Secure your Join Ship Visa with our comprehensive guide. Essential for maritime crew members needing to board vessels internationally.

Join Ship visa

If you’re a seafarer getting ready to join a ship leaving from Ireland, you’ll need to know about the Join Ship Visa process. This short-stay ‘C’ visa category is crucial for seafarers working on designated ships departing from Ireland. This guide explains when seafarers heading to Ireland need a Join Ship Visa, outlines the required documents, describes the application procedures, and highlights important considerations.

Join Ship Visa Overview

It is a short-stay Irish visa for seafarers. It allows individuals to travel to Ireland solely to work on a designated ship departing from the country. This visa is specific to this purpose and does not permit other stays, alternative employment, or access to public services like healthcare.

When is this visa required?

Possessing Identity Documents: 

To qualify for this visa, you must hold seafarer identity documents issued by a country that has not ratified the International Labour Organisation’s  Conventions on Seafarers’ Identity Documents.

Using a Passport from a Visa-Required Country: 

If you’re traveling to Ireland using a passport or travel document from a country that requires a visa, you’ll need to secure a Join Ship Visa.

Joining a Ship Departing Within 24 Hours: 

If you’re a seafarer planning to join a ship leaving Ireland within 24 hours of your intended entry date, you need this visa.

Documents Required for Join Ship Visa Application

To obtain an Irish Join Ship Visa, you must provide specific documents within 30 days of registering your application. Your application will only be processed once all required documents and the visa application fee are submitted.

Here is a list of required documents:

  • Application Summary Sheet
  • Application Letter
  • Letter from Your Employer (Shipping Company)
  • Accommodation Plan
  • Proof of Travel or Medical Insurance
  • Proof of Payment of Fees (if applicable)
  • Valid Passport
  • Provide evidence of previous passports.
  • Seafarer Identity Document
  • Passport Photographs
  • Finance Plan
  • Details of Visa Refusals (if applicable)
  • Include explanations and original decision letters for any past visa refusals.

All documents must be submitted in their original hard copy form; photocopies will not be accepted. If your documents are not in English or Irish, provide certified translations along with the original documents.

Application Letter

To complete your visa application, you must submit an application letter containing the following details:

  • Full name and home address
  • Reasons for wanting to enter Ireland
  • Planned dates of arrival and departure
  • Full names and home addresses of any family members currently living in Ireland
  • Your signature and the date at the end of the letter
  • Additionally, the application letter should include a commitment from you, the applicant, agreeing to adhere to all Irish visa conditions, depart Ireland before the visa expires, and refrain from seeking Irish public funding.

Letter from your Employer (Shipping Company)

To apply for a Join Ship Visa, you need a letter from your employer (specifically the shipping company) containing the following information:

  • Your job onboard the ship, including your job title and main duties
  • Length of your employment with the company
  • Name of the ship you will join in Ireland
  • Planned arrival date in Ireland
  • Name of the harbor where you will board the ship
  • Schedule of the ship’s itinerary, including planned routes and docking periods
  • Contact details of the employer or shipping organization

Accommodation Plan

You must submit a detailed plan to the Irish embassy outlining every place you intend to stay in Ireland, along with the dates of your stay at each location. If you plan to go directly to the ship you’re joining and stay there, clearly indicate this in your application letter.

Evidence of your accommodation plan can include printed booking confirmations from hotels, hostels, B&Bs, or Airbnbs, clearly showing your intended arrival and departure dates.

If you will be staying with an individual in their home, the host should provide a letter with the following details:

  • Full name of the host
  • Home address in Ireland
  • Written confirmation of the invitation to stay
  • Intended dates of stay and departure from the host’s property

Finance Plan for Join Ship Visa Application

To obtain a Join Ship Visa, you must show that you have enough funds to enter Ireland and support yourself without relying on Irish public funds. There’s no specific amount required, but ensure you have sufficient money for living expenses, with the decision based on your circumstances.

Proof of finances can be provided with recent bank statements meeting specific criteria:

  • Certified bank statement from an official source or printed online
  • Display your full name and address
  • Include your bank account number
  • Specify the type of bank account (current or savings)
  • Show incoming and outgoing funds for the past six months
  • Bank statements must be original; photocopies or screenshots are not accepted. For significant transactions, provide a detailed written explanation for each.

Previous Visa Refusals

As part of your visa application, you must report any past visa refusals for any country, including Ireland. Include details of each refusal and explain why they occurred. Also, provide the original decision letters for these refusals.

Not disclosing past visa refusals could lead to your Irish visa application being denied.

Visa Fees

The fees for a short-stay ‘C’ visa, including the Join Ship Visa, are:

Single entry: €60

Multiple entry: €100

If your application is withdrawn or refused, the fee will not be refunded. This fee covers processing and administration costs.

Applying for an Irish Join Ship Visa

Online Application: 

Start by completing an online application and paying the specified visa fee. Ensure all requested documents are promptly sent to the Irish embassy along with the correct payment.

Document Verification:

Your application will undergo thorough verification for completeness, including summary sheets, dates, signatures, and proof of payment.

Potential Verification: 

Be prepared for potential contact by immigration officials for authentication or verification during the application process. Keep your contact information up to date on your visa application.

Biometric Information (if required): 

Some applicants may be asked to visit a visa application center to provide biometric information, such as photographs and fingerprints.

Irish Visa Decisions

The processing times for Irish visas, including short-stay ‘C’ visas, depend on when you submit your application. Applications are handled in the order they’re received and can vary based on the visa office and public holidays.

For short-stay ‘C’ visas, decisions usually come within about 8 weeks of document submission. Delays may happen if documents are missing or need verification.

Once we finish processing and make a decision, we will return your original documents to you by post or arrange for you to collect them at the Irish embassy or visa office.

Appealing a Refused Irish Visa Application

If authorities refuse your Irish visa application, you will receive a written explanation and can appeal the decision at no cost within two months of receiving the refusal letter.

Here’s how to initiate an appeal:

  • Prepare a detailed letter explaining why you contest the refusal and why you should be granted a visa. Include your visa application number, full name, address, and email.
  •  Compile original supporting documents that could strengthen your appeal.
  •  Your Documents: Place all documents and the refusal letter in an envelope and mail them to the address specified in the original refusal letter.

Preparing to Travel to Ireland

Having your Irish Join Ship Visa allows you to travel to Ireland, but it doesn’t guarantee entry. Border authorities can still refuse entry, even with a valid visa. To enter smoothly, be ready to explain your visit’s purpose to the immigration officer.

Bring these documents with you:

  • A valid passport
  • Your Irish visa
  • Copies of your application documents

If allowed entry, you’ll get a landing stamp indicating you’re in Ireland on a Join Ship visa. This stamp typically shows your permitted stay duration, and for Join Ship visas, you’re usually required to board the designated ship within 24 hours of entry.

The Join Ship Visa is crucial for seafarers heading to Ireland to work on designated ships. Navigating the application process, providing required documents, and following visa conditions are vital to securing your visa.

With careful preparation and attention to detail, you can embark on your journey to Ireland confidently and ensure a successful seafaring experience.

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