Documents and Certificates needed to become a Crew Member

Nov 30, 2023

Ahoy, maritime enthusiasts!

A lot of candidates have been asking which kind of documents and certificates are needed to become a crew member. So in this edition of our newsletter we will share with you all you need to know before embarking upon your new career at sea. 

To work onboard a cruise ship you will need:

1. A valid passport that doesn’t expire until at least 6 months after your expected disembarkation date (end of your contract). 

2. C1/D1 American Visa for most nationalities. Canadian citizens do NOT need this visa to work at sea!

3. Medical Examination. You will also need to undergo a medical examination to ensure you are fit for the specific demands of your work. The medical requirements can vary depending on the type of position and the cruise company. However, common elements of a required crew medical examination may include: physical fitness, vision and hearing tests, cardiovascular health, and lung function. Some companies may even require an HIV test. This examination needs to be done by a cruise line approved physician. 

4. Vaccinations and Immunization records to protect against communicable diseases. COVID-19 and yellow fever vaccination are common requirements, but it may also vary depending on each company policy and residence of the crew member. 

5. STCW certificate, which stands for the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers. It includes basic safety training, proficiency in survival crafts, firefighting, medical care, and more. The specific courses needed depends on the crew member's role. The STCW certification ensures that seafarers have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their duties safely at sea. Some cruise lines require the certificate before crew embarks, others offer part of the training pre-embarkation online, others will allow new hires to do the training onboard.

Stay tuned for more captivating articles and insights in our upcoming newsletters, as we continue our exploration of the maritime career landscape. Here's to love, adventure, and smooth sailing on the high seas!

PS Passport Stamps Recruitment is a recruiting company specializing in finding Canadian talents to work at sea. 
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