If the vessel is not registered in France, crew members do not need a work visa.
If the vessel is registered in France, a work visa is required. The visa is usually issued for up to 90 days and must be obtained from the visa service of the Embassy of France(external link) prior to arrival (and work) in France. If the crew member is in France already, the work permit must be requested from the nearest office of DIRRECTE(external link), although this process may be more onerous and take longer.
Where the vessel (and crew) remains in France for longer than 90 days without sailing on: If the vessel is not registered in France but is moored and remains in France, the crew member requires a visitor visa. If the boat is registered in France and is moored and remains in France, a work visa is required.
The main point for New Zealand passport holders working as crew who do not hold a long stay visa for France is to ensure an exit stamp is obtained in their passport each time they leave France. In the event of a border control, it should be much easier to prove that less than 90 days in a 180 day period has been spent in France.
Crew members aged between 18 and 30 years may wish to consider obtaining a one-off Working Holiday Visa(external link)from the Embassy of France prior to leaving New Zealand to avoid having to worry about the need for a visa for 12 months.