 minutes and let the cat out to run around. There is no way they can escape (I've done some pretty thorough inspections) but definitely double check! I also bring along flushable litter in a bag and will set up a makeshift litter box for the cat in the bathroom. They have rarely used it, but at least they had the option.

I like flying American and the larger jet to STX is much more comfortable and convenient than flying through PR (which I avoid as much as possible). Admiral's Clubs on layovers also make American worth it too!

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Posted : August 22, 2012 3:06 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

We planned our flight to be the shortest possible time. Total in-carrier time was about 11 hours. The vet said our cat probably wouldn't go and she didn't. But we had newspapers with us, just in case. I also brought a small amount of food and a small dish for water. Our cat didn't want anything except to get out. The family member that picked us up brought a litter box and litter and took us right to our apartment.

I was surprised at how well she did.

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Posted : August 22, 2012 3:33 am
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Good info, thanks! Looks like AA is the only one to offer a 1 stop flight. PHX to Miami and Miami to STX. Ugh I hate AA. Looks like an additional $125 for each carry on kitty. Ouch. Oh well their family to us.

On a second question.... On our PMV I did see a full feed-pet store but never got a chance to stop in. Our 2yr old kitty has prescription food. Can they special order in food you think? IDK who can ship to VI. Maybe a vet in STX carries it, it's the Royal Canin venison and pea limited ingredients. Guess I will put that on the list of to do things for the move.

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Posted : August 22, 2012 4:40 am
stxem
(@stx-em)
Trusted Member

I'm not sure about Royal Canin, but I get my dogs food shipped here from the states from Petfooddirect.com (yes, my dogs are REALLY spoiled). Shipping is free, amazingly and so it usually works out to about the same price as buying in the states. The organic/natural food options are really terrible here. The one pet store that stocks "slightly" better food than the grocery store is called Superior Pet Supply. Their best food is Chicken Soup for the dog lover.

Anyway, petfooddirect is awesome--however, they don't "officially" ship to the VI so for state I use "VA" but with the VI zip code. It usually arrives within 3-4 days. I've been too afraid to call them and ask them about the VI issue in case they realize what is going on and start charging ridiculous rates or stop shipping here altogether.

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Posted : August 22, 2012 10:54 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

if your cats are high stress, get them a tranqualizer for the trip. our cat did not make a noise the whole trip from fl to stx, no poop or pee either. no tranqualizer for him also. he did really well. he was a carry on

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Posted : August 22, 2012 12:09 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Really??? I heard that you do NOT want to tranquilizer a cat for a flight, even in cabin. Something with the altitude and it's effects to increase potency making it hard to judge the right ammount. Maybe I miss understood, but I think I decided against it anyways, I just can't risk it. Instead I'm the crazy cat lady who totes her cats around the house and to the store in the carriers we will be using. They are getting used to them, and really surprisingly they don't meow when in them. Maybe it will be different over 11 hrs but I think if I keep working with them in the carriers they will be fine. Their my little furry kids lol. I think I will get one of the herbal scents a try and see if that works at all.

As far as pet foods I tried to call them today Stxem, on hold for 20 min and gave up for the day Lol. I defiantly might try your method and I like the fact that they have auto replenish. How does the food come, USPS? She has some major food allergy and we've spent $2k trying to figure it out. Finally found a food that doesn't make her vomit and diarrhea blood for 2 weeks so I'm sticking with it!! Poor baby.

I was also reading about heart worms fleas and ticks. We don't really have any issues here at all. They are and will be inside cats. What's the best thing or the most commonly used local fix for heartworm and nasty bugs. Something like frontline good enough?? I can't imagine a flea on them, their ginna freak out, never having them before.

Ummmm so sorry for hijacking the thread!

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Posted : August 23, 2012 3:45 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

our cats are insiders too and they do just fine. never had to use tranquilizers but have heard of people having to use them for their pets.
you do not really want to mix indoors and outdoors because of the diseases like feline aids.
i dont know anything about heartworm, if you are around outside cats yours might end up with fleas.

you can find iams at kmart, the good kitty litter-feline pine-has been sold at kmart but at the moment i cant find it. might have to start ordering it again from petco.

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Posted : August 23, 2012 12:35 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Your vet, who shall be issuing theirimmunizations and health certificates, can advise you re: the use of tranquilizers.
Best to get correct info directly from the source.

Are the kitties getting used to their pet carrying cases? Are they freaking out if you put them in it for 10 min. or do they settle down, comfortably and will do so for longer periods? Are they going to meow thru out the whole flight and drive people on the plane and you, insane? Things to consider.

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Posted : August 23, 2012 4:07 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

I've traveled on and off island with my pets. I always sedate them with no problems. I've never had a poop or pee problem, but, since this time traveling with an 11 year old Standard Poodle, I just might. He only eats raw meat and bones, so doesn't have the normal poop as other dogs have...it's much smaller and solid white, like animals in the wild. Not sure about a cat, but, I may start my cat this time on a raw food diet a month before our move in order to have him the like same. Just a thought.

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Posted : August 24, 2012 10:49 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Good Grief!
Raw meat and BONES?
No wonder he can't poop properly.
Domesticated dogs cannot handle bones in their diet nor raw meat That is basically shrapnel to their system
Bones splinter - can rupture an animals throat lining, instestines, bowels and anal passages.
Take your dog to the vet - immediately or lose him.
Not a proper diet in any way, shape or form.

What the heck is wrong with you! Ya'll with your raw food diet need to consult your veterinarins.
Or have your pets taken aways before you kill them.

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Posted : August 24, 2012 9:12 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

BTW - Have never seen an animal in the wild with Solid White POOP/a/k/a SCAT!

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Posted : August 24, 2012 9:15 pm
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