The Association is aware of new visa requirements for crew entering Australia, as advised by the Department of Immigration & Citizenship via the Club’s local correspondents in Queensland, Australia.
As of 1 January 2008, all crew on board non-military ships entering Australia must have a Maritime Crew Visa (MCV). This is a new visa that will become available from 1 July 2007. Brian White & Associates, the Club’s nominated marine consultants and lawyers in Queensland, Australia, have prepared the following brief outline of the MCV requirements.
Who needs a MCV?
All crew on board non military ships that come into port in Australia. Only Australian and New Zealand citizens/residents are exempt.
When can you apply for a MCV?
After 1 July 2007. Application forms will be available online or from Australian Embassies and Consulates. Please note that this is a formal visa application process; it includes security clearances and may take time to process.
Who can apply for a MCV?
Shipping agents, crew manning agents and operators may lodge a MCV application on behalf of crew or crew can apply themselves. To lodge a MCV application you will need details of the crew passports.
When do you need a MCV?
All foreign crew entering Australia must have a MCV by 1 January 2008. after this date, crew arriving in Australia by sea must remain on board the ship until they have been cleared by Australian Customs. Crew will need to have a valid national passport, a MCV as well as another document that establishes the crewmember’s employment on the ship (e.g. seaman’s discharge book, crew list, etc).
Shipping operators are advised to ensure that every crewmember who is likely to visit Australia (including those that are not scheduled to travel) obtain a MCV before 1 January 2008. this will make it easier if crew need to arrive in Australia at short notice.
Medical evacuation to Australia
Please note that all crew on board non-military ships coming into port in Australia must have a MCV. If a crewmember requires a medical evacuation from a ship that is not coming into port in Australia but is in Australian waters, then a medical emergency visa can be issued. However, the Department of Immigration & Citizenship recommends that all crew entering Australian waters should apply for a MCV regardless of whether or not they intend on coming into port. This ensures that there will not be any problem obtaining a visa if a crewmember needs to be evacuated to Australia.
Please note that crew who enter Australia and fail to have a MCV after 1 January 2008 will be restricted on board the ship and the operator, master, charterer, owner and agent may each be held liable for a fine of A$5,000.
Source of information:
Brian White & Associates (Marine Consultants & Lawyers)
Tel: +61 7 4031 4711