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Temporary Visit Visa Australia (Subclass 988) Guide 2024

Posted by haseebkhan6710
On February 2, 2024
In Blog

The Maritime Crew Visa (Subclass 988) is a temporary visa that allows engaging as a foreign crew member on non-military vessels involved in international voyages to enter Australia by way of sea. One can work in Australia for up to three years on a ship if you have this visa. You need a 988 visa to work on a ship. But, as long as you are still enrolled as a crew member on the ship, you can work off the ship only if you have another visa that permits you to do so. It gives the benefit of extending to the spouse or dependent child of a foreign crew member.

Visa Cost and Duration:

The Maritime Crew Visa (Subclass 988) currently does not incur any fees and costs $0. For a subclass 988 visa category, the average processing time is three days for 75% of applications (about) and ten days for 90% of applicants (approximately).

Benefits of this Visa:

This particular visa gives the privilege to arrive in and leave from Australia via sea as a crew member, permitting a stay in the country for the duration of one’s tenure as a crew member. Furthermore, it allows for work in Australia solely as a crew member per the customary operational prerequisites of the ship.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicant must be outside of Australia at the time of submission.
  • Must serve as a crew member on a non-military ship embarking on an international voyage to Australia.
  • Any outstanding debts owed to the Australian government must be settled, and there should be no record of a previous visa refusal or cancellation.
  • Meet the character requirement, which should be clear. 
  • You can’t be an Australian resident.
  • You can only enter or exit Australia by ship as a sea crew member.

When you arrive in Australia, it is required of you to present proof of health insurance. Your health issues are not the responsibility of the Australian government. The ship’s commander may need to get in touch with Australian quarantine officials if you have a communicable illness.

Benefits of this Visa:

  • As an articled member of ship’s crew, you can enter Australia by sea with a Maritime Crew Visa.
  • The chance to participate in the operational tasks that are accessible on your ship.
  • You can go back and forth to Australia by sea as many times as you want until the visa expires.
  • The visa also allows the spouse or de-facto partner of a crew member on a ship to apply.
  • Once the visa is granted, an applicant can add their partner or dependent child to their MCV 988 visa.


You need to provide Identity documents. DHA will inform you when and if you need to obtain police certificates. If applicable, provide Military service record or discharge papers. Also, provide Employment documents as proof of your employment on a non-military ship that will be in Australia. You should obtain a statement from the vessel’s local shipping/handling agent.

The statement needs to include

  • Your name
  • The name of the company employing you
  • The name of the ship you will join
  • The date you arrive in Australia
  • The port and date you expect to join the ship.

Education/Qualification documents should include evidence of your highest recognized qualification related to your employment as a crew member. This could be a copy of an educational certificate like a Degree or Diploma. For Partner documents, Dependents under 18 documents, and Dependents 18 or older documents, please inform us that you are receiving assistance.

How to Apply:

To apply, it is essential to ensure the application is completed accurately on the first attempt to avoid unnecessary delays. The application for the Visa (Subclass 988) necessitates substantial supporting documentation to corroborate the claims made. This process can be protracted and bewildering. Failure to follow the application requirements for the Visa (Subclass 988) may result in rejection from the Department of Home Affairs, subsequently requiring a reapplication and the repayment of all associated costs.

The visa application must be filled out completely and submitted to the Department along with the necessary fees. If the fees are not paid or if there is an outstanding amount, the visa application may not be considered. Once the visa application form is successfully submitted, the Department will notify the applicant that their application is being assessed and will communicate the decision through registered mail.


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