Subclass 988, the Maritime Crew visa, or MCV 988 visa permits foreign crew on commercial ships to arrive Australia by sea. The MCV 988 visa will allow you to remain in Australia for as long as you remain a crew member of your ship.

With this visa you can

  • arrive and leave Australia by sea as a crew member of a non-military ship
  • remain in Australia for as long as you are signed on as a crew member of a non-military ship
  • complete work in Australia as a crew member that meets the normal operational requirements of your ship

This visa is suitable for foreign crew on non-military ships on international expeditions to arrive in Australia by sea. This visa is also appropriate for the partner or dependent child of a foreign crew member.

You can apply for the Maritime Crew (Subclass 988) visa if:

  • you are a crew member of a ship sailing to Australia; or
  • you are an associated partner of a crew member of a ship; and
  • the ship is used for commercial trade or the carriage of passengers for a fee; or
  • the ship is undertaking scientific research or is accorded public vessel status or PVS by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or DFAT; and
  • the ship is registered on the Australian International Shipping Register or AISR that has been imported or entered for Australia use.
Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

To be eligible for maritime crew visa, you must

  • be outside Australia when you apply
  • be a crew member or have a current offer to be a crew member on a non-military ship that is taking an international voyage to Australia
  • not be the holder of a permanent Australian visa
Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

Step 1 – Check Current Visa Update

You must check the current update of the visa before you want to proceed. Click here

Step 2 – Gather your documents

To apply for this visa, you will be required to submit all the relevant documents. 

Step 3 – Apply for the visa

Step 4 – Visa outcome

If we grant your visa, DHA will tell you:

  • your visa grant number
  • the date your visa starts
  • your visa conditions
Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

You will be able to check ImmiAccount for what documents we require from you before you submit your application.

The required identity, employment and education/qualification documentation should be submitted with your application in ImmiAccount. If these documents are not provided at time of application, the outcome of your application may be delayed.

If you are applying as a partner or dependent of a crew member, you will be required to submit identity documents and other documents to prove you are a member of the family unit.

You must be providing

  • Identity documents
  • Character documents: DHA will tell you if and when you need to get police certificates.
  • Military service record or discharge papers, if applicable.
  • Employment documents
  • documentary proof that you are employed on, or will be employed on, a non-military ship that will be in Australia
  • a statement from the vessel’s local shipping/handling agent. The statement must state:
  • your name
  • the name of the company employing you
  • the name of the ship you will join
  • the date you arrive in Australia
  • the port and date you expect to join the ship
  • Education/Qualification documents: Provide evidence of your highest recognized qualification that relates to your employment as a crew member. This should be a copy of an educational certificate such as a Degree or Diploma.
  • Partner documents
  • Dependents under 18 documents
  • Dependents 18 or older documents
  • Tell us you are getting help
Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

There is no fee for this visa application.

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

With this visa you can’t and must not:

  • arrive Australia by air only holding this visa, you will need another visa to enter
  • spend time in Australia as a visitor or tourist, or permanently.
  • be involved in offshore resource activities unless you are a crew member onboard a petroleum export tanker  undertaking an international voyage.
  • Be engaged in any job in Australian port or out at sea doing job that is indirectly related to the operation of the ship as a member of crew

To find an appropriate visa for these conditions see Explore visa options.

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia