Obtaining a special seafarer’s D visa for staying in Italy for more than 90 days is by now a commonplace process for professional yacht crew.
Federagenti released a note on the 2nd February 2023 to give a clarifying overview of the current Italian D visa situation in reply to the newsletters and articles that have been published lately by foreign agencies and associations.
Since July 2021, Italy, along with other EU member countries, started to enforce an European directive issued by the European Court of Justice which limits the permanence of extra-EU seafarers in Schengen territory. For the the time being, not all Schengen countries are applying the above mentioned European directive.
The note reads as follows:
“The D visa for seafarers was introduced on the 21st March 2022, with Italian law n. 51/2022. Italian yacht registered agencies affiliated with Federagenti have already helped hundreds of extra Schengen crew members in obtaining their visas. The D visa can be issued by any entitled Italian Consulates/Embassies around the world, irrespective of the country of residence of the person applying for it.
We suggest that all crew members ask their Italian agents regarding the entitled offices of reference, in order to advise the best option on a case-by-case analysis.
The most important news is that this visa allows the holder not only to stay in Italy for up to 365 days, but also to spend up to 90 days, in every 180 day period, in other Schengen countries during the validitiy period of the visa.
In other words, non-EU seafarers do not have to apply for a C visa anymore if they have obtained an Italian D visa (please note that Consulates/Embassies only issue one visa at a time for Italy).
The type D visa allows non-EU seafarers to remain in Italy – in shipyards or marinas – and cruise in Italian waters with the possibility of multiple entry (meaning with the possibility to leave and re-enter several times, as necessary, during the period of visa validity).
Finally, it is also worth underlining that all seafarers arriving in Italy by sea – that is to say on board a yacht, irrespective of whether they have a D visa or not – are still only stamped into the EU area at the moment in which they disembark, just like in other EU countries.”
Crew members can obtain their D visa both when they are on leave or on vacation and also when they are already in Italy.
Should you need to obtain the visa, your first port of call should be your yacht agent who can guide you through the process. You can find out more about the visa process here in this helpful link from Genoa Superyacht Hub.