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Posted: Monday, September 22, 2008 10:58 PM
Joined: 22/09/2008
Posts: 1

Hi - I am sure I am not the only person in this situation but I arrived in France back in May and entered on a 90day entry visa on an Australian passport. Consequently, I have been working since on a Cayman Island registered boat up till now. With the season at an end I will either make my way to the next destination or possibly remain here in France for the winter. What can I do about my overstay?
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 10:09 AM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 52

Hi there Presumably you have been here on an EU-wide Schengen Visa? It depends on where you have been while you were working on board. If the yacht never left the EU waters, then you’ll have overstayed your welcome, and you can’t rule out awkward questions at the airport on your way out and possible deportation thereafter. All things considered, I wouldn’t stay in France if don’t have the right to. The French will take a very dim view of such a casual disregard of their laws. Kind regards Benjamin Maltby Director MatrixLloyd
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 8:46 PM
Joined: 16/10/2008
Posts: 3

Hi - im thinking about going into europe next year on this visa. Do i need to have a ticket out of the country as i know you have to show in other countries? or will a one way ticket be fine?
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 1:31 AM
Joined: 07/10/2008
Posts: 3

Hi Graig, I am in the same position as you. I am looking at travelling to the south of France next April/May to look for work. There seems to be a lot of information on what is required for the B1/B2 visa for working in America but I haven't been able to find out anything as of yet about what type of visa I am required to work in France and Europe. Any advice would be appreciated. As for the plane ticket, the information I have received so far suggests that you are required to have either a return ticket or an ongoing ticket to another country for entry into France.

Regards Ben

Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 8:29 AM
We are in exactly the same boat. Any information would be excelent.
Posted: Friday, November 14, 2008 9:21 AM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 52

Much depends on which passport you hold. This is a surprisingly complex area, and the best to place to start is the local (to you) embassy of the country you intend to work in. In the long term, the easiest solution is to get your self a Seaman’s Passport, from the ‘Flag State’ of the yacht you’re working on. You should be able to obtain guidance from the Flag State’s administrative department. Talk to you captain about getting the contact details. Remember that, until you hold a Seaman’s Passport, you’re just an immigrant worker like any other, and subject to the same protectionist rules as the rest. Kind regards, Benjamin Maltby, Director, MatrixLloyd.
Posted: Saturday, November 15, 2008 4:34 AM

As  a current Travel Agent I have access to the "black & white" print. I too am planning on working in the med in Jun09 on the yachts to am eager to get all the paperwork out of the way.

You may or may not know this however just to clarify things for you this is what i have researched so far;


  • Visa requied, except for a max. of 3 months


  • Schengen Visas, if required, are also for French Guiana, French West Indies and Reunion
  • All passengers must hold proof of repatriation e.g ONWARD/RETURN ticket and documents for RETURN/ONWARD jounrey, and sufficient funds for maintenance during their stay

VISA Comments and notes;

Schengen space member countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark,Finland, France, Germany, Greece, iceland, italy, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, norway, portgual, Spain and Sweden.

  1. The above listed European countries have signed an agreement to allow free circulation within their boundries for their citizens and other nationals for a max of 90 days within a period of 6 mths.
  2. Australian nationals do not require a visa for tourism purposes.
  3. Visa restrictions
  4. Other visas eg for longer stays or for taking up employment are still subject to the national elgislation of the country of destination. they may be applied for from its foreign mission
  5. Persons travelling on a non-Australianhould contact the mission of the country of their main destination
  6. Any visa for a stay of over 3 months must be referred to France for approval. For any information regarding visas for a stay of over 3 months, please contact the French consulate
  7. Work Contracts - it is up to the employer to do the necessary formalities which take place in France, and it approval is given, then the necessary instructions are forwarded to the Consultate which will invite the employee to apply for a visa.
  8. NOTE: Schengen Visa should be obtained from the Embassy/Consulate of the country of main destination. if main destination cannot be ascertained, the country first entered si responsible for granting a visa.


Contact Consulate General of France


I hope this verfies a few things or maybe even confusings you more! lol 


All the best.












Posted: Saturday, November 15, 2008 8:33 PM
Hi I was just wondering if anyone knows how to get a replacement B1B2 visa. I had one but my passport was stolen, I have a police report for the passport but unfortunatly no copy or information about the visa. I am having problems actually speaking to anyone in the American embassys and no luck on the web sites.

Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2008 4:19 AM
Joined: 12/09/2008
Posts: 5

The USA do not replace B1B2 visas, you are required to go through the process and apply for a new visa. The same applies when your passport expires.  Its a bit silly that they provide you with a 10 year visa when your passport is only valid for 5 Years
Posted: Saturday, January 24, 2009 2:41 PM

Having worked in the yachting industry for nearly 15 years I am rather amused by some of the advice given. Some by so called experts and professionals.

