28 Nov 2022



A positive news for non EU Crews: D Visa a long term solution

Thanks to the determination of Gianluca Devicenti from Marine Shore Assistance agency (MSA), based in Italy and Montenegro, who invested an enormous amount of time speaking to every consulate or Embassy in Europe, the first D Visa was issued for a British crew member last Monday Nov 21st by the Italian consulate in Zagreb, Croatia. This is an amazing news many people of this industry have been waiting for since a good couple of months, as this will bring Italy a step ahead on this particular topic!

In fact, until nowadays, every captain cruising the Med fights against different rules on each country he takes the vessel to, and in many cases rules are even different within the same country.  In fact, one of the points, where the European Union shows a lack of cohesion among the members stays in a distinct application of the immigration rules. This matter is typical of to the Schengen countries, which are mostly European in any case.

After the decision taken by the European court in Holland in 2020, stating that since that moment it was not legal to have crew's passports stamped onto the boat, unless the captain declares to leave to a non-EU destination, there was a moment of apparent cohesion among all European countries. Soon after, most of them have shown a change of perspective towards the same law, except for Italy where this is generally applied with the result of a difficult situation for non EU crew members deciding to stay in our country.
As a marine community we haven't slept on it!

After 2 years of long work with the government, the Genoa for Yachting Association has obtained a proper regulation for all yacht crews needing to enter/stay in Italy. It took much effort, time, reports, meetings, interviews, newspaper articles, but the result achieved put Italy, finally, in a position of advantage compared to the other Schengen countries.

In fact, according to Genova for Yachting, who have been intensively working with institutions to obtain a clear procedure for the D Visa, ‘the Italian Parliament has recently approved a regulation that allows, thanks to the issuance of a long-term entry visa for work purposes, to offer an initial solution to the ongoing difficulties experienced by non-EU superyacht crew members in Italy’.

The solution has been found with a D Visa, which can be issued by any Italian embassy or consulate based in any EU country. Moreover, Italy is really giving to the yacht crew working on yachts based in Italy a real, clear and legal solution in order to stay in Europe, while the other countries still do not comply with the EU rules.

As a consequence of this new reality, the first D-Visa for extra Eu seafarers has been issued last week thanks to the great effort on this matter of MSA

Each non EU crew needing to apply for this Visa must place the request though the yacht manager.

What is the Italian D-Visa? Who can apply for a D-Visa?

The Italian D Visa is a long term entry visa for work purposes.  All extra-Eu seafarers (also the ones working on non-Italian flagged yachts) can apply for a 365-day D-Visa to remain in the Schengen Area.

By applying for this visa, the non-EU seafarer will be able to obtain a multiple entry visa for Italy for a max of 365-days. This permit will resolve a problem where in the past Italian ports have been refusing to stamp out yacht crew, unless they were flying out of the country or moving out of Eu waters, meaning that they have been using up their 90-day Schengen allowance unnecessarily when stepping on a yacht sailing in Italian waters.

The procedure has now been officially transmitted to all Italian embassies and consulates worldwide.

Where do I apply for a D-Visa in Italy?

The quickest way to apply for a D-Visa is through your Yacht agent or directly follow the procedure through the Italian Embassy/Consulate.

The visa can be requested in any Italian Embassy/Consulate which is entitled to issue visas, irrespective of the country of residence of the seafarer.

As per instructions of the Italian Government, the issue procedure will be granted as fast as possible.

We recommend to all yachts coming to Italy in our shipyards and marinas to contact in advance their yacht agent for all immigration arrangements and for any further details about this new visa.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further details on this matter writing to info@nayacht.com.