October 3, 2022

With the end of the Med season upon us, we have been asked by many (British) crew in the past days to sort out their passports for them.

There’s a high occurrence of crew that have been aboard for the season without stamping out of the EU and onto the boat. This can mean that they have overstayed their permitted 90 days in the EU and is potentially a big problem.

**Please note that these regulations are not new and have applied to British crew since Brexit came into effect.**

Stepping onto a boat and marking up the crew list accordingly is not enough for non-EU crew. Only by attending Immigration police and having your passport stamped can your days in the EU be ‘stopped’. While the captain or purser should advise you of this requirement, it is ultimately the responsibility of the bearer to ensure that passports are correctly stamped and visas valid.

A representative can visit immigration on most crew’s behalf; they are not required to attend in person.

Note that crew must also stamp OFF the boat before travelling to the airport to fly home. Not doing so is technically illegal and can land you in trouble with Immigration upon departure.

Leaving the boat after your permissible days have lapsed is not a problem, but does require a transit visa to facilitate your journey home. A transit visa takes at least 48 hours to obtain, so plan ahead if you intend to travel. A transit visa gives you 72 hours to transit through the EU on your way home. It cannot be used for side trips or any other travel in the EU.

In all cases, for non-EU crew to fly home, a booked flight must be presented before Immigration will stamp you off. The flight must normally be within 24 hours of you stamping off, or Immigration will turn you away and tell you to return nearer the time.

It has been normal practice in the past for crew to stay on in the EU (in Spain or elsewhere) after leaving a boat, where Immigration have historically wanted to see booked accommodation. Very recently, Immigration in Palma have started to decline stamping passports in this case, insisting that departing crew can fly only to their home country. We’ll keep an eye on whether this becomes the default stance and will keep you advised.

If you need advice or help with rectifying your passport, please get touch: or call 971 72 25 32. A telephone call is always free of charge and our team will be happy to guide you.