If you plan on travelling to France from Australia, NZ or SA to look for work on yachts then you need to be very careful. Walking the docks looking for and accepting day work is illegal.

You can not legally do this and you are avoiding paying taxes. You are meant to have a job prior to arrival with ships papers for a foreign flagged boat.

If you do choose to take the risk and many do, the easiest way to get to France, Italy or Spain for that matter is to get a work visa for the UK and enter thru London. I would still not be mentioning anything about going to France to work on boats unless you have a job and paperwork and captains number that can vouch for you.

After you are in the EU it is highly unlikely you will be questioned when entering any other EU country. You will also be able to travel on a one-way ticket.

Although it is not as common in Europe as in America, the locals sometimes get upset and report foreigners for day working. Unless things have changed recently if caught you more than likely will be deported for working illegally.

Just because you have a seaman's book or passport as one person called it dose not allow you to walk to docks and work. As more people are caught working illegally in places like France the Authorities may decide to take action and become more proactive. This happened a few years ago in and around Ft Lauderdale.

On more than one occasion vans arrived at crew houses and accommodation offering work. Those that accepted were then driven down to the US immigration offices and deported.

If you can get signed on to the crew list of the boat you are working on it is a bonus, most will not as then they become liable for you and your actions.

Also I do not think the advice about B1/B2 Visas is totally correct, I agree you will need to reapply for your visa if your passport is lost or stolen, but if your passport expires you can still use the B1/B2 visa in it until it expires.

I have been doing this for the last 3 years without any problems having entered thru LA, SF, Miami, Boston, Washington and NY more than 20 times.

You need to carry both Passports with you and present them upon entry along with the appropriate paperwork.

Posted: Friday, August 7, 2009 10:07 PM
Joined: 31/07/2009
Posts: 3

Hi there, New to the industry and trying to get all administration out the way before heading to Fort Lauderdale in October...very confused about how best to obtain B1/B2 visa. I've read so many blogs to date all information is very conflicting.Is it legal for us to work on private yachts with this type of Visa? When applying should I mention my intention to seek employment in the Superyacht industry or keep my mouth shut. Any advise to point me in the right direction would be hugely appreciated. Thanks
Posted: Friday, August 7, 2009 11:09 PM
Joined: 28/10/2008
Posts: 26

Try the two web sites below for extensive information - general but extensive information - - length of stay info for Schengen Visas - specific information about long term stay in France if employed already at a job there

If you are considering being in France or any of the EU Schengen countries to look for work on a typical 90 day Schengen tourist visa you breaknig their laws. Just like in the USA, the B1/B2 Visa is designed for visitors on a holiday or to stay "while already employed by a company who has sent them there for work",not to go there to stay and 'look for work'. Just like in the USA the EU countries want to protect their citizens from foreigners taking jobs from their citizens.

 In most cases you actually have a longer term of stay in the USA. Quite often the B1/B2 visas are granted for 6 months (180 days) in the USA. A Schengen vias is also a bit more complicated than the USA B1/B2. The practice of  also leaving the vias area for a short peroid and then returning to try to get an extention of ones visa in the USA or Schengen EU countries like France, Spain or Italy is also against the law and officials are cracknig down on this practice.

The solutions are either to get the job before you get to the counrty or leave and don't come back after you initial vias stay has expired.

Posted: Saturday, August 8, 2009 12:11 PM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97

     Hi there!

   Thank you for the subject information, very usefull. I'm in the opposite situation.... Have EU passport, and would like to work in the US. The thing is: What I seem to understand is the best option, is to get the Green Card. That allow me to work anywhere in the US.

 Q: Can I get the Green Card when arriving the USA, by paying for it local and be legal or, I have to take here before getting there..?


And,  yes, not only the french, here in Portugal we also  like that those who work here are legal, there's a lot of work everywhere and people willing to do it, and if you'r in the right time in the right momment, the job is yours... I guess, You just can't get caught doing it !!

Once again, Thanx a lot



Posted: Saturday, August 8, 2009 2:30 PM
Joined: 13/06/2009
Posts: 42

 You can not "buy" a green card.  It is not a visa like a B1B2 or Schnegen. A green card is part of becoming a citizen of the USA. It can take a a year or more to get, possibly 2. You must do everything there. Besides, what is your reason? Do you have money to invest? A large amount of money? Are you getting married to a US citizen? Your chances of winning the green card loterry being from Portuga are zero. I have a German fiancee, and the trouble of going through to get her over here are very difficult. One of the problems is when she comes over, she can not work for a year!! It sucks. It's a broken system.  Besides, when you come here on a green card, you will not be allowed to work on a American flagged vessel as an Mate or Captain. You are required to be a US Citizen to get the USCG License. You can however work as a deckhand, but that is it. After getting your green card, it can be 3-5 years before you get to become a citizen. Oh and by the way, when you get a green card, you can not easily leave and enter the country for a few years as you are being watched for your activity. You have to file ahead of time that you are leaving. So the idea of getting a green card to come over and walk the docks and come and go on a foriegn flagged vessel as a Captain, since you can't work on a US flagged vessel, is a lot of work. Your best bet, is put in for a visa. Try doing a Seaman Visa C1/ C2 I think it is, the B1/B2 is a multiple vacation entry or work visa. C1/C2 is better for seaman working on foriegn flagged vessels.
Good Luck

