Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988

Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988, Australian visa consultant, Visa Help Australia, Skilled Migration Consultants

Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988: What this Maritime Crew visa lets you do

This Maritime Crew visa allows you to:

  • enter Australia by sea as an articled member of a ship’s crew
  • do work that meets the normal operational requirements of your ship while you are in Australia.

If you enter Australia by air to join a ship, you will need another visa to enter, and you will also need a Maritime Crew visa to join your ship.

Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988: Before you apply

If you already hold this Maritime Crew visa, you will need to do one of the following:

  • if you have this Maritime Crew visa and you want to fly to Australia to join a ship: you must apply for a Transit visa (subclass 771), an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), or another visa that lets you enter Australia
  • if you are crew of a yacht you must apply for an appropriate visa.

Your passport

If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. Your visa is linked to the passport number you use in your application.

You and your family members usually need a valid passport to be granted this Maritime Crew visa.

A seafarer’s identity document is not acceptable. If you hold both a seafarer’s passport and a national passport, you should apply using your national passport.

If you do not know whether a previous visa is still valid

If you need to know whether a previous Maritime Crew visa is still valid, go to the MCV online status enquiry page.

Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988: Cost

There is no application charge for this Maritime Crew visa.

Other costs

You might have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments, police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements.

Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988: Who could get this Maritime Crew visa

You might be able to get a Maritime Crew visa (subclass 988) if:

  • you are outside Australia
  • you are or will be a crew member on a non-military ship that is taking an international voyage to Australia
  • you are not an Australian Citizen
  • you will enter or leave Australia by sea  as sea crew.

The ship must be either:

  • used for commercial trading
  • used for carrying paying passengers
  • owned and operated by a foreign government to do scientific research, or
  • approved for ‘public vessel status’ by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Crew members are articled members of crew and include people under contract or subcontract to work on a ship while it is at sea. Personnel undertaking scientific research on a research ship owned by a foreign government are also included.

Health requirements

If you have an infectious disease at the time you enter Australia, the master of your ship will be required to notify the Australian quarantine authorities.

Health insurance

You are responsible for all your health costs while you are in Australia. You will not be covered by Australia’s national health scheme (Medicare) unless your country has a  reciprocal health care agreement  with Australia.

The department of immigration and border protection recommend that you take out health insurance each time you travel to Australia.

Character requirements

You must meet certain  character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until the department of immigration and border protection ask you to.

Debts to the Australian Government

You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this Maritime Crew visa can be granted.

This also applies to all dependent family members in your application who are 18 years of age or older.

Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988: Including family in your application

Members of your family unit (that is, your partner (married or de facto) and dependent children) can apply for Maritime Crew visas if they travel on the same ship as you, if permission has been granted by the vessel master. They must lodge separate application forms.

From 19 November 2016, a member of the family unit will be limited to the Maritime Crew Visa holder’s spouse, de facto partner or dependent children under 23 years of age (and dependent children with a medically accepted disability). Further information is available on  including family members in your application

Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988: How to apply

This information explains what you need to do to apply for a Maritime Crew visa (subclass 988). You must be outside Australia when you apply.

With your knowledge and consent, a third party, such as a shipping agent, can complete and lodge your application on your behalf using information that you give them. They can also be the contact person and authorised recipient for communications about your application for a Maritime Crew visa.

Lodge your application online

You can apply online using the  Application for a Maritime Crew visa  form.

If you apply for this Maritime Crew visa electronically, you must provide an email address and consent to further electronic communication with the department of immigration and border protection. If you don’t have an email address, or choose not to provide this to the department of immigration and border protection, you can lodge a paper application.

You must complete an application form for each person travelling to Australia, including children. Each person holds their own visa.

Lodge your application by post or courier

If you cannot apply online, use the following form:

  • Form 1273Application for a Maritime Crew (Temporary) visa  (174KB PDF).

Send completed forms by post, courier or fax  to the department of immigration and border protection Brisbane office  in Queensland – attention Maritime Global Processing Centre.

Email enquiry forms:

  • Maritime Crew Visa Enquiry Form

Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988: More information​

Please refer to  preparing your application, for information on:

  • certifying and translating documents into English
  • communicating with the department of immigration and border protection
  • using a migration agent
  • authorising another person to receive information from the department of immigration and border protection
  • receiving assistance with your application. ​​​​

​After you have applied

After you have lodged your application and documents, the department of immigration and border protection will acknowledge  that they have received your information.

