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Foreign pilots flying for US Carriers

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Foreign pilots flying for US Carriers

Old 26th Mar 2007, 12:41
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Singapore
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Foreign pilots flying for US Carriers

Just a question, I am intending to do my degree in aeronautical engineering while doing my CPL on the side. so lets say I graduate at the end of the 4 years with a ATPL and 250 hours and i apply to a minor carrier....Would they give preference to US residents over foreign nationals with the same qualifications?
Effee is offline  
Old 26th Mar 2007, 14:07
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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The problem is the "green card". I you have authorization to work in the US you will find a job. Suggest you get your instructor ratings while you are at it. Which engineering school do you plan on attending?
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Old 26th Mar 2007, 20:40
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What school are you going to?
weasil is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2007, 05:51
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Exclamation ATPL with 250 hours?

Where are you going to do that? You need 1500 hours.
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Old 30th Mar 2007, 08:59
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Mesa just lowered their minimums to 500TT and 100ME.
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Old 30th Mar 2007, 15:22
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Exclamation Absolutely to 'No'

What Rock On said was true! You need to have a 'green-card' inorder for you to work in U.S..

Let's face the reality. The US carriers are very-very-very unlikely to employ foreigners!

US companies will not sponsor or apply work VISA for any foreigners! Even if there is a lack of pilot, they will not get in any foreign pilots unless they are US PR!

There are many qualified pilots (e.g. flying instructors) in Asia who certainly like to work in US for low pay but the problem do not lies on them. The employers are not opening doors for these cheap labours (foreign flying instructors)!

name deleted from Delta Connection Academy and name deleted from Sierra Academy of Aeronautics, both replied that they are unable to sponsor work VISA for foreigners (note: these foreigners hold FAA ATP, CFI/CFII/MEI)! These flying academies already telling us that even if there's flying instructor shortage, they will have the ability to resolve their own issue. They do not rely on foreign instructor!

So, never ever bring up the issue of foreign pilots working for US carriers. It can never happen from now.

Last edited by weasil; 30th Mar 2007 at 19:31. Reason: remove names
thornycactus is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2007, 15:31
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To Effee,

I suppose you are extremely rich to do a 4 years Engineering Degree as well as a CPL! Let me estimate, it should cost you more than SGD250K!

1) Are you sure you can get an FAA ATP in 4 years while you are studying?

2) Do you have the time while studying?

3) Do you think you can work as a FI while studying? You will be sacked from the University and exptraited from US immediately once you are caught! Worst come to worst, your FAA licence might be revoked. Even if you are able to work as a FI, who dares to employ you holding a student VISA!
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Old 30th Mar 2007, 17:16
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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thornycactus: Take it easy pal. you wonīt get anywhere with that attitude.

Regarding the work visa, yes i agree with you, NOONE will "SPONSOR" you for such visa, much less for a green card. We all know that.

However you are looking at the wrong horizon. Almost all the big academies, are authorized to issue a J-1 VISA, which as you may know, is a student visa valid for up to 2 years AND it gives you the RIGHT to WORK in the FIELD of STUDY.

In other words. you get a J-1 Visa and yes you can legally work as a flight instructor, in the school you trained or in any other(after doing a little paperwork). And no academy will tell you they wonīt give you a J-1 VISA.

So whatīs the catch? well pretty easy. YES you need to study during that time, maybe more ratings, maybe the university. but you can work in the same field...(the downside of that visa is you canīt renew, and you need to stay 2 years in your homecountry before reapplying, unless you want a F-1 visa for 4 years)

Now, this is the only legal way to work in USA today, because unless you marry a citizen (and sometimes that doesnīt even work) it will be hard at best, impossible at worst to get a green card.

thatīs the way it is, and we all have to accept it.

here to help you..
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Old 30th Mar 2007, 18:21
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I'm holding a Swedish and Iranian passport with no greencard and I work in US as a flight instructor LEGALLY!!! How, I'm on a F1 visa status. F1 visa will allow you to work on campus and my universtiy has a flight programm and thats where I work, which is on campus. I will be graduating end of May so I'm legall to work untill then, only on campus. I'm hoping to have 900tt by then. After my graduation I'm allowed to apply for my OPT (Optional Practical Training), which means I have the right to work anywhere in US legally for one year. But it has to be related to my field (pilot). I'm hoping to see if I can get to regionals with my OPT. The regionals are hurting bad so how knows. If not, I can go to a part 135. But I really hoping to go to Middle East and fly, the pay is much better.

The US airlines will never ever sponsor anyone for H1B, NEVER EVER. Even in late 60's when they were facing a BIG BIG pilot shortage, they never issued one.

Also somone said (don't want to mention any name) that they never hire muslims in US!!! Please do some research before you say something. So, how come they hired me as a Flight Instructor!!!!! and what about Mesa, Pinnacle, American Eagle airlines that have flight crew that are muslim arabs and iranians.

Good luck to all
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Old 30th Mar 2007, 18:48
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"and what about Mesa, Pinnacle, American Eagle airlines that have flight crew that are muslim arabs and iranians."

You might add that in the US they are also free to practice their religion openly, unlike Christians, Jews, Buddists, etc, in many Muslim countries.
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Old 31st Mar 2007, 06:32
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
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I'm sure that you can practice christianity in sevaral countries in Middle East. I speak for Iran, because that is the only country I have been in Middle east. 2-3% of iranian population are Christians and we have churches in Iran and they practice their religion. I'm sure in United Arab Emirated, Bahrain, and Qatar they have churches and a lot of good Christians live and work there and practice their religion peacfully.

