What are my chances finding an airline job in the US?
Hi, what are the chances for an experienced European B737 FO (over 1000 hrs on type) to obtain a greencard and work for a company let's say Southwest? I would love to move stateside, did my flighttraining many years ago there and fell in love with this country. I was close to getting, married to an american girl back then aswell, which I didn't in the end, maybe a mistake? Is there any chance to obtain a Greencard for someone like me (Currently employed B737 FO) I also have a half brother who is an American citizen, could that be any help in obtaining a greencard, work permit ?
Well, the hiring minimums for Southwest are 1500 hours of turbine time (or 2500 total time), AND 1000hours of turbine PIC. Additionally, JAA type ratings don't transfer over to FAA licenses (generally speaking) so you would still have to do part of the 737 type rating course again (at least it is much cheaper in the States than in Europe). Anyhow, this is the easy part.
The hard part is the greencard. There is a greencard lottery every year. Depending on which country you are from, you may or may not qualify for the green card lottery. Having a half brother American doesn't up your chances of getting a greencard or work permit as far as I know. In fact, one of my best friends is a foreigner and when his visa was about to expire, he explored options to stay in the US. He has relatives living in the US and the immigration lawyer said that it would make it actually harder for him to get a visa extension.
The alternative is to get married to an American, which depending on your situation, might be easier or harder than the lottery
Typically, American companies sponsor and hire foreign workers when they can't find an American to do the job. Considering there are many, many American pilots who would love to work at Southwest, I would say that your chances are pretty small.
It means that every Southwest pilot was either a military pilot or was a commander at a regional airline or cargo outfit on a turboprop or regional jet. This is common in the US to get hired at the majors. You don't finish flight training and walk into a 737 or A320 job in America. That's how the career ladder works in the US for pilots.
PICUS does not exist in the US. When an airline asks for PIC, they want the hours that you signed for the aircraft and were the commander, not the definition of PIC where you are sole manipulator of controls.
Last edited by zondaracer; 19th Jul 2012 at 16:14.
Right now in the US, there are so many pilots with far more than a 1000 TPIC, that it is effectively the minimum for interview. There is a large number of mil guys in the wings, perhaps 5,000 RJ captains ready to apply. Most majors have 1000 TPIC as their mins with 2500-3500 total time and a 4-year degree. I looked at our stack of apps for hiring at our corporate operation, over a hundred would have easily exceeded those mins w/o any advertising the opening.
Heck, I know two, now retired SW captains, that had Space Shuttle command time. Beat that.
Last edited by galaxy flyer; 19th Jul 2012 at 22:19.
as 1Wingnut pointed out, some employers will help and sponsor foreigners for work permits. its costly in terms of legal fees and as far as i know, not done by US airlines. --> would not recommend wasting your time looking at that route.
i would encourage you research US work permits as a stand alone task (ie split from your aviation questions) - and PPRuNe is probably not your #1 source of information for this.
as a quick start: you are eligible if you are the brother or sister of a US citizen (you need to check on half-brother). dont get too excited - there is a long wait as the number is restricted per year: they are currently processing applications from 2001 (!)