To work on board a cruise ship, crew members must have a valid passport and applicable visas. Find out who requires what documents, such as the C1/D visa, and when you need to apply for them.
All Cruise Applicants Need a Valid Passport
Most cruise lines indicate on their website’s employment pages that crewmembers must have a passport that is valid for at least one year from the date they join the ship. If you are just starting the cruise job search, make sure that you are in the process of getting your passport if you haven’t done so already. Or, renew your passport if it is within six months of its expiry date.
If you have a valid passport that meets this requirement already, bring it to the recruiter’s attention on your resume or CV and cover letter. At the bottom of your cover letter you can add something like, “In possession of valid passport with expiry date of 20XX.”
C1 Visa – Permits the bearer to arrive in the US and request direct and immediate transit through the US. It permits non-immigrant crew members to arrive in the US (typically by air) and request direct and immediate transit to their cruise ship.
D Visa – Permits the crew member to remain in the US as long as their vessel (cruise ship) remains in the US, very limited days.
C1/D Visa – Dual purpose visa permits the bearer to arrive in the US in either the C1 or D classification.
There may be times when a crew member needs to join a ship in a country other than the United States. Depending on the nationality of the crew member will determine if they will need a visa or not. In most cases the crew member’s manning agent will assist with these additional visas. Here are a few links that help explain these other visas.