Hope this educate you about middle east.
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Old 3rd Apr 2007, 21:57
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Join Date: Jul 2002
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Foreign pilots flying for US carriers

Your biggest hurdle is getting the right to work (green card). Once that is done, you have just as much right as the next person to get a job you apply for, if qualified. Employers in the US cannot deny you a job because of citizenship, they know that.
Sponsorship for aviation jobs doesn't happen here. There are lots of pilots and company's don't want to bother with that.
I work for a very small airline and about 10% of the pilots here have green cards, and close to a third are naturalized like me. There are foreign pilots flying for jetblue, usair, united, american. I would guess all are applying for naturalization when eligible, but they had green cards and worked as airline pilots.
The US isn't like many other countries in which you have to be a national or just work under contract. That is illegal here.
Bus Junkie is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2007, 16:01
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I am a greencard holder and in the past was offered a job with a regional airline. However took a corporate job(better money)

I dont know about the Majors, but the regionals dont seem to care..
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Old 8th Apr 2007, 13:40
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Christians free to exercise their religion in Iran? YGBSM. Christians and other have been severely persecuted and most have fled the country. The Christian population is more like 4 tenths of a percent now compared to 1.5% before the "Islamic Revolution." I guess that's why I know so many Iranians that have fled to the US.
Christian services cannot be conducted in Farsi.
Christians must have special ID cards to attend church.
Meetings only on Sunday and no other day.
All new members of a Christian church must be reported to the Ministry of Information and Islamic Guidance.
Cannot sell a Bible in Iran.
Apostasy illegal with severe penalties . . . like death.
Severe penalties for Muslim converts to Christianity . . like death.
Churches are being systematically shut down.
Oh, yea. The theocracy in Iran is a real bastian of freedom and truth. Of course, you probably think that those Brit sailors that were taken hostage, were in Iranian waters too, at least in the second set of coordinates that the Iranians gave when they figured out their first lie was a mistake.
Roadtrip is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2007, 17:05
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
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This forum is not for religous and political discussiones.
Try this website


Last edited by Amin; 8th Apr 2007 at 19:01.
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Old 9th Apr 2007, 06:02
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Down south, USA.
Posts: 1,589

A Captain flying jets with a US regional airline rode on 'my' jumpseat about one year ago. He is from Egypt and he told me that his name is Mohammed. He was a nice guy. An airline can not reject you because of religion etc, and should not.

If a gentleman or lady has the personal characteristics desired by an airline, and also has a competitive background, they should be considered as much as anybody else. My company has about twelve foreign pilots who I have chatted with. A South African, two Swedes, two from the Caribbean islands, German, Dutch, English, French, etc.

On another note, be aware that some comprehensive aviation programs, even those which the ultimate goal 'allowing' you to fly a few months in a Beech-1900 might not operate where you will accumulate valuable instrument time, i.e. Florida.
That means that a new pilot might not yet have enough of an instrument approach 'foundation' to keep up with the required training/checking syllabi on a glass-c0ckpit jet which operates into DTW, MKE, LGA, IAH etc. This training heartbreak happened to a guy who went fom a B-1900 in Florida to a class for the CRJ. One of the Instructors told me the story, and the guy had spent a large sum of money for the ratings and his first FO job (Gulfstream Airlines B-1900 FO). The regional training, glass c0ckpit or not, is quite intense and this might be the most difficult challenge.

Good luck over there/over here.

PS: My FO on the last trip is from Helsinki, Finland. He began his ratings in Texas and then flew floatplanes in the nasty humid swamps of southern Louisiana.

Last edited by Ignition Override; 29th Jun 2008 at 08:13.
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Old 9th Apr 2007, 13:05
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I used to be an instructor on the CRJ and some of my best students were guys from Gulfstream. I'm not promoting the program, just presenting my own personal observations. We had a class come through training that was mostly made up of gulfstream guys and they all did exceptionally well in training. I found their instrument skills to be very good.

(And now back on topic)

There are many greencard holders working for US Airlines, there is no reason why an airline would give preference to a US Citizen over a permanent resident, I have worked at 3 airlines, all of whom hire foreign nationals. I'm not saying you won't run into prejudices and obstacles at some places but if you do just keep looking
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Old 2nd May 2007, 13:32
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 66
Canadian PR


I am a Canadian PR very soon I will get my Canadian Citizen. I have FAA ATP. I have 3000 hrs plus flying experience. I was a Captain in Dash-8 aircraft. I have 1000 P1 plus hrs in Dash-8 a/c. I also have P1 hours in Cessna Caravan. I did my simulator in Wichita, USA.
I would like to get aviation jobs in USA. What should be the best way for me to approach under these circumstances.

Thanks in advance.
reaz is offline  
Old 19th May 2007, 10:08
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: EU
Posts: 961
please, don't believe some arrogant students telling there are plenty of jobs in the USA, and some airlines will sponsor you for a work permit.

if it was the case, most EU pilots would go to the USA and there would be a big shortage of EU pilots in Europe.

usually this kind of stories come from unexperimented students(0-200h) who have no commercial license, and who have been brainwashed by their flight school.

Believe the "looks too good to be true".
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Old 19th May 2007, 12:44
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
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QUOTE WEASILThere are many greencard holders working for US Airlines, there is no reason why an airline would give preference to a US Citizen over a permanent resident, I have worked at 3 airlines, all of whom hire foreign nationals. I'm not saying you won't run into prejudices and obstacles at some places but if you do just keep looking

Weasil...well said mate!!! been here for years,never had any problems....have always been given the same treatment a the locals.....in fact better treatment than downunder.....the "ol boy" network here is not as "alive and well" as it is there and I can only say good things about the way in which Ive been treated......have had a greenie for over 25 yrs.......it has for sure been a lot harder since 9/11......but hey ,if youve got nothing to hide.... PB
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