Immigrating to another country as a 2nd mate?

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  1. #1

    Immigrating to another country as a 2nd mate?

    So I ll probably be getting my 2nd mate license around the end of the summer from the national greek maritime academy and already have worked and will continue to work with a pretty good LNG company after my graduation since I was pretty useful and reliable and apparently my skills with computers seem to be a rare thing in the industry.

    But I obviously don't like greece much for obvious reasons and want to move to a better country with more tech stuff and forward thinking people. Was thinking of moving somewhere in Europe but with the whole thing being unstable I think the US is a better choice since I have also been there in the past for a year for unrelated studies and I liked it and the people.

    But our job feels a little weird when it comes to immigrating to other countries, in the sense that we don't really work daily in other countries like normal jobs since our work is at sea and we only go back on land to relax and not work.

    So I got a couple questions about it for anyone who has done it or knows about the details.
    1)I know that the US doesn't recognise EU licenses and we do the same to them, but that only applies to US flag vessels correct? You can still work in a company that is based on the US that has foreign flag fleet right?
    Can you work in such a company to be allowed to live in the US?

    2)With most certificates these days having an expiry date like the firefighting/LSA ones I assume you can get them again from some private training company in the US and work using them without having any issues correct? Or would there be an issue with the 2nd mate license being Greek?(kinda 2a question but can you use a license's endorsement instead since I ll be working in ships with Bermuda flag and will have a Bermuda endorsement of my license)

    3)I really like my job at sea, and really looking forward to getting to the rank of chief officer since I loved helping organize everything and being responsible for cargo operations, but do you think it would be easier to move to the US if I got a master in some maritime field in order to work in the office of some maritime company?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    The US does not recognize any foreign license as being of equivalent competence, although of course the UK and others recognize the US license as of equivalent competence. go figure.

    Why would you need to change jobs if you wanted to emigrate can't you just stay working where you are now? - that has to be one of the main advantages of a life at sea.

    moving to the US is not easy. It's not anything like moving to other EU countries. Often your best bet would be to be sponsored there by a company.
    Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

  3. #3

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    First and foremost, you have to ensure you are eligible to migrate. Have you explored the possibilities of obtaining a Green card? Within Europe it is easy to move from one country to another, however in the wider world you must have the appropriate visas.
    I migrated from the UK to Australia, and I've known seafarers who have migrated to Canada, but it isn't a straightforward process. It costs money and you need to fulfil a variety of requirements.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by HolyNougat View Post
    The US does not recognize any foreign license as being of equivalent competence, although of course the UK and others recognize the US license as of equivalent competence. go figure.
    Yes i know about that, but isnt that only for vessels with US flag? Shouldnt be an issue for companies with foreign flag fleet that are based in the US right?

    Quote Originally Posted by HolyNougat View Post
    Why would you need to change jobs if you wanted to emigrate can't you just stay working where you are now? - that has to be one of the main advantages of a life at sea.
    I ll pretend you didnt just suggest to stay in Greece :P, my goal is to ditch this place forever and never come back.

    Quote Originally Posted by HolyNougat View Post
    moving to the US is not easy. It's not anything like moving to other EU countries.
    Oh i know that very well, but i willing to try to get through the process and requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by HolyNougat View Post
    Often your best bet would be to be sponsored there by a company.
    Exactly what i am asking, this is technically possible right? Cause it sounds a little wierd to sponsor someone to move to the states only to have him work at seas abroad.


    Quote Originally Posted by YoungMariner View Post
    First and foremost, you have to ensure you are eligible to migrate. Have you explored the possibilities of obtaining a Green card? Within Europe it is easy to move from one country to another, however in the wider world you must have the appropriate visas.
    Yep, i know Europe is pretty easy to move into since greece is in the EU, but with the whole thing being pretty unstable i wouldnt mind focusing on other countries outside of EU like the US since i ve been there before and i know it is a good place to live and with high living standards.

    I am mainly looking at the prospect of being sponsored by a company since i dont have any family or relatives there and i am pretty sure seafarer isnt one of those special jobs/skills they are looking.

    Quote Originally Posted by YoungMariner View Post
    I migrated from the UK to Australia, and I've known seafarers who have migrated to Canada, but it isn't a straightforward process. It costs money and you need to fulfil a variety of requirements.
    Australia? nope, scared of spiders too much to even go out on a shore leave there :P

    What about Canada though, i obviously expect the process in Canada or US to be long and costly but if it gets me where i want i dont mind. Do you have any details as to how they moved there? I mean they found a job as 2nd/1st mate/captain or some shore based job? Or was it something through relatives living there?

  5. #5

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    Getting sponsored for a green card would be very difficult, the only people I've known to do that have worked for a company based in Europe and then transferred to a US office later, or moving into a shore role after working on US based cruise ships.

    Canada I believe used to have seafarers on one of the migration lists, not sure if that is still the case. But like Australia, it will generally require a certain amount of experience, fresh graduates will probably not meet the requirements.

