Maritime Crew (Subclass 988) Visa: Who Can Apply?

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If you work on a non-military ship, you can apply for a Maritime Crew visa to work

Maritime Crew (Subclass 988) or Maritime Crew Class ZM Subclass 988 visa or MCV 988: Important Tips

The Maritime Crew (Subclass 988) visa or MCV 988 visa allows foreign crew on commercial ships to enter Australia by sea.

The MCV 988 visa allows you to remain in Australia for as long as you remain a crew member of your ship.

Who Can Apply For MCV 988 Visa?

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

  1. you are a crew member of a ship sailing to Australia; or
  2. you are an accompanying partner (spouse or de facto partner) of a crew member of a ship; and
  3. the ship is engaged in commercial trade or the carriage of passengers for a fee; or
  4. 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
  5. the ship is registered on the Australian International Shipping Register or AISR that has been imported or entered for Australia use.

Who Should Not Apply For Maritime Crew (Subclass 988) visa?

You should not apply for the MCV 988 visa if:

  1. you are a crew member of a yacht or small vessel or boat; or
  2. you are a crew member of a ship that does not meet the definition of a non-military ship; or
  3. you are a crew member of a foreign naval warship regardless of diplomatic clearance or DIPCLEAR status; or
  4. you are a crew member of a ship that is imported for Australia use but is not registered with Australian International Shipping Register or AISR.
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How to apply for MCV 988

To apply for the Maritime Crew (Subclass 988) visa online by providing your email address and agreed to electronic communication with the Department of Immigration (Department of Home Affairs).

You can make a paper application if you do not wish to provide your email address or consent to further electronic communication with the Department of Immigration.

When applying for the MCV 988, you must demonstrate that you are employed or has an offer of employment as a crew member on a non-military ship.

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Including family members

You can add your partner or dependent child to your MCV 988 visa only after you have been granted the visa.

Cannot enter Australia by air if holding a MCV 988 visa

If you are granted a Maritime Crew (Subclass 988) visa, you must not travel to Australia by air using this visa. You must apply for another visa, for example, a Visitor or Tourist visa (click here to learn more about Subclass 600 visa or Subclass 601 visa or Subclass 651 visa or a Subclass 771 Transit visa).After you arrived in Australia on a visa other than the MCV 988, the Department of Immigration can grant you a Maritime Crew (Subclass 988) visa allowing you to join your ship.

The MCV 988 visa is the only visa that allows you to hold more than 1 substantive visa at the same time. However, this visa is actually ranked below all the other substantive visas but is ranked higher than a Bridging visa (click here to find out the consequences of applying for 2 visas at the same time).

Working on a Maritime Crew (Subclass 988) visa

You can only work on your ship but if you have another visa that allows you to work, you can work off your ship as long as you are listed a crew member on the ship.

The MCV 988 visa is valid for 3 years and the visa is linked to your passport number.

If your Maritime Crew (Subclass 988) visa application is refused, you do not have a right to apply to the AAT for a merits review of the refusal.

Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer for a consultation (fee applies) to help you apply for this visa or to decide if this is the best visa for you (click here to learn how an immigration lawyer or registered migration agent can help you) or click here to learn more. You may also refer to our FAQs for answers regarding visa application or visa cancellation by clicking here.

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This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.

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