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Hi, I am currently working aboard a cruise ship which docks in Sydney, I will be working until my contract ends in January. After this contract I would like to visit Australia. I am a US citizen, and I have family in Australia. I have been told that in order for this to happen, I must leave Australia on plane, and return to Australia on another flight. That I cannot just leave cruise ship hand over maritime visa and stay. This is what what was said to me by my bosses, but I doubt that anyone really asked immigration. I was thinking also, if I could leave Sydney as a crew and board on an island as a passenger, but they told me that Australia immigration won't allow this either, although my cruise ship will allow it. But I am getting no help really. Has anyone encountered this before and how was it solved? It seems too much hassle, a waste of money and resources to buy a round fare ticket just to leave the country and come back on same day. Like I stated, I have not contacted any Australian authority yet, but I am doubtful the cruise line has done this on my behalf either. Thank you!
 

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Ahh the boats are a funny thing!

Don't ask DIBP for advice!!

You would be best to consult an Australian based Registered Migration Agent.

But it may depend on where your ship is classified as being (a country of rego maybe?) as to where you are classified as being living as a employee/passenger.

I am not sure but you may be able to off load yourself at a overseas port such a Villa then fly into Australia - but you would need a ETA or some other visa to do that.

Boat cruises certainly are not classed as going offshore as far as resetting visas are concerned, so it is very complicated. Sorry.
 
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