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Canadian pilot desperate to leave

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Canadian pilot desperate to leave

Old 15th Feb 2022, 16:12
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Canadian pilot desperate to leave

Hello everyone,

Long time lurker of the forum, but have never posted to it. As the title says, I am eager to leave Canada for greener pastures. My preference would be the United States, but I would consider Asia/Southeast Asia or the Middle East.

A little about myself. I have approximately 10,000 hours and have flown both Boeing and Airbus equipment, unfortunately only as SIC. I did upgrade on the Airbus pre-COVID, but only got about 100 hours in before the shutdown. Iíve flown everything in between. Floats, skis, tailwheel, survey, firefighting, high altitude, mountains, etc. Iíve lived on 4 of 7 continents and travelled extensively to them all so Iím no stranger to the world in which we live.

As previously mentioned, I would prefer the U.S. for a variety of reasons. I am willing to move anywhere. I am willing to work for anyone, including smaller operators if it would guarantee permanent residency after a couple years. Preferably, I could obtain a sponsorship by an airline but I am not the least bit picky about which one I work forÖ again, assuming it could lead to permanent residency. I have been in touch with law firms about the EB-2 NIW (Pilot) visa and they seem to think I would have a successful outcome. Yes, I understand they are selling a service, so are not in the business of discouraging potential clients. I do not yet have an FAA ATP, but will be getting it in the next couple months. I can use the law firm to apply for the visa for 10K or do it myself for 700 bucks. However, I figured no point until I get the ATP.

I am willing to work elsewhere but if that were the case, I would prefer rotation. I have a wife and two young children. I have 25 years left to work if I want to, so Iím not at the end of my career.

I know U.S. pilots donít want the doors open for a bunch of foreigners. I know it will not be an easy thing to do. But is it possible? Has anyone here done it? Can anyone provide me with some information, pointers or insight on where to start or who may be willing to sponsor someone like myself? I am current on an Airbus right now and am currently employed, but am eager and even desperate to do something else.

PMís are welcome.

Thank you.
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Old 15th Feb 2022, 18:09
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If there's a good opportunity in the USA it will be a good option for a long-term career.
Other option will be for building hours and quick cash
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Old 15th Feb 2022, 20:31
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Careful what you wish for brother...it's ugly and getting worse in many places. The USA is heavily unionised and you'd likely end up joining at the BOTL at a feeder. The corporate world in the US pays well on occasion, but not really until you know someone at an established operation.
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Old 16th Feb 2022, 16:43
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It appears I can only receive one PM and my inbox is full. Probationary period or something. I can't even send a message back.

For the record, Canada's airline sector is hanging by a thread. There is no stability whatsoever. Our taxes are insane and we get nothing for them. This country is not what it once was. And there are no signs of it getting better, only worse. I'm young enough to leave and start over. I would like to if I can.
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Old 1st Mar 2022, 02:58
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You guys think the us will ever open for canadian pilots?
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Old 1st Mar 2022, 13:49
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Maybe pilots will be added to NAFTA for the TN visa. The US airline I work for is super short staffed as are many others. I donít see the growth plans that many airlines have planned materializing if the shortage canít be addressed.
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Old 1st Mar 2022, 13:51
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Any predictions on how long this is going to take?
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Old 1st Mar 2022, 15:47
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Originally Posted by badabing1234 View Post
You guys think the us will ever open for canadian pilots?
I received your PM via email. I am still on probation here at PPRuNe, so can not receive PMís. Well, I can not receive more than one at a time. I do have some information that I think may help you and will try to figure out the PM thing later today. Otherwise, I think I can just respond by email.
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Old 1st Mar 2022, 15:50
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Originally Posted by fuelsurvey View Post
Maybe pilots will be added to NAFTA for the TN visa. The US airline I work for is super short staffed as are many others. I donít see the growth plans that many airlines have planned materializing if the shortage canít be addressed.
One can only hope. I think it is likely our own government is blocking access to work in the U.S. as well. Meaning, they are working with U.S. officials and immigration to stagnate experienced pilots moving south of the border. If the floodgates ever opened, the Canadian airline industry would be hit very hard. Many of the small carriers would cease to exist and the larger ones would have great difficulty keeping experienced members on the pilot list.
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 23:19
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For everyone who is looking to apply on NIW Eb-2. Don't waste thousands of $$ on lawyers. We applied on our own on Oct 08 2021, and on Feb 23 2022 out I-140 was successfully approved. I know it's not a final stage, but it means that this stream for pilots is working. My partner who is a petitioner has 10,000 hrs, Bachelor's Degree and French military ATC license, and employed with Canadian airline as a SIC. P.S. no need to do any conversion.
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Old 2nd Apr 2022, 21:44
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E2 Visa

Canadian citizen and Air Canada pilot here.

Does anyone know whether any kind of ďright to workĒ is accepted by US airlines?

