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Maritime Crew Visa

Maritime Crew Visa

To improve Australia’s border security and to align sea crew with people visiting Australia, a Maritime Crew Visa (MCV) was introduced in May 2007. In short, MCV is a visa issued to foreign sea crew of non-military ships. A non-military ship means the ship is used for trading or commercial purposes, or owned by non-Australian company for scientific research, or vessel approved by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs as for “public vessel status.” Any crew working for the vessel is required to have an MCV; otherwise, they won’t be allowed to proceed in working on the ship. MCV is exclusively for sea-entrance only. Yacht crews do not belong to this category.

The Application for Maritime Crew Visa

If you are a sea crew applying for a Maritime Crew Visa, you need to present a visa, a passport, and evidences or documents showing that you are an employee of the ship. Completion of these requirements makes the application fast and easy. To apply for MCV, online application or personal application may be done, though it is always easier to do it online since it only takes around five days to finalise it, while the paper application takes four weeks to finalise. MCV application has a corresponding Transaction Reference Number which serves as your application’s identity. You need the TRN in the event that you want to track the progress of your MCV application.

The Validity Period of Maritime Crew Visa

Maritime Crew Visa has a validity period of three years and as a ship crew, you may enter, leave, and re-enter Australia through the sea as long as it is done within the three-year period. In entering Australia, the MCV only allows work associated with the duties and tasks performed as a sea crew. After the three-year period, the MCV automatically becomes invalid.

Apart from reaching its expiration, your Maritime Crew Visa becomes invalid due to following circumstances:

  • If you leave Australia without a clearance from immigration
  • If you arrive by air (using a Transit Visa) and did not sign-on to a ship within five days
  • If you are in Australia using another visa and that visa expires
  • If you sign-off a ship and did not leave Australia in five days, or got another type of visa, or signed-on to a new non–military ship
  • If the ship is declared as “imported” by Australian customs and you did not leave Australia in five days, or sign-on a different non-military ship
  • If you didn’t get another type of visa to make your stay in Australia valid
  • If you work other than a sea crew or ship crew and if you do not any more pass in Australia’s requirements of MCV.

You may still reapply if your MCV becomes invalid, but the grant of new visa will strongly depend on the reason why the MCV became invalid.

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