If you have applied online and have not received an email from the department of immigration and border protection within 12 hours of lodging your application, login to your  ImmiAccount  to check the status of your application.

Wait for a decision

Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including x-rays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete.

Provide more information

You can provide more information to the department of immigration and border protection at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:

  • Form 1023Notification of incorrect answer(s)(99KB PDF).

The department of immigration and border protection could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, they can make a decision about your application using the information that they have.

If another person gives the department of immigration and border protection information that could result in you being refused a visa, the department of immigration and border protection will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

Report changes in your circumstances

Tell the department of immigration and border protection if your circumstances change after you have applied for this Maritime Crew visa. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

  • Form 929Change of address and/or passport details  (86 kB PDF) – if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022Notification of changes in circumstances  (77 kB PDF) – if there are other changes in your circumstances.

If you applied online, you might be able to update your address and passport details using ImmiAccount.

If you do not provide the department of immigration and border protection with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the seaport and may be denied permission to board your vessel.

Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988: How long your visa lasts

The Maritime Crew visa (subclass 988) lasts for three years.

Your Maritime Crew visa (subclass 988) will end if:

  • while in Australia, you do work other than to meet the usual operational requirements of the ship
  • you arrive in Australia by air on a Transit visa, hold no other visa (other than a Maritime Crew visa) and do not sign on to your ship within five days
  • you arrive in Australia on any other type of visa (other than a Maritime Crew visa) and that visa ends or is cancelled
  • you sign off your ship and you do not leave Australia within five days, apply for another type of visa, or sign on to another non-military ship in that time
  • you leave a vessel on arriving in Australia without being immigration cleared by the Department of Home Affairs (www.homeaffairs.gov.au).
  • The Department of Home Affairs (www.homeaffairs.gov.au) Service deems or declares your ship to be ‘imported’ and you do not leave Australia within five days, obtain another type of visa or sign on to another non-military ship in that time.

If compelling reasons beyond your control prevent you leaving Australia within the five-day period, contact  the department of immigration and border protection to ask for an extension while your Maritime Crew visa is still valid.

Your family

The Maritime Crew visa held by your partner or dependent child will end if:

  • they work while in Australia
  • your Maritime Crew visa ends
  • they enter Australia on a ship but without you and hold no valid visa other than the Maritime Crew visa
  • they cease to accompany you and do not leave Australia or obtain another suitable visa.

Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988: What this Maritime Crew visa lets you do

This Maritime Crew visa allows you to:

  • enter Australia by sea  as an articled member of a ship’s crew
  • leave and enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid
  • undertake work that meets the normal operational requirements of your ship while you are in Australia.

If you enter Australia by air, you will usually need another visa to enter, but you will still need a Maritime Crew visa to join your ship.

Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988: Your obligations

You must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

  • You can only do work that meets the normal operational requirements of your ship.
  • You must sign onto your ship within five days if you arrive in Australia on a Transit visa (subclass 771).
  • If you sign off your ship, you must do one of the following within five days:

o       leave Australia

o       obtain another type of visa

o       sign on to another non-military ship.

  • If the Department deems or declares your ship to be ‘imported’ , you must do one of the following within five days:

o       leave Australia

o       obtain another type of visa

o       sign on to another non-military ship.

If your Maritime Crew visa ends or is cancelled, you can apply for a new Maritime Crew visa from outside Australia. Whether a new Maritime Crew visa can be granted will depend on the reason your visa ended or was cancelled.

Your family

You can bring your partner and dependent children with you, but:

  • they cannot work in Australia
  • they can only enter and stay in Australia with you while your Maritime Crew visa is valid.

Maritime Crew Visa subclass 988: Report changes in circumstances

​​Tell the department of immigration and border protection if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

  • ​Form 929   C​hange of address and/or passport details  (86  kB PDF) – if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022  Notification of changes in circumstances  (77  kB PDF) – if there are other changes in your circumstances.

These forms can be submitted to the department of immigration and border protection through your  ImmiAccount.

​If you applied online, you might be able to update your address and passport details using ImmiAccount.

Source: The Australian Department of Home Affairs (www.homeaffairs.gov.au). Please visit www.border.gov.au to get updated information.