My wife is starting a business in US and expects to obtain an E2 Investor Visa, which is given for 2-5 years. It has multiple extensions as long as the business is running.

As her spouse, I am given open work authorization for the same amount of time (2-5 years), which is also extendable indefinitely. Based on this, Iím considering applying for the US majors.

My concern is whether any of the US major airlines (Delta, United) accept a 2-5 year work visa. Just wondering if any of you have obtained work using something other than a green card or citizenship, or do the airlines have something against this?

PS: Iím aware of the EB2 NIW but not really looking at that as an option for now.

Last edited by axiom87; 4th Apr 2022 at 16:18.
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 11:45
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Depends on your experience but yes I would think so. Give it a shot. Otherwise Atlas will take you
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 18:12
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Originally Posted by axiom87 View Post
Canadian citizen and Air Canada pilot here.


My concern is whether any of the US major airlines accept a 2-5 year work visa. Just wondering...do the airlines have something against this?
Depends on what you consider a "major" US airline. From my casual observations, Spirit, Frontier and Atlas apparently take people on time-limited visas.

UA, DL, AA, SW, UPS, Fedex ? If they do, I haven't heard of it happening.

As someone said, apply to every one of them (if you can stand the tedium of such a project) and see what happens. Good luck.
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 18:57
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When filling out applications I have encountered some that have the follow up question after the standard ďright to work ď asking if you were on a time limited visa.
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Old 4th Apr 2022, 16:17
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Thanks for the replies folks.

5500TT with experience on 220, 320 and 787 (in training currently) at Air Canada.

Ideally would like to go to a legacy (Delta or United), but no replies from recruiting yet on the time limited visa question.

Hopefully they see my intentions are long term, whether through this extendable E2 visa or other means as time goes on (perhaps work sponsorships will start coming to these carriers as the assumed shortage gets worse).
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Old 4th Apr 2022, 22:48
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Originally Posted by axiom87 View Post
Ideally would like to go to a legacy (Delta or United)...

...(perhaps work sponsorships will start coming to these carriers as the assumed shortage gets worse).
axiom87,

I certainly understand your interest and aspirations. But I'd be very surprised to see the likes of DL, UA, AA, SW, UPS, Fedex resort to time-limited visas. There are still plenty of pilots in this country who can fill Part 121 seats. The snooty Big Six may have to dismount the high horse and take people with somewhat less than astronaut qualifications ( and indications are that is already happening) but seats will be filled and airplanes flown. I just don't see the Big Six experiencing any "shortage" of a magnitude that requires resorting to time-limited visas for expats.

The tier below the Big Six may be a somewhat different story ( and the regionals are a very different story). And some of those may be a decent place to go long term.

Continue applying to every place here you can think of.

Are you still sure you want to cut bait from your nation's flag carrier ? That's a bold move.
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Old 5th Apr 2022, 00:35
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Originally Posted by bafanguy View Post
axiom87,The tier below the Big Six may be a somewhat different story ( and the regionals are a very different story). And some of those may be a decent place to go long term.

Are you still sure you want to cut bait from your nation's flag carrier ? That's a bold move.


Thanks for your input bafanguy.

I agree, the big Six arenít quite desperate yet and perhaps wonít be a long time, if ever. Out of my control I suppose. Iíll try to work with what I have and hope for the best.

While it sounds good to work for my national carrier (and it is), there is a lot left to be desired. Donít get me wrong, if I have to live out the rest of my career at AC, thatíll be OK. However, if any of the Big Six start hiring from Canada, I wonít be surprised if 25% of our pilots leave.

Air Canada being the only legacy carrier and airline of its size in the country has resulted in it having a competitive advantage over its employees.

We are the lowest paid legacy pilots in the world. As a Year 5 787 FO, Iíll take home a base salary of $USD 110-120K.

Year 1-4 are even more absurd (approximate values below). These are the same regardless of machine you fly. The only raise is if you upgrade.

Year 1: $USD 50K

Year 2: $USD 55K

Year 3: $USD 60K

Year 4: $USD 65K

Our 10 year contract is laughable compared to the Big Six and many of the lower tiers/regionals. Our only hope is that contract negotiations next year bring us somewhat back to parity, but itís doubtful because of how arbitration and government involvement is.

altiplano has summarized it well here, of how we were decimated in arbitration in 2011: (search for air canada pay scales on Airline Pilot Forums - Foreign)

Adding to the low salaries, we are some of the highest taxed citizens in the world. Any pay over $USD90K is taxed at 40%. Hit $USD160K? Taxed at 54% now.

With what is left, sales tax in Toronto, Ontario is 13%.

Home prices and rents have skyrocketed all over, most doubling over the last few years.

Gas and groceries have risen, although not at the same rate.

With the way our government has spent during the pandemic, we are in for a bad economic ride. I understand the entire world has spent as well, but we donít have the economic strength to support the exuberance of spending. (This