Posted: Saturday, August 8, 2009 4:45 PM
Joined: 08/08/2009
Posts: 17

Isn't it that any seaman (covering anybody with a seabook) doesn't need a visa? I have a Taiwanese stew and a Panamanian mate both with seabooks and they don't require shengans for entry into the EU. Also, as a side note the stew is my wife and we always travel with one way tickets, as long as a seabook can be shown at the check in we have never had an issue...and Taiwan is an extremely hard country due to be only be recognised by a handle of other countries... Check out the countries embassy websites and or call them directly. I would say however stay away from the phrase "I'm going to do some day work" as they will see that as one job less for a national. Good luck. Sid.
Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 9:01 PM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97

       Yes... Thank you Sr.

  I´m still looking for the best way. For what I saw  it would be the B1\B2.

 And... yes, I'm not sure, because I'm waiting for my seaman book, it´s delayed in the system, and, for the purpose of it, I also believe It's not necessary the visa, or at least I hope so. That´s why you have a seaman book. It makes sense to me. Your a seaman, your in the sea, countries\land are secondary!!! Sea first. Than land!

   Same with licences,

 Still finding out!

Thank you


Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 12:19 AM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 342

AndyP79 wrote:
You are required to be a US Citizen to get the USCG License. You can however work as a deckhand, but that is it.
A resident alien can get a 5 ton OUPV and captain a US flag uninspected passenger vessel with 6 passengers or work on almost any US flag ship in any unlicensed position. There is no prohibition against a resident alien working on a US flag private yacht in any unlicensed position including mate or captain. A green card holder can get all the certificates a citizen can and can get paid to sail around the world as an unlicensed mate or captain.
Getting a green card is not the end of employment or travel. It makes both much easier, it is the period between non-resident and resident alien that is purgatory.

Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 2:29 PM
Joined: 31/07/2009
Posts: 3

Thanks for the advice Bridgewatch however I forgot to mention that I'm British so there is no need for a Schengen Visa. I believe it's the American B2 Tourist visa I need to apply for but still not sure how one gets over the hurdle of not legally being allowed to work with this visa. Any other thoughts anyone? rgds.
Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 3:50 PM
Joined: 13/06/2009
Posts: 42

As I said before. C1/C2 visa. If you get a job before hand, you get the C1/C2, and provide the papers to prove you are in transit and have a job. The B1/B2 is a tourist visa. I don't understand why everyone on here wants this visa. Sure, if you want to walk the docks you get over here. But I would guess most people who work on a yacht and can figure out all the regulation that goes along with being a seaman should be smart enough to realize that if you were to get caught having a B1/B2,  and used it to work, you would be deported. Then, if you get deported, you can't come back. With all the crew agencies over in Europe, why not use them. If someone offers you a job, you get a C1/C2. Then if you switch vessels, you just change you visa to reflect the new vessel. This is why there is a Seaman's visa, for Seaman! What do you do when you are told you can't come back to the place where you want a job? Even if you arrive here on the vessel, they then have to send you home, or risk not being able to pull into port?

I guess I am just more curious as to why people choose to run a risk that could be as detrimental to their career as doing this?

Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 5:04 PM
Joined: 01/05/2008
Posts: 41

C1/D visas are not generally useful to yacht crew because they are only good in the U.S. for 29 days, no extensions are possible. They're perfect for cruise and container ship crew.


The B1 portion of a B1/B2 is for yacht crew. The B2 part is for tourists. What determines your status when you enter the U.S. is your I-94 embarkation card, not your visa. Let's say you have a B1-B2 multiple-entry, 10-yr visa in your passport.  If you come in country as a tourist, you will get an I-94 issued as a B2, which means you cannot work. If you enter while working on a foreign-flag vessel, you will be allowed entry on B1 status, which means you can work on your vessel while it is in U.S. waters. All legal.


You can get up to six months on a B1/B2 visa and if you have to extend your stay on a B1, it's possible while you're still in the U.S.


All this info comes from maritime immigration attorney, Eliot Norman.

Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 5:53 PM
Joined: 13/06/2009
Posts: 42

All well and good there Kate. That was actually informative. Thank you.

