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Changes to the Australia Maritime Crew Visa MCV - Subclass 988 Online Application

This is to inform of the upcoming changes to the Maritime Crew (subclass 988) Visa (MCV) online application form, planned to commence from 2 March 2019.

The changes are expected to deliver a more streamlined application process, improve average processing times, and reduce the need to interact with the Department during the decision making process.

The changes will continue to ensure that the MCV supports industry as legitimate users of Australia’s visa system, while at the same time providing important improvements to the security of Australia’s borders.

What’s new for MCV applicants from 2 March 2019?

  • A new electronic MCV application form will be introduced that will require applicants to provide some additional information, as well as enable applicants to upload documentation supporting their application directly into ImmiAccount.

  • Information and/or supporting documentation required with a new application for an MCV includes (but may not be limited to):

  1. Colour scanned copy of the passport bio page (which must be uploaded into ImmiAccount at time of lodgement)
  2. National ID card number
  3. Employment and education/qualification details and documentation 

  • Providing supporting documentation at time of lodgement of an application supports efficient processing and should reduce the need for further interaction with the Department. Applicants will be able to check ImmiAccount for what documents will be required before an application is submitted. We will email applicants through ImmiAccount if we require further supporting documentation or information post lodgement.

  • Applicants will have the ability to manage their visa application (pre-lodgement and post lodgement) and post-decision administration online. This includes, but is not limited to, being able to update details in ImmiAccount (including new passport information), check what supporting information/documentation is required, and check for messages from us about the visa application.

  • Applicants should continue to ensure that they have a valid visa for entry into Australia. For those arriving on a vessel, this should be confirmed or arranged before departing port to travel to Australia. Where there is impending travel to Australia, applicants should not wait for these system changes to commence before lodging a visa application. Penalties can apply where a vessel arrives in Australia’s migration zone with crew members that do not hold a valid visa.

Information about applying online in ImmiAccount, including information on how to attach documents, update details/changes in situation, and check for messages in ImmiAccount is available on the Department’s Home Affairs website at:

What happens to existing applications before the changes?

  • Any applications lodged before 2 March 2019 will continue to be processed using current procedures. This includes any necessary correspondence about these applications occurring through the Maritime Global Processing Centre mailbox

  • Any partially completed, ‘saved’, or ‘in progress’ Maritime Crew visa electronic application forms that are not submitted by 1 March 2019 will be ‘discontinued’ within ImmiAccount and applicants will need to start a new application on the new Maritime Crew visa application form in ImmiAccount.

The Maritime Global Processing Centre mailbox (

  • The MGPC mailbox will no longer be monitored as a helpdesk for visa applications received from 2 March 2019. All interactions and correspondence between applicants and the Department about a visa application will occur through ImmiAccount.

  • Applicants/stakeholders may only use this mailbox if:

You have been granted an MCV, and you wish to advise that you made a mistake with the name and/or date of birth you provided on the associated application.

you are advised to do so by the Department, for example in a system error message, and including where an MCV holder is seeking to have their MCV ceased.

  • This mailbox is not for application status enquiries.

Other facilities

The MCV Online Status Enquiry facility will still be available and accessible from ImmiAccount and from the Department’s website, to allow applicants to check if they already hold a valid MCV to facilitate their intended travel to and/or from Australia as a member of crew of a non-military ship.

Applicants will still be able to check the status of an MCV application from the application summary page in ImmiAccount.

Important dates

  • 1 March 2019: any MCV applications not submitted to the Department will not be able to be processed.
  • 2 March 2019: a new MCV application form will be available.
  • End April 2019: Maritime Global Processing Centre will close for Australian public holidays. More information about closure dates will be provided shortly.

For current information about the MCV, please refer to the Department’s website:

Please note that information about the changes to lodging an MCV visa will be available on the Department’s website on commencement of the changes.

Announcement from Sea, Air and Bridging ABC Visas Section
Temporary Visa Program Branch | Immigration & Visa Services Division

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