Non EU-crew members obtain Italian working visa
27 February 2023

Non-EU crew members obtain Italian working visa. The most frequently asked questions.

In this article we will explain a new law regarding the issuing of Italian working visa to non-EU crew members. At the end of the article we will share with you the most frequentrly asked questions from our practice.

Finally, the issue with the permanence of non-EU crew members is resolved. Let’s us remind you that until recently the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of February 5, 2020, relating to the stamp out on the travel documents of seafarers on board of ships moored in EU waters, denied the stamp out for embarkation on units that had been berthed for a long time in the Schengen zone and whose departure date was not known. It meant that non-EU-seafarers were stamped in in Italy on the day of their arrival (by boat, by plane etc.) and from that day their 90 days of permanence started to be counted obliging non-EU seafarers to leave the Schengen area after 90 days finished.

The issue was extremely delicate and confusing and created a lot of problems to non-EU-seafarers who work on yacht berthed in Italy. That is why the main Italian maritime trade associations have moved to sensitize the government authorities for the purpose of re-examining the problem at Community level.

Nowadays the problem is resolved thanks to the Art. 13-ter of the legislative decree of 21 March 2022, n. 21, converted with law n. 51/2022 has amended art. 27 of Legislative Decree n. 286/1998 by inserting paragraph 1-septies, expanding the scope of the national visa for the subordinate work of seafarers, until now provided only for foreign citizens, employees of foreign companies contracting the shipowner for boarding on Italian cruise ships as employees to carry out complementary services on board.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified that:
a) the notion of "seafarers" includes both "seafarers" in the strict sense and the employees of the complementary services of room, kitchen and general services, workshop services, construction site or similar and any other commercial, accessory or otherwise connected to the cruise.
b) the work can be carried out on ships, belonging, or not belonging to the European Union, as long as they are moored in Italian ports.
c) the companies where the business is carried out can be Italian or foreign.
d) the visa authorizes to work on board based on the sole possession of the visa entry to work, therefore, without a residence permit.
e) the visa will last for the duration necessary to carry out the work on board, however, not exceeding 12 months and is issued directly by the consular offices without need prior authorization to work.

So far, MSA Yacht, has successfully prepared and obtained more than ten Italian working visas of type D for non-EU crew members which permit them to stay in Italy on board of the yacht for subordinate work for the duration of the contract but in any case, not exceeding 365 days.

Below you will find the most frequently asked questions from our happy clients who have already obtained the Italian D-type working visa for seafarers.

• Should I apply for the Italian working visa for seafarers in the Italian Embassy of the country of residence?
- No, it is not obligatory. You can apply for it in any Italian Embassy or Consulate which can issue visas.

• Does the Italian working visa for seafarers permit me to stay only in Italy?
- The Italian working visa for seafarers is of type D and its holders can circulate freely in Schengen States other than the one that issued the visa (Italy in our case), for a period not exceeding 90 days every six-month period only if the visa is still valid.

• How much time does the application process take?
- Normally, unless for technical problems, it takes one day from the moment of the visa application in the Italian Embassy till the visa issuing. Nota bene We speak about our practice and this information doesn’t regard all the Italian Embassy that can have their own working time.

If you need to have a professional assistance in working visa application process, contact MSA Yacht team who will provide you with a rapid and efficient consulting and assistance in the application process from the preparation of documents till the visa issuing.
Cell-phone: +39 346 86575 85