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Old 26-01-2020, 12:14   #1
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Foreign Crew is it a problem?

Are there cases where having foreign crew produces problems entering a country? How is this handled and what do you do?
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Old 26-01-2020, 12:22   #2
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

My first thought is , if you are entering another country , you are ALL foreign!
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Old 26-01-2020, 12:35   #3
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

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My first thought is , if you are entering another country , you are ALL foreign!
Yes except that one would expect that when you’re entering another country, you know that your papers are in order. You don’t know that your foreign crew has a criminal record/has been deported/has drugs in his pocket and a range of other conditions.

To the OP, I’m guessing by “foreign” you mean foreign to you, not to the country you’re about to enter. Because as above, several conditions exist with strangers that could threaten you clean entry.

Try to obviate problems with good research (primarily social media which often tell a succinct story) and check documents like passports and visas.
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Old 26-01-2020, 13:09   #4
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

In general we have not had problems with multi-nationality crew on the boat. Of course you need to know your crew's character, hopefully you thought about then when you brought them on board.

The big "gotcha" is knowing about visas. There are an awful lot of places where Americans and Europeans can just show up and get a 90-day visitors permit. But other nationalities may need a formal visa procured before arrival. So now instead of just checking the requirements for your own nationality you now need to the check the requirements for all of your crew. And if you just show up with someone that needs more formal permission then you, as the boat captain/owner are on the hook.

The one crew/friend we've had where this was a bigger issue was South African. There's still a legacy of shattered diplomatic relations there and he needed a visa many places where we (USians) did not. As long as you plan for it not a problem, but the planning does become more complicated.
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Old 26-01-2020, 14:11   #5
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

There are some Youtubers, Sailing Uma that had their plans impacted by the girl being from Haiti receiving a very short visa for one of their stops
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Old 26-01-2020, 16:26   #6
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

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Are there cases where having foreign crew produces problems entering a country? How is this handled and what do you do?
Yah..it’s a problem..visas, discharge in foreign ports, insurance ...

It is your responsibility to screen crew, find out what travel documents they need for your voyage , then figure out how to get them


Crew can be a headache ...crew are signed onto your crew list.. they belong to the boat...when problems arise your boat is held liable

Also consider your insurance policy and it’s treatment of “ temporary crew “
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Old 26-01-2020, 16:29   #7
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

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In general we have not had problems with multi-nationality crew on the boat. Of course you need to know your crew's character, hopefully you thought about then when you brought them on board.

The big "gotcha" is knowing about visas. There are an awful lot of places where Americans and Europeans can just show up and get a 90-day visitors permit. But other nationalities may need a formal visa procured before arrival. So now instead of just checking the requirements for your own nationality you now need to the check the requirements for all of your crew. And if you just show up with someone that needs more formal permission then you, as the boat captain/owner are on the hook.

The one crew/friend we've had where this was a bigger issue was South African. There's still a legacy of shattered diplomatic relations there and he needed a visa many places where we (USians) did not. As long as you plan for it not a problem, but the planning does become more complicated.
Carefull...the visa waver program for Europeans implies tourists and a round trip airticket

Arrival by yacht can be an issue

Doublecheck before departure
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Old 26-01-2020, 17:22   #8
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

Will completely depend on:

1. The various nationalities of the members of the crew
2. What country you're entering
3. What country you came from.

Sailing from Lebanon to Israel with crew members from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria is very different that sailing from US to the Bahamas with a Canadian and a Brit.
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Old 26-01-2020, 18:30   #9
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

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Carefull...the visa waver program for Europeans implies tourists and a round trip airticket

Arrival by yacht can be an issue

Doublecheck before departure
Yes, as with anywhere, you have to know the rules before you go. To the OP's question my point was that you may need to know two (or more) sets of rules if you have a multi-national crew.
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Old 26-01-2020, 18:40   #10
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

You are supposed to sail out with as many as you brought. Otherwise you face trouble at check-out.


But this is not directly related to how very foreign your crew is. just one of many factors to consider.


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Old 27-01-2020, 09:03   #11
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

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The big "gotcha" is knowing about visas. There are an awful lot of places where Americans and Europeans can just show up and get a 90-day visitors permit. But other nationalities may need a formal visa procured before arrival.
Dsanduril, your response states my concern succinctly.

I am going to need to take on crew to make safe passages. When I look at crewfinder sites, the American/European members seem to be looking for dates or small coastal vacations, but those from more "troubled" countries are more available for the longer passages. It got me to thinking.

I don't have a degree in world politics and international visa policies and while it would be ideal to "know" my crew beforehand, in reality, I may be casting the lines with some unknown individuals and international relations considerations since it is either that or stay put.

Short of calling every destination country for every crew combination, is there a source for this type of information?

The YouTube Channel Ryan and Sophie have issues with Sophie entering the USA, which I wouldn't have expected. They didn't have any problems in Europe due to dual citizenship, but it would seem that even marriage doesn't cure the diplomatic issues in all cases.

As a hypothetical example - what countries would not allow a North Korean or a Russian to enter but would accept an American?

What would happen if you showed up with crew without visa's? Do they allow you to re-provision and then move on, or do they consider it an invasion?
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Old 27-01-2020, 10:17   #12
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

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Short of calling every destination country for every crew combination, is there a source for this type of information?
So far the best source of customs and immigration information I have found is www.noonsite.com. Has listings for each country with sections on clearance procedures and well as many other things of interest to cruisers like crime and security, harbors and marinas, currency, etc.

Unfortunately the information on each country just hits the high points and you will probably need to contact some agency of any country you may have a concern.

However my general experience, most western and/or democratic countries are pretty reasonable about mixed nationalities coming in assuming the mixed crew nationalities are also from western and/or democratic countries. Once you start adding crew from countries that have political, economic, legal, immigration or refugee issues or similar in regards to the country you're entering then you will definitely need to do your homework.
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Old 27-01-2020, 11:30   #13
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

The short answer is yes unless you restrict your crew to EU, US, Australia/NZ, and Japan. Thai and Israeli crew are problematic, and there are some neighborly spats like between Columbia and Mexico that can trip you up. Your crew can be denied entry, or confined to the boat, or the boat can be denied entry, or you can all end up in jail.

If you have prospective crew from other countries, you should require them to do the research and prove to you that they will not be a problem in any of the ports on your planned itinerary.
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Old 27-01-2020, 11:57   #14
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

One other concern is the crews criminal background

It’s a big unknown

Drugs are a particular concern

To protect yourself and your boat from drugs you must convince the authorities that you have a zero tolerance drug policy

To do this crew must sign onto your crew list and sign a ....no drugs permitted statement

In addition you must post ..usually stick on signs inside the boat ...reminding people ...no drugs allowed

Prescription drugs can also be a problem

These drugs must be declared at customs..this list of drugs must also be accompanied with a doctors prescription
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Old 27-01-2020, 12:17   #15
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Re: Foreign Crew is it a problem?

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Yes, as with anywhere, you have to know the rules before you go. To the OP's question my point was that you may need to know two (or more) sets of rules if you have a multi-national crew.

It’s impossible to know everything about everything


When traveling to “unknown “ destinations I typically hire a local maritime agent

They alert you of the mandatory “ de ratting certificate “ bilge water certificate , black water certificate , ........

Or whatever oddball regulation exist

Agents are not that expensive ..
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