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How to get a visa to train as a Stewardess or Deckhand in the UK

We get students from across the globe applying for our Superyacht training courses every year here at Flying Fish.

Flying Fish students and an instructor stood in front of a Union Jack flag, representing a Superyacht Stewardess or Deckhand training course, UK

However, depending on whereabouts you’re travelling from in the world to complete your Superyacht Stewardess or Deckhand training course in the UK, you might need to apply for a visa.

Read on to find out whether you will need to apply for a visa to attend a Superyacht course in the UK, and if so, how to go about it…

When do you need to apply for a visa to complete a Superyacht Stewardess or Deckhand training course in the UK?

Superyacht trainees from most countries can come to the UK for a period of up to six months without needing to apply for a visa.

Essentially, if you are from the US, an EU Member State, or specific Commonwealth countries, you won’t need to apply for a visa if you’re staying for less than six months (if you’re coming from the Republic of Ireland, though, you can only stay for up to three months).

There are some countries however where you’ll need to apply for a visa before you travel to the UK. These are listed on the VisaGuide.World website.

If you plan to stay in the UK for longer than six months, regardless of where you’re travelling from, you’ll need to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa to undertake your Superyacht Stewardess or Deckhand training course in the UK. Here’s how…

How to apply for your Standard Visitor Visa:

You can begin your visa application from three months before the date you’ll be travelling to the UK. However, as the current turnaround for decisions on Standard Visitor visas is up to six weeks, we’d recommend starting as soon as possible!

Step 1: Gather all the information you need

Before you actually start the application process, it’s a good idea to gather all the pieces of information you’ll need to fill out the form properly off the bat!

This includes:

  • the dates you’re planning to travel to the UK (if you apply for a Superyacht Stewardess or Deckhand training course in the UK with Flying Fish, your course dates will be clearly indicated on your booking), and, depending on your circumstances, details of your travel history from the past ten years
  • where you’ll be staying during your visit (for example, our crew accommodation in Cowes)
  • how much you think your trip will cost (take into account any flights, the cost of your chosen course, and expenses such as food and entertainment), and potentially the details of anyone who is paying for the trip on your behalf
  • your home address and how long you’ve been living there
  • if known, your parents’ or carers’ names and dates of birth, and your partner’s name, date of birth and passport number if you have one, and the same details for any relatives you may have in the UK
  • how much you earn in a year if you have a job, and (depending on circumstances) your employer’s contact details
  • details of any immigration or criminal offences you may have committed
  • certification proving that you’ve had a tuberculosis test if you’re planning to visit for more than six months
A Superyacht tender with a Union Jack flag,  representing a Superyacht Stewardess or Deckhand training course, UK

Step 2: Complete the form

The form is laid out in different parts, including: About you, passport information, your contact details, your family, finances and employment, previous applications and travel history, your visit and additional information. Here’s an example of what the visa form will look like.

You can complete this online at www.gov.uk/standard-visitor/apply-standard-visitor-visa.

If, like many of our Flying Fish students you are under 18, there is a section you’ll need to fill out as well.

You’ll also need your parents’ or carers’ written consent and full contact details, as well as proof of where you’ll be staying while you’re in the country. You’ll then need to pay the application fee, which is currently £95 for a six month stay.

Step 3: Prove your identity and provide additional documents

During the visa application process, you’ll need to arrange an appointment at your country’s available visa application centre.

There, you’ll be asked to prove you are who you say you are with your passport, as well as have your biometric information taken (in short, a photo and your fingerprints), and supply any other documents to show you’re eligible for a Standard Visitor visa.

Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to attend this well before your travel date!

Need a bit more help?

As mentioned at the start of this blog, we see lots of students from across the globe applying for our Superyacht Stewardess and Deckhand training courses here in the UK, and we’ve also supported many of them with the visa application process along the way.

If you’re also planning to apply for one of our Superyacht training courses and would like a helping hand in any way, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

In the meantime, be sure to find out more about what’s involved in becoming a Superyacht Deckhand or a Superyacht Stewardess on our website…

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