Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > Fragrant Harbour
Reload this Page >

Work Visa renewals

Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

Work Visa renewals

Old 23rd Apr 2021, 17:53
  #161 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: The Forbidden City
Posts: 142
Some more by Diddly Danny in the South Commie Morning Post:

Hong Kong Airlines pilots face uncertain future over work-permit renewals, while hundreds of expats employed by Cathay Pacific are stuck in limbo

Hong Kong Airlines (HKA) pilots face losing their jobs over problematic work-visa renewals, the Post has learned, while hundreds of those serving Cathay Pacific who have expired or short-term work permits are stuck in limbo.

HKA pilots were given the choice to gamble on a visa renewal with no certainty of immigration approval, or resign from the company with a guaranteed payout, according to an internal document seen by the Post.

At least 20 employees are waiting on application extensions, an HKA spokeswoman said, adding the figure might increase as it handled more cases. The number does not include scores of pilots who opted to resign by a deadline on Wednesday.

The spokeswoman said a valid work visa was a prerequisite for employment, and added the airline was doing its best to “support affected employees and have made arrangements related to their remuneration, insurance and benefits”.

As many as 500 Cathay employees are also facing visa problems, a source familiar with the situation said. Some on expired visas were still getting paid, and the company had not yet taken action to terminate their employment.

The source said the government was so concerned about the high level of unemployment among local aviation workers that it had carried out an investigation and produced a report for Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to take action on.

The months-long crisis in the cockpit among those with high-end skills has snowballed across various workforces and companies, including cabin crew and other aviation workers dependent on visas, who are normally granted the right to work in Hong Kong for up to three years.

In a normal year before Covid-19, the Hong Kong Immigration Department would receive around 45,000 work visa applications, which dropped to 17,688 last year. In the first three months of this year, it got almost 3,800. The number of applications refused remains in single figures, but the department does not provide a breakdown across different sectors.

Problems facing expat aviation workers have reached a critical stage. A number of HKA pilots were told in April that the Immigration Department would issue a final round of visa renewals for three months, although those were not guaranteed.

Visa troubles surfaced after the closure of Cathay Dragon with virtually all staff, most of them local Hongkongers, made redundant in October 2020.

Late last year, Hong Kong’s deputy leader, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, led a government inquiry into the impact of unemployment on the local aviation industry. The city’s unemployment rate remains close to a pandemic-high of 6.8 per cent in March.

The effect among Cathay’s workforce has been felt by pilots, cabin crew and ground staff, amounting to some 500 non-permanent residents. Many have expired visas, meaning their spouses are unable to work and children cannot go to school.

The Immigration Department said expats would be admitted to Hong Kong if there was a job vacancy and, among other things, the role could not be performed by a local.

“Extension of stay … will be considered if the applicant continues to meet the relevant eligibility criteria,” a spokeswoman said.

An affected HKA pilot, who declined to be named, pointed out that “forcing pilots” out of their jobs in an effort to support local employment would not result in the immediate rehiring of Hongkongers, given the catastrophic financial consequences of Covid-19.

But a Dragon pilot who was made redundant said: “Pilots are historically an area where the local workforce is lacking … and it is extremely unfortunate Cathay retrenched over 400 local pilots whilst retaining employment of even more foreign pilots on work visas. This has been endorsed by immigration against its own policies by not declining work visa renewals.”

Cathay Pacific did not answer questions on how many employees were affected by visa issues, how it would handle visa rejections, special circumstances, or state if it was aware of one-off renewals.

A spokeswoman said the airline was answering any questions the Immigration Department might have “in relation to any visa renewals”.

On Thursday, Cathay announced it would close overseas pilot bases in Canada and proposed the same for Australia and New Zealand, raising the likelihood of more job losses at the airline.

But in a briefing with Australia-based pilots, the airline said it would only relocate permanent residents or those with the right to live and work in the city.

Employment law expert Yonah Leung, senior associate in Eversheds Sutherland’s human resources practice, said visa applications were taking longer, and there was greater onus on firms to show no local candidate could do the job.

“Before Covid-19 it is likely that these visa applications would have been approved,” he said.
Curry Lamb is offline  
Old 23rd Apr 2021, 18:39
  #162 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: HK
Posts: 80
more good news

Great news from the latest FOP Weekly Update!!........A new HK CAD approved AME in YVR....that's gonna be really useful for all the Canadian based guys.
cabbages is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2021, 09:50
  #163 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 103
AforesaidSCMP article said.
"An affected HKA pilot, who declined to be named, pointed out that “forcing pilots” out of their jobs in an effort to support local employment would not result in the immediate rehiring of Hongkongers, given the catastrophic financial consequences of Covid-19".
Sounds like he is receiving salary without any job to do. No wonder he declined to be named.
Furthermore he appears to wants to keep his present sinecure for now and so continue to be hired, instead of local Hong Kong people, in the event that things will slowly improve.
"Immediate" is the key word in his comment.

Last edited by Bueno Hombre; 24th Apr 2021 at 10:04.
Bueno Hombre is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2021, 10:13
  #164 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: HK
Posts: 80
Your point of view, Bueno Hombre, is certainly gaining traction if you consider the comments from the SCMP articles. Lots of seething hatred directed at the 'Caucasian foreign pilots...' to be found in there.
cabbages is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2021, 11:17
  #165 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 416
The comments from the KA pilot's wife is quite revealing eh.

