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Canadian Pilots flying for US Airliners

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Canadian Pilots flying for US Airliners

Old 8th Jan 2008, 18:12
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Age: 35
Posts: 6
Canadian Pilots flying for US Airliners

Forgive me if this topic has been posted already, I have searched through these forums and found nothing except information on license conversion.

My question is....How difficult is it for a Canadian Pilot to obtain a USA work visa and thus work for a US airline?

I`ve read everywhere about Regionals in USA hiring frantically and there being much more job oppurtunities for low time pilots and with it now being relatively easy to convert CAR licenses to FAA I was wondering how hard would it then be for a Canadian to get a job as a pilot in the USA?

If you managed to land an interview with an airline and they wanted to hire you do they arrange for this work visa or `right to work in USA`themselves? (I`m assuming NO, since many job listings list the right to work in USA as a requirement)

Anyways if anyone on here is a CDN Pilot flying in USA or knows any, or can shed any light on this topic I sincerely appreciate your help in advance. Thanks

Aviator Steve
AviatorSteve is offline  
Old 8th Jan 2008, 18:49
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Posts: 14
I can't speak for the regional airlines but I know all US majors require the applicant to have the right to work in the US (ie citizen, green card or work visa holder). No major airline will sponsor a foreign pilot to obtain his/her work visa.

Good luck!
betterave is offline  
Old 8th Jan 2008, 19:43
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1
I dont know what to say about the immigration thing, but I can tell you about what I did in converting my Canadian ppl.

I did my private pilots license in Canada and then moved down to FL to continue my training. This was back in 2000, so Im not sure how things have changed, especially since 2001. I had to goto the local FAA office and show proof of my canadian license, medical and FAA medical. They then gave me an FAA ppl with the same restrictions and limitations that my Canadian one had (since I didnt have a Canadian night rating, I couldnt fly as PIC at night in the US). However after I got my Commercial pilots license, it superseded my Canadian ppl, so I no longer had that limitation. Again this was almost 8 years ago, so Im not sure if things are still the same.

Hope this helps!

BTW how hard is it to go from FAA to Canadian license? I earned my Canadian ppl but havent had a review or additional Canadian ratings since 00. Would be nice to be able to fly when I go back to visit. Thx!
ronthepilot is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2008, 03:22
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In vincinity of RKSS
Posts: 32
I had an interview at a US airline and they couldn't find me a way to sponsor me for work permit.

As for the converting license between Canada and USA. After private, you will need to get the medical and do the Air Law difference exam, except for the Instuctor Rating, which you will have to do the whole thing from the start.
blueoreas is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2008, 07:17
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Age: 38
Posts: 47
Converting your Commercial/multi/Instrument is pretty easy. You have take a 40 quesiton written test for the Commercial and Instrument and you can have the FAA one. You don't need any checkride or anything.

Now as for working here it just depends on your luck. I know a few people who have gotten lucky, but haven't heard anybody getting their greencard through airline yet. I had the same problem. I tried all regionals. Most cancelled my interview as soon as I told them I need help with that. One turned me away once I got there cause I never told them. The last one I tried they called and said you must not even submit an application unless you have at least a green card.

But I must tell you if you are Canadian you are in better luck. US and Canada have some sort of treaty. Canadians can get US work permit or greeencard much easier than most other nataions.
Airplane Crazy is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2008, 22:00
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Middle East
Posts: 350
The treaty is for Skilled Professions OTHER than Pilots.

As a Canadian Pilot the only hope is to get sponsered in by a close family relative (Mother, Father, Child) or to marry an American.

Canadians aren't even on the list of countries eligible for the Green Card lottery.
metro301 is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2008, 03:33
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 3
yup kiwi's definitly can get into the green card lottery i've been in it the last two years with no luck thus far.
i'm faced with the same problem as everyone else want to work in the states but they aren'y keen if you haven't got a permit
Pippy is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2008, 04:24
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Age: 38
Posts: 47
It's almost as if like illegal people are better off than legal people here. Employers aren't ready to spnsor you for workpermit cause immigration systems are too complicated and too long. So sometimes even when they wanna help you they figure it will be like 6 months before they can have you start whats the point. For illegals it doesn't matter cause you can work and not have to sit down and pay bills with creditcard while you wait for immigration to drag your paper. Man I love US, but the way immigration stuff work here is just driving me nutts. If my home country wasn't such a hell I'd just go home cause I know plenty of peopl who spend a lot money for nothing with immigation. Not to mention for a pilot carrer here it even more dangerous. Airlines in US have histry of always farloughing pilots. What happens when you finally get a greencard and than suddenly you don't have a job but you still have a big check to pay for all the INS stuff. Don't know whats' best. Should I just leave my dream or keep trying till ... who knows.
Airplane Crazy is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2008, 08:53
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 3
you would think with the shortage of pilots they would be a little more helpful ..... but no!!!
Pippy is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2008, 12:54
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Asia
Posts: 144
Absolutely no way to get a work visa in the States if your a pilot. Pilot is not on the list of professions where companies can sponsor. Its a job protection thing. You have to be a US citizen, end of story. If its not on the list, the employer has to prove to the gov't that it tried to find someone with similar skills to yours and couldn't find any. Totally impossible in our field with so many pilots out there, not to mention..why is any company going to go to all that trouble for you when the guy in line behind you in the waiting room needs none of that. You HAVE to find another way to become a citizen. 1 is marry a local. Another is maybe to become a professional on the list, and then switch. I think a third is join the military down there as a marine and you will get a shot after serving for a certian time. Not sure if they do that anymore.
555orange is offline  

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