Discharge books for Seafarers family when joining ship.

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At the moment, Indian nationals sailing with family on-board are  severely constrained with their carriage and have to spend valuable time and money during their vacations in the pursuit of  visas of various nationalities. 

Additionally, due to the uncertain nature of the trade of the vessel, huge penalties are imposed on Indian seafarer’s families due to their status being considered a passenger on-board.  On board vessel, they are normally classed as Supernumeraries  and are simply individuals who join a vessel but have no on-board responsibilities, i.e crew members wives, children.

This is a very catch 22 situation, most immigration authorities insist that the wives and child cannot be put on the crew list since they are not in possession of a discharge book. Hence they classify them as passengers and then proceed to promptly fine these individuals for not being in possession of a visa for that country.

The fact that Supernumeraries are not passengers as they are not on board holding a ticket and are not travelling under a crew contract either is totally ignored.

Additionally, in some ports there is also the threat of immediate repatriation to India. The feasibility of a wife and/ or child travelling long distances at a moments notices is a very disturbing event for any family sailing on board a ship. 

This can be considered   an unfair treatment of the seafarer who has no pre-mediated intention to violate the immigration laws of any country visited by the vessel.

It is our intention to strongly urge the authorities to explore the possibility to grant a seaman discharge book under a special category to the seafarer's family thus  negating the need for this expensive and time consuming visa  processes

 An online petition on the above has been filed and requesting all those keen to
help and support, please add your name, comment or forward this on other social media platforms.

Thanking one and all for all your valuable time and support.