BUT... No where can you come over and walk the docks. The B1 part is if your meeting your boat, or coming in and out on a boat your already part of, correct? The B2 part is as a tourist. So regardless of which you have, legally you still can not come over to look for work?

So my question is why would people risk violating their visa, and a future career hurt, by coming over and walking the docks, doing daywork, with the possibility of getting pinched?

Posted: Friday, August 14, 2009 12:47 PM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97

  Hi! Greetings

 So.... as an EU citizen, with the seaman book, for me to work in US waters is only possible in FF vessels, and...  for undefined time.

If however, I whanted to work in a US F vessel, anywhere in the world, I could only as a deckhand, with previous contractor arrengement, where a working visa would be necessary, even with seaman book, because after all, it would be dollars beeing given away, and the US need to know where their money is going.

 Is this right, diid I undersood it well??


     Thanks to all





Posted: Friday, August 14, 2009 5:24 PM
Joined: 13/06/2009
Posts: 42

Okay, so after quite a few phone calls, I have a few more answers.

For the B1/B2 visa. It is a 10 year Multiple entry visa like Kate said. But, if you run out of your six months, you have to pretty much take a vacation, say the Bahamas, for a week, and then come back. You can walk the dock with the B1/B2, as long as it is looking for work on a FF vessel only. You can not daywork on the vessel if it is out of the water in dry dock, regardless of the flag, unless you are a permanent crew member . This came directly from the State Departments Visa Specialists.

As to working on US vessels. ALL OFFICERS must be US Citizens, with the exception of OUPV(6PAX) License, Permanent Resident Aliens can obtain this. All non licensed personnel must be at least US Citizens, Resident Aliens, or have a work visa, AND MUST have a USCG Merchant Mariners Document. EVEN IF IT IS PRIVATELY OWNED. If said private vessel is outside of US waters, the US Coast Guard does not have any say, UNTIL it comes back, then it must conform with the law. All Commercial and Charter vessels will at all times be held to this law, regardless of what waters the vessel is in. This is directly from the US Coast Guard National Maritime Center in West Virginia from a Inspector Supervisor.

So, if you have a B1/B2, you can come over and walk the dock. If you get a job offer for a foreign boat, you can take it. Just make sure you don't stay longer then 6 months at a time and that it is not in drydock. If someone offers you a job on a private or charter US vessel, IF you are a resident alien, AND you have a USCG Merchant Mariner Document(MMD), then you can take an Unlicensed Position. IF that vessel is outside US water, then upon return for any reason, they must conform to that law.

So, some detective work solved this hopefully. If anyone has further questions, here are some numbers;
US State Department-00-1-202-647-4000
US Visa Questions-00-1-202-663-1225 option 1 then press 0 and you can talk to someone directly.

I hope this helps someone. Now, how does an American go walk the docks legally in the European countries? Can anyone get this sort of information for the other way around?

Posted: Friday, August 14, 2009 5:27 PM
Joined: 13/06/2009
Posts: 42

By the way, I asked about the Seaman's Book, and they do not work in the US, you still have to have a visa.

And if you are on a vessel in the say, the Med, and you don't have a B1/B2, you can have your employer, if you know you are coming here to the US, get you the C1/C3 Seaman Visa. It is only good for five years, but quicker to get IF you already have a job.

Oh, and the C1/C3 is good for 6 months at a time. This is from the State Department Visa Questions. Not a lawyer. The actual regulations.

Posted: Saturday, August 15, 2009 10:39 AM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


 Yes. At least, entering via Portugal. You get the tourist\visitor (90 days) visa, after they check your acounts, credit cards, taht your able to have a good stay in the country, and an hotel booking, like a tourist.

    During that time, you can look for work and make your contacts. If you get a job and wish to stay, your are only alowed to start working, with a signed contract after the 3 months period.(article. 88) You can not work, with the tourist visa. You signe the contract and start working 3 months after you've arrived with the tourist visa. 

    If you make a previous contract, from there, you come allready legall for work.

    As said before, we have open Boarders\Frontiers ...You can enter either in Portugal, drive or fly to France, Spain or Italy, Greece no one will ask you a thing.

There are some new countries in the EU, they can have diferent laws wich I doubt, because they chose to join the EU, not to make new rules...

   The thing is, you get the job, you canstay and work. The fact that your boss whants you in his company, gives the right to stay. After 3 months.

   I'll try to find some more details, Monaco may be diferent, or have diferent rules..

Good luck,




Posted: Monday, August 17, 2009 11:02 PM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97

    Well, hello!

 About Monaco, just

   And, I won't speack of something I don't know, and probably there may be some crewmembers that can help about this... I believe most crewagencies are in Europe\USA so...

Good luck

Thank you all



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