The Maritime Crew Visa (Subclass 988) is designed for individuals employed as crew members on foreign-flagged vessels traveling to and working in Australian waters. This visa allows maritime crew members to enter and exit Australia during their vessel’s stay, enabling them to fulfill their professional duties.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Employment: You must be employed as a crew member on a foreign-flagged vessel intending to operate within Australian waters.
  • Operational Roles: The visa is for crew members engaged in operational duties necessary for the vessel’s operation.
  • Travel Itinerary: You should be part of the crew on a vessel planning to travel to Australian ports.

Application Process:

  1. Employer Sponsorship: Your employer (vessel owner or operator) usually applies for the Maritime Crew Visa on your behalf.
  2. Provide Documentation: Necessary documents, such as your employment contract, vessel details, travel itinerary, and proof of crew status, must be submitted.
  3. Application Submission: The application is typically submitted online through the Department of Home Affairs’ ImmiAccount system.
  4. Visa Grant: Once approved, you will receive a notification confirming the visa grant, along with any conditions attached.


  • Work Privileges: Allows you to work as a crew member on a foreign-flagged vessel in Australian waters.
  • Multiple Entries: Usually permits multiple entries during the vessel’s stay in Australian ports.
  • Duration: The visa duration aligns with the vessel’s stay in Australian waters and allows crew members to embark and disembark as necessary.


Q: Can I extend my Maritime Crew Visa (Subclass 988) if the vessel’s stay in Australian waters is extended?
A: Extensions may be possible based on operational requirements. Consult with the Department of Home Affairs or your employer for extension procedures.

Q: Can family members accompany me on a Maritime Crew Visa?
A: Subclass 988 is generally for the primary crew members. Family members may need to apply for separate visas based on their eligibility.

Q: Are there restrictions on where I can travel in Australia on a Maritime Crew Visa?
A: Crew members are typically restricted to specific areas (ports) where the vessel operates. Any travel beyond these areas might require additional permissions.

Q: Can I work onshore while holding a Maritime Crew Visa?
A: The Maritime Crew Visa is specific to working on the vessel. Any onshore work might require a different type of visa. Consult with the Department of Home Affairs for guidance.

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