CodyBlade is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2021, 16:06
  #166 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: World
Posts: 29
Perhaps if these "Caucasian foreign pilots" stopped trying to illegally overstay their welcome and feel entitled to a temporary worker position at the expense of a country's own citizens, there wouldn't be such "seething hatred"... just a thought
veritas777 is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2021, 16:48
  #167 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 120
What about those Caucasian foreign pilots who have PR, probably married to another PR perhaps even a Hong Kong Chinese citizen? From the tone of your post and others it sounds as if they are just as unwelcome. Don't hold back and mince your words let the truth come out and tell us foreigners how it is!

Finally the leopards are showing their spots... PS not all us foreigners are Caucasian !

Last edited by LLLQNH; 24th Apr 2021 at 20:42.
LLLQNH is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2021, 17:00
  #168 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: HK
Posts: 31

very well said
doublelift is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2021, 17:10
  #169 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: World
Posts: 29

cabbage's words, not mine...

If they are PR, then they wouldn't be the ones having the visa issue making this argument moot... so clearly the article is not about them.
veritas777 is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2021, 20:40
  #170 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: HK
Posts: 80
Actually those were not my words, hence the quotation marks. It was just one, of the many examples from the SCMP, I could have used to make my original point.
cabbages is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2021, 23:35
  #171 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: YVR
Posts: 10

I don't know what it takes to realize that pilots being given a visa extension is not at the expense of citizens such as you.

1. You worked for a different company

2. If as you are wishing, these pilots without PR are fired, then you will not get your job back as there is no need for more people. Look around and see your fellow brave citizens are not getting the scary vaccine and are in no rush to return to normal life but would rather live with masks, social distancing and hiding under their beds. Therefore travel is not coming back any time soon.

3. If Cathay is forced into firing those without a PR do you think they are going to go on a hiring spree and spend the millions to train you up to then not even fly? Yes I know 777 guys are being paid to not fly right now but they are current pilots thus no training costs etc are required.

4. Don't forget you've already been paid out a redundancy, think the tight pursed company will just throw that much money at 500 pilots to then essentially call them back in 6 months time for a new gig? Much cheaper to just keep the guys you already have and then when in the future (2040 when quarantine is dropped?) further hires are needed then hire the local talent and no expats until those unemployed dragon guys are all given a shot at an interview.
ascalehero is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2021, 23:55
  #172 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: The Forbidden City
Posts: 142
You’re missing the crux of the thread, so let me give it in a nutshell:

No PR = No guarantee of further employment.

Curry Lamb is offline  
Old 25th Apr 2021, 00:16
  #173 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: HK
Age: 50
Posts: 116

I agree with your point 1, however KA pilots were not made redundant by KA but because of a decision made by "senior management" of Swire/CX that impacted both airlines:Sack the boys and send the aircraft across.
It means that by not transferring KA employees they created hundreds of jobs at CX at our expense: You have more aircraft than before Covid.

I raised your point 3 with immigration to commemorate KA 6 months redundancy anniversary.
I asked why CX was still supporting Visa renewals and planning to train 321 pilots when there are more than 200 PR pilots qualified on the aircraft who had been flying the routes that CX intends to fly and would be cheaper to retrain and safer operators than CX pilots who never flew the aircraft /network.

Feel free to write to immigration as well and make the points you listed here.
bacou is offline  
Old 25th Apr 2021, 01:31
  #174 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Rabbit Hutch
Posts: 146
It is pretty obvious that any recovery is going to be a long time coming. CX has far more pilots than it needs for the foreseeable future and indeed such a large surplus that many more must be culled to ensure the survival of the airline.
The bases are being cut but that won’t be enough. Forget KA pilots, the loudest voices lobbying ImmD to refuse work visas will be those pilots with PR clamouring to come back to HK from a base. Once HK layoffs start then Locals and HKPR will be insisting that those on visas go first.
Dragon Pacific is online now  
Old 25th Apr 2021, 11:18
  #175 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: HKG
Posts: 1,389
Well I hope those wishing to stop work visas for current CX pilots won't be wanting to move to UK when they realise how they will be treated by China. Resentment can go both ways!!
BusyB is offline  
Old 25th Apr 2021, 11:55
  #176 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bottom of the Harbour
Posts: 278
I think you will soon realize that those who are petitioning for work visas being revoked are HK residents. These people have decided that HK is their home. You also realize that most of the swire management hold UK passports.

Are you trying to drum up some western resentment.

Last edited by KABOY; 25th Apr 2021 at 12:07.
KABOY is offline  
Old 25th Apr 2021, 12:05
  #177 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Wan Chai
Posts: 181
BusyB forgets that discrimination laws exist in the UK... If a BNO holder was to go to the UK and apply for a job they would have as fair a chance of getting the position as anyone else who is applying. So yes they are just trying to create a divide here.
Rie is offline  
Old 25th Apr 2021, 12:32
  #178 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: HK
Posts: 31
This is because BNO holder has the right to work and live in UK without a visa. That’s a different story, it is total nonsense to compare passport holder with a visa holder.
And apart from HK, can you tell me in what part of the world a visa holder could have ldisplaced the position of the citizens?
doublelift is offline  
Old 25th Apr 2021, 13:27
  #179 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Victoria
Posts: 442
Think you do need a visa to work in the UK as a BNO. You'll get your citizenship after 5 years under the new deal.

And to answer your final question. Yes there are EU nationals that still have jobs whilst "citizens" are unemployed at BA, Easyjet etc.

Last edited by SW1; 25th Apr 2021 at 13:38.
SW1 is offline  
Old 25th Apr 2021, 14:59
  #180 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 120
hey doublelift not that it matters in this argument but your not right, a BNO passport holder has to get a visa and it has to get renewed during their 5 year physical presence in the U.K. before they obtain residency and ultimately citizenship you can't just rock up with a BNO passport. But as we said it's irrelevant to the topic at hand.
LLLQNH is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.