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Seafarers Family Joining Procedure

Some of the companies allow families to join with their spouse.Your spouse will need to check with company if they allow family to join the ship along with him.Most companies prefer the seafarer to join the ship first and family to join later on at next convenient port.

Family” means—

(i) in the case of male, his wife, his children, whether married or unmarried, his dependent parents and his deceased sons widow and children.Provided that if a person proves that his wife has ceased under the personal law governing him or the customary law of the community to which the spouses belong, to be entitled to maintenance she shall no longer be deemed to be a part of such persons family for the purpose of this Act, unless such person subsequently intimates by express notice, in writing, to the Central Government that she shall continue to be so regarded; and

(ii) in the case of female, her husband, her children, whether married or unmarried, her dependent parents & her husbands dependent parents and her deceased sons widow and children.

Normal Procedure followed is as follows:

1) Make sure that  husband/ wife had agreement with company before joining that he/she intend family to join the ship.

2) Once company is ready, please make sure you get all the Visa’s ready while your husband is still in India. It becomes very difficult for the families to get Visa if husband is already joined. The reason being some of the embassy will require seamen documents such as CDC,etc which will not be available once your husband has joined the ship.

3)Visas which are mandatory in most of the company for families before joining are USA,UK,Brazil,Schenzen, Argentina. Some other visas may be required depending of the trading route of the vessel.

4) All Fees for joining and Visa are to be paid by the seafarers.

5) Process for getting all above mentioned visas can cost around 50000 INR and in addition repeated trips to embassies. The cost will go higher if you are not from Metro city and will need to travel and stay in Metro City where embassy is located.

6) Please get yourself vaccinated with Yellow Fever Vaccine well in advance.

7) You will need to go through Medical test at the centre recommended by the company.

8) The process of Medical test is normally very quick and completed in 1 hours if there is no rush at the medical center.

9)If possible and you have time please try to get Panama or Liberian CDC issued in your name, this will save lot of problems while travelling on ship.

9) After all this is done , please do your shopping and start preparing to join the ship. Please ensure you have sufficient stock of daily toiletries for your intended stay. Shop everything on Amazon.


Please ensure your carry emergency contact details readily available for contact with you and preferably written down in small diary. This is highly recommended as sometimes you will find your battery is drained when you need emergency contact number the most.

Please purchase the international Sim, so that you can make international phone calls if required during the travel

Join a ship is adventure , you will need to Fly from India , reach the port of joining if lucky you will be taken directly to ship or else will be put in Hotel until ship arrives at berth/port. Sometime the ship is at anchor and you will be taken to ship by small boat.

You will be astonished to see the height which you will need to climb before you reach the main deck of the ship. You will enjoy travel to various different countries and enjoy fresh breeze of open Ocean. Best Wishes for Sailing with your Loved One.

 What Can Go Wrong when You are sailing on Ship

1) The approx cost for the joining ship including the flight cost to USA is around 1000 usd and similar cost can be expected while returning. This is not very important as additional expenses can be easily covered by sailing one month extra.

2) All travelling cost including cabs, hotel stay meals which company arranges for your travel will be deducted from your Husband’s salary in the month end.

3) If you happen to join vessel in USA and as soon as you arrive ship and vessel’s next voyage is fixed where vessel will transit the HRA( High Risk Piracy Area) , you will be signed off immediately from that port.

4) Next voyage is planned to such port for which you don’t have the Visa, you will have to sign off from the ship or be ready to bear heavy fines from Customs/immigration of the Country.

5) Vessel has to be proceed to Dry Dock : In this case riding crew, repair teams are put onboard and hence in order to accommodate additional personal families need to sign off from the ship.

6) Sometimes after arrival at the port of Joining you will come to know that vessel has been deviated to some other port and you will have to return back. Cost for these travel will be still borne by your spouse.

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