The Maritime Crew Visa

The Maritime Crew visa (subclass 988) is a temporary visa for crew who are employed on non-military ships on international voyages to Australia. There is no application charge for this visa.

An individual cannot use this visa to come to Australia and stay here. They cannot work in Australia except for work that meets the normal operational requirements of their ship.

They must apply for this visa while they are outside Australia.

If someone lodges a visa application for the individual, they must have their permission and provide only accurate information about them. If they apply using a paper form, they must sign the form them self, even if someone else lodges it for them.

If an individual applies for this visa electronically, they must provide an email address and consent to further electronic communication.  If they don’t have an email address or choose not to provide it, they can lodge a paper application.


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

  • They are outside Australia
  • They are or will be a crew member on a non-military ship that is taking an international voyage to Australia
  • They are not an Australian Citizen
  • They 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.

What does this visa allow for: –

This visa allows an individual to:

  • Enter Australia by sea as an articled member of a ship’s crew
  • Do work that meets the normal operational requirements of their ship while they are in Australia.

If they enter Australia by air to join a ship, they will need another visa to enter, and they will also need a Maritime Crew visa to join their ship

Before application

If an individual already holds this visa, they will need to do one of the following:

In addition to the above-mentioned conditions, there are other factors and criteria to be taken into consideration.

For more information and eligibility requirement please Contact us or complete the Assessment Form and email us.