Sea Travel

​​This page provides information about Australia's entry requirements, the shipping industry, passengers and crew about arrival or departure by sea.

Maritime Crew Visa

This section provides information about the Maritime Crew visa which is for foreign sea crew of non-military ships.

Apply for a Maritime Crew visa

Lodge an online (internet) Maritime Crew visa (MCV) application or download a paper application form.
See: Apply for a Maritime Crew Visa

Check if a Maritime Crew visa is held

Use this facility to check if a person has a valid Maritime Crew visa.
See: MCV Online Status Enquiry

About the Maritime Crew visa

Detailed information about the Maritime Crew visa is available.
See: About the Maritime Crew Visa

Information on the Maritime Crew visa application

Outlines the requirements on the application form, compares the two application methods, and outlines the basic steps to complete an application.

Further information

You can contact the department for further information on the Maritime Crew visa.

MCV Applications

Seaports Policy
Email us your enquiry.
See: Maritime Crew Visa Enquiry Form

In Australia

Telephone: 131 881

You can also contact the Translating and Interpreting Service.
Telephone: 131 450

Superyacht crew member

A Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408)​ allows a crew member of a superyacht to work on the vessel in Australia and stay in Australia for up to 12 months.

A superyacht is any high-value luxury sailing or motor vessel that:

  • is 24 metres or longer
  • is not carrying cargo
  • is used for sport or pleasure.

The captain or owner of the vessel must be an approved temporary activities or superyacht crew sponsor or have applied for approval.

The Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) is a temporary visa.

Advance Passenger Processing

This section includes information about the online Advance Passenger Processing (APP) system which must be used by international passenger cruise ships to lodge pre-arrival reports of passengers and crew travelling to Australia.

What is Advance Passenger Processing?

Advance Passenger Processing (APP) is an online system through which pre-arrival reports of shipping passengers and crew on cruise ships travelling to Australia are sent to the department notifying us of persons on their way to Australia. APP also allows shipping operators and agents to verify if persons onboard hold a valid visas or travel authority to enter Australia.

APP reporting has applied to all international cruise ship arrivals in Australia since January 2004.
See: "Register for Advance Passenger Processing" section below.​

Pre-arrival Reports

As a general rule, vessels are required to provide pre-arrival passenger and crew reports no later than 96 hours before arriving in Australia. All crew, spouses and dependent children of crew members, and passengers are required to be included on the pre-arrival reports and to be subject to immigration clearance on arrival at the first port of call.

For international cruise ships electronic passenger and crew reports are required to be transmitted through the department's Advance Passenger Processing (APP) system. 
See: "Who can use Advance Passenger Processing?​" section below.

Who can use Advance Passenger Processing?

Advance Passenger Processing (APP) is the current pre-arrival reporting method for cruise ships.

An international passenger cruise ship is defined as a ship that has sleeping facilities for at least 100 persons (other than crewmembers) and is being used to provide an international passenger sea transportation service.

It is mandatory for all international passenger cruise ship operators to provide the department with information on all persons onboard the vessel no later than 96 hours in advance of arrival in Australia via the APP reporting system. Reporting can commence up to 30 days before the expected day of arrival in Australia. It is important that cruise ships advise the department's Seaports Entry Operations Centre (SEOC) before they commence APP reporting.

Some voyages by international cruise ships that commence in Australia and return to Australia within 30 days may be granted Round Trip Cruise (RTC) status. APP reporting requirements do not apply to voyages with RTC status.

More information regarding APP for entry by sea can be obtained from the department's Border Operations Centre.
See: Border Operations Centre​

Register for Advance Passenger Processing

If you are a cruise ship operator, or act as an agent for cruise ship operators, you need to contact the department immediately to register and commence Advance Passenger Processing reporting.

Please contact the Seaports Entry Operations Centre (SEOC) of the department.


This section provides details of how to contact Regional Seaports Officers and Border Operations Centre of the department.

Maritime Global Processing Centre

For information about Maritime Crew or Visa applications contact the Maritime Global Processing Centre.
See: Maritime Crew Visa Enquiry Form


Telephone: 131 881 (within Australia)

Maritime Global Processing Centre
Department of Home Affairs
GPO Box 9984
Brisbane Qld 4001

Maritime Crew Visa
Department of Home Affairs
299 Adelaide Street
Brisbane Qld 4000

Fax: 07 3136 7273

Border Operations Centre

The department's Border Operations Centre (BOC) provides operational advice and assistance to the aviation and maritime industries, and Australian and foreign government agencies.

It is open 24 hours for urgent or emergency assistance. Officers can assist with maritime immigration matters and Advance Passenger Processing (APP) reporting.

Facsimile: +61 1300 368 422