US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 27 Old 03-07-2019 Thread Starter
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US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

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post #2 of 27 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

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Originally Posted by SailRN View Post
.....Any knowledge of this situation? (Not guesses, nor opinions, just first-hand knowledge - PLEASE)
I understand what you're saying, but there is no way you're going to be able to tell the difference on an internet forum.

Bottom line is, your prospective employer is going to tell you what they want. Even if they're wrong, you're not going to change their mind. My guess, which you don't want, is the answer is variable based upon the flag of the vessel, where it's going, what it's doing, etc. Good luck.


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post #3 of 27 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

> I need authoritative advice

There is an entire profession dedicated to this. If you want authoritative advice about the law, you should talk to a lawyer. I'm guessing that an international employment attorney could answer this question for you.

I read that providing specific, tailored legal advice *without* being a lawyer is a crime in many states. So... yeah.
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post #4 of 27 Old 03-08-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

Well, this isn't working out well.
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

Fact: Americans can stay in the EU according to Schengen for 90 days and then they must leave the Schengen countries for 90 days. If you are working aboard a boat based in the EU or remains in EU waters, you must leave the EU for 90 days.
A quick trip to North Africa for a day is not a way to circumvent this. The rules, to the best of my knowledge are very strict, though I've heard of many Americans who ignore this on their own boat, keeping a low profile. I'm not so sure you will have any way to keep a low profile if the vessel is traveling to and from the EU regularly.
If you find a captain willing to take you aboard, he may know some way to deal with this, but otherwise, it is 90 days in and 90 days out!

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post #6 of 27 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

SEAMAX is an employment agency for cruise lines, perhaps they can help you.
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post #7 of 27 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

If an employment ad states they require a Schengen visa, then you have no chance trying to "educate" them even if they are "wrong".

Even with a legal brief prepared by a top firm specializing in such matters, costing thousands of dollars in fees.

EU recent-immigrants work for much lower wages and put up with the standard abuses much better.

And multi-lingual EU local citizens are also available by the millions for not much more.

Maybe consider working as an English teacher?
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post #8 of 27 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

I found a website that you might find helpful. It's at www.schengenvisainfo.com. One part in particular seems to address your question. Here it is:

"US Citizen Rejected from Entering Europe Visa-Free

As previously stated, if you were rejected from entering the Schengen Zone, despite of being a US national or a national of a country that has established visa-free regime with the European Union, you will need to apply for a Schengen visa in the United States.

You can apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of the main country you wish to visit, located in the US. Sometimes embassies outsource visa submission to the embassy or consulate of another Schengen country or third parties that offer visa services.

For more information, read the article “How and Where to Apply for a Schengen Visa in the US?"

Thus, even though US Citizens are exempt from the Schengen requirement, that first paragraph clearly contemplates that US citizens are sometimes denied entry without one. Elsewhere in that website it says the decision of the official is final, and your only recourse is to return to the US and obtain a schengen visa from the the embassy or consulate of the main country you wish to visit, located in the US.

That would explain why potential employers want you to obtain a schengen visa before they employ you.

I suggest you read through that website carefully and completely. It is very informative.
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post #9 of 27 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

Be careful who you ship out with. There are many reports of unpaid and abandoned crew.
https://worldmaritimenews.com/
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post #10 of 27 Old 03-09-2019
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

On the flip side, I'm told that many US vessel owners are motivated, in part, to flag their vessel in a foreign country, or a non-state US possession, because it makes it easier to hire a foreign crew. Not the OP's question, of course, but I find that interesting. I can't quote the law, just something I've heard.

To the OP, you're getting about the best you can expect from asking a bunch of strangers at the bar. No one is trying to be rude or critical. It would be a great contribution to the community, if you let us know what you learn in your pursuit. I'm sure others are interested. Good luck.


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