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South African visas for new deckhands
Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 8:42 PM
Joined: 13/09/2011
Posts: 4

Hi guys, I've booked my courses for Jan-Feb 2012 and will go to Antibes shortly after. I've done a lot of searching around and can't quite find a definitive answer on this. I've booked to do Day Skipper's, STCW, PBII, VHF and a few other small courses. My question comes in where I've seen a lot of people questioning the reluctance to hire SA citizens because of our visa nightmares. Is this entirely true or is it mostly a matter of the right attitude and qualifications? (PS my intention is to start at deckhand next year and progress to become an engineer) Thanks in advance Neil
Posted: Friday, November 25, 2011 1:53 PM
Joined: 25/11/2011
Posts: 2

Yeah having the Green Mamba is pretty much a nightmare but its not impossible, once you find a permanent position things tend to get a lot easier regarding visa's. Best advice. scrounge your background for EU or UK ancestry Just stick to your guns, there are plenty of saffa's in the industry and to your benefit they are generally known as hard workers.
Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2011 9:59 AM
You shouldn't have a problem as long as you have the right ATTITUDE.

It's a bit like putting the 6-nations and tri-nations rugby teams in a comp and then asking the SAFFAS to play bare feet? - It can be done!!! We are the only nation that has to go through the visa thing, the others just turn up, with no limitations, but it is often our good manners, fine schooling, respect, integrity & drive that put us ahead in the job the way, if you have none of these attributes then I wouldn't bother showing up (and if you are used to a maid cleaning up after you, try working in London, NY or Sydney for a year first).

More to the point: What you need  is a long stay visa (2-3 yrs) so that you won't be off the yacht updating your visa stuation every few months as this is what causes headaches for Captains/Owners. 

If you are open to changing your travel plans, arrive in April, also do your AEC and PWC tickets, plus get your ENG1.

...If you have little deck/engineering exp: go down to your local yacht club or fishing harbour for the SA summer and get some day work (on anything that floats)'s even worth popping in to your local electrician or auto mechanic shop, speak the owner, (give him/her a bottle of something nice) tell them your intentions and then offer your keen services for a few weeks of casual labour. At the time it won't seem like much but the early mornings, long days in the heat & cramped working conditions, with oil, grease, dirt and/or fish guts under your nails will give you an indication if you have the 'chutzpah' to make it in yachting, which is mostly just another version of the hard work & dedication described above, except that you also live at work, with your bosses...

Then when you finally make it to the yacht job interview stage, your passport & visa issues are not going to be a conern as you might be able to show that you have the ability (and desire) to be one step ahead of the 40 000 other new crew trying to get in to this biz...most of whom will be wearing shiny, new boots by the way!

Nothing much happens until April so the chances are high that you won't find regular work till the Canne Fim Fest & Monaco GP are on the horizon. You also run the risk of over exposing yourself to all the agents, spending hard earned R's on travel, food & entertainment as well as loosing interest, too early in the game!

Money is the main reason people come over here looking for work in the Spring, but also the reason why so many of them leave with only a few €'s in their wallet, a few 'fun' months later. If you have savings then you could be ok as this will give you more freedom and less panic to take the 1st thing that is offered and also allows you to be a little more open to finding work away from the crowds of job-finders. If you are on a tight budget, and serious about work in yachting for a few years -then get more cash! will be able to pay it back quickly when you start earning.

Hope this helps



Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2011 6:09 AM
As a general rule of thumb; one of a Captain's responsibilities is taking care of the crew. In terms of VISAS, from my experience getting them, all you need are a few signed pieces of paper and a letter. I have stood next to a Captain while he copied the necessary forms and signed them. It took about 20 minutes. Now if a Captain couldn't be bothered to spend 20 minutes ensuring that one of his crew members was all clear on the VISAS, and even worse, decides to not hire you based solely on the *headache* it will bring him, then is he really a Captain you want to work for anyway? There are plenty of amazing Captains out there, who bend over backwards for their crew. Or at least will take a few minutes to sort out your paperwork. Don't get discouraged by the lazy and/or bad Captains out there.
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2011 12:35 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207

A passport visa is no guarantee for entry into the intended country.


The wording of the original post 'South African visas for new deckhands' is nonsense.

'Visas for South African deckhands' makes more sense.

[Comment edited by moderator. Please refer to forum guidelines.]

Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2011 1:13 PM
@ Anonymous: you obviously haven't been to Croatia with South Africans onboard ........ total nightmare ...and each visa costing 55 euros the charterer wasn't impressed when it came time to pay! Nuff said ......
Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 10:12 PM
Joined: 17/10/2011
Posts: 11

croatia sucks for everyone,I was almost deported for skippering a boat for more than 4 weeks.
Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 11:22 PM
Can anyone shed any light on how it works for South Africans on Canadian vessels or working in Canadian waters? What's the Canadian equivalent to the US B1B2?

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