23 September 2011

Australian visa grants for maritime workers hits 1 million

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The Australian immigration authority has granted its millionth maritime crew visa (MCV) this week and has taken the opportunity to reiterate the benefits of the MCV program.

Australian visa

The Australian Government has granted its millionth Maritime Crew Visa (MCV)

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) released a statement today lauding the impact of MCVs on Australian immigration, and in particular, on border control.  

"Australia's seaports are more secure than ever, highlighted by DIAC's grant this week of the millionth MCV," the statement read.

"This process strenghtens border protection at Australian ports by allowing for security checking as with other temporary entrants," it continued.

MCVs were first introduced in January 2008 and mandate that all foreign shipping crews must go through a formal Australian visa application process. Successful applicants are granted three-year multiple-entry visas.

Prior to the commencement of the MCV program, maritime crews were granted special purpose visa arrangements but were not assessed via a formal application process.

DIAC has also emphasised that the MCV program has been warmly embraced by the shipping industry.

"The MCV scheme has maintained an impressive compliance rate of 99.8 per cent  since its inception. This is testament to the support the visa has had from the shipping industry, crew manning agents, shipping operators and foreign crew themselves," a DIAC spokesperson said.

DIAC has attributed the success of the scheme to factors including "the streamlined application form and processing arrangements, the absence of an application fee and the timeliness of decision-making".

Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy providing a wide variety of global immigration and visa services. Established in 2003, we specialise in helping people lodge visa applications with the Australian High Commission in London.

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