    You could approach a migration agent, but I think if you are serious about migrating you will need a long term game plan.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphie2449 View Post
    I ll pretend you didnt just suggest to stay in Greece :P, my goal is to ditch this place forever and never come back.
    I think you may have misinterpreted what HolyNougat was saying. One of the great things about our job is that it doesn't tie us down anywhere, so why are you concerned about working for a company based in the U.S.? Surely once you've jumped through all the necessary hoops that come with emigrating, you can work for any company you want? Be they Greek, British, Danish, Singaporean, Monrovian etc etc
    Last edited by perksy121; 16th March 2016 at 10:26 AM. Reason: Poor grammar

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by YoungMariner View Post
    Getting sponsored for a green card would be very difficult, the only people I've known to do that have worked for a company based in Europe and then transferred to a US office later, or moving into a shore role after working on US based cruise ships.

    Canada I believe used to have seafarers on one of the migration lists, not sure if that is still the case. But like Australia, it will generally require a certain amount of experience, fresh graduates will probably not meet the requirements.

    You could approach a migration agent, but I think if you are serious about migrating you will need a long term game plan.
    I expected nothing less than it being difficult and daunting with a ton of paperwork and requirements but that wont stop me from trying at least. Europe is nice, UK especially but can you seriously promise me they things in EU will remain stable and same for years? That is why i might like EU but would prefer to try my chances with US.

    So these people mainly got in through shore/office jobs? Makes sense.

    And about Canada, i checked the list but didnt fine anything for "seafarer/2nd mate/ship officer" so unless they have used another name from it, like you said it could have been removed. But yes, i dont expect to graduate and magically immediately move to another country, i do to intend to work for some time with my current company but now i am starting to gathering more information about immigration etc.

    And thanks for the suggestion to find a migration agent, knew there were professionals who focused on migration information but for some reason that name never passed through my mind to google it :P


    Quote Originally Posted by perksy121 View Post
    I think you may have misinterpreted what HolyNougat was saying. One of the great things about our job is that it doesn't tie us down anywhere, so why are you concerned about working for a company based in the U.S.? Surely once you've jumped through all the necessary hoops that come with emigrating, you can work for any company you want? Be they Greek, British, Danish, Singaporean, Monrovian etc etc
    What do you mean? To go live outside Europe you need have a permanent residency in X country and to have that you usually need to have a job since it is the other main way of getting in if you dont have relatives.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphie2449 View Post
    What do you mean? To go live outside Europe you need have a permanent residency in X country and to have that you usually need to have a job since it is the other main way of getting in if you dont have relatives.
    Well as an example, one of my batch mates from WMA moved to China after he graduated but still works for Maersk, there was no need to shop around for Chinese companies or anything. So surely you could live in the U.S. and still work for a Greek company if you wanted to? It might make getting a residency visa a little more complicated but given working for an American shipping company won't require you to live in the U.S., it may not make a huge amount of difference either way. The simpler option maybe to persuade a nice American girl to marry you ;-)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by perksy121 View Post
    The simpler option maybe to persuade a nice American girl to marry you ;-)
    It's not - I enquired :-)

    If you don't plan to "work" in the US you can nicely live their on a B1 visa for upto 6 months at a time - ideal if your a seafarer - and doesn't require any sponsorship from an employer as its a tourist visa.

    As for your Certificates - assuming your licence is issued in Greece you will need to check with them if they require you complete the short courses in Greece or if they will accept courses issued by other countries. For example Italy don't accept the STCW courses issued by other countries as being valid for the purpose of renewing your licence.

  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by alistairuk View Post
    It's not - I enquired :-)

    If you don't plan to "work" in the US you can nicely live their on a B1 visa for upto 6 months at a time - ideal if your a seafarer - and doesn't require any sponsorship from an employer as its a tourist visa.

    As for your Certificates - assuming your licence is issued in Greece you will need to check with them if they require you complete the short courses in Greece or if they will accept courses issued by other countries. For example Italy don't accept the STCW courses issued by other countries as being valid for the purpose of renewing your licence.
    Oh damn, 6 months? Didnt know it was this long, that is pretty good. Any idea how long you have to be gone though before you can come back for another 6 months? I assume leaving for 1 day or even a month and coming back wouldnt really work.

    And thanks a lot about that information regarding the license, i ll have to check.

    Quote Originally Posted by perksy121 View Post
    Well as an example, one of my batch mates from WMA moved to China after he graduated but still works for Maersk, there was no need to shop around for Chinese companies or anything. So surely you could live in the U.S. and still work for a Greek company if you wanted to? It might make getting a residency visa a little more complicated but given working for an American shipping company won't require you to live in the U.S., it may not make a huge amount of difference either way. The simpler option maybe to persuade a nice American girl to marry you ;-)
    Ah i see what you are saying, but i think China and US have very different immigration processes, US being more tight about such stuff and getting residency is the main goal really unless i use that tourist B1 visa trick like Alistairuk suggested, and the girl idea is not really my thing, even if fake :P

 

 

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