There are many things to consider when going to work in the super yacht industry. Not only are you making sure this is the correct move for you, or ensuring you have the proper credentials needed to work in the industry, you also have to worry about the paperwork side of things. It all sounds very legal, and in all honesty, it is. You will be happier and more at ease if you are aware of what visas, and legal documents needed to work in the yachting industry before arriving. No one likes to rush paperwork, it’s stressful and sometimes can’t be done that quickly. Depending on where you work on the yachts, or what country of origin you’re from, the paperwork below could change and you may even need more of it – South African’s everywhere in the industry are nodding their heads vigorously right now!

B1 – B2 Visa For Working Yacht Crew

A B1 Visa is a Visitor for Business Visa and a B2 Visa is a Visitor Visa.

Many of you have heard of this, and as the yachting industry grows, this visa is becoming more of a necessity. If you’re a non-American and wish to work as crew on a superyacht, you’ll need to obtain this visa, especially if the yacht plans to visit the United States. Most yachts nowadays have this a mandatory visa for hire, as it is a specific, non-immigration visa with is essential for potential crew if the yacht is enter U.S. water, which is very likely. Do not be fooled however, this is not a work visa and does not permit you to work in the U.S. The visa itself is quite easy to obtain, providing you meet the standards:

  • You are seeking a B1/B2 Visa as a crew member aboard privately owned yachts.
  • You are NOT going to work in the U.S. and you are NOT seeking work in the U.S.
  • You provide only valid information (no lying!)

ENG1 – Basic Medical Exam for Jobs on Yachts

The ENG1 is a basic medical examination that confirms whether you are fit enough to work on board. This examination is performed by a MCA certified doctor, and usually takes no longer than 30 minutes to complete and shouldn’t cost much beyond $150 US. An ENG1, also referred to as the seafarers medical exam is needed before you can work at sea, as stated by the MLC. Feeling a bit out of shape? Don’t worry. The ENG1 is a non-intrusive exam and just ensures that you are suitably fit to perform your duties on board, and don’t suffer from any conditions which could be aggravated by time at sea, or endanger the health of others on board. Take a sigh of relief – this is a quick in and out situation!

STCW – Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping for Seafarers

This one is not news to anyone who’s done the basics in terms of research for starting a career in the yachting industry. The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping for Seafarers (STCW) is necessary for anyone who wishes to work at sea. The course itself takes a week to complete, and goes over five main components to working at sea, and on a super yacht: personal survival techniques, fire prevention and firefighting, elementary first aid, personal safety and social responsibility and competence in security awareness.

Seaman’s Book

Although this is not required to work on yachts, it is something you should look into having if you do plan to stay longer than a season. A seaman’s book is something you apply for once you have a yachting job, or job at sea. It acts more as a personal log which tallies your previous jobs and time logged at sea. It can come in handy for when you look at advancing further into a yachting career and need to get courses to obtain them that need so many hours at sea in order to enroll. Rumors have it that a seamans book can sometimes increase the amount of luggage you have while traveling via plane – bonus!

Depending on your nationality, there may be additional visas or documents you may need in order to work on yachts, just be sure to do your research, or if all else fails, ask someone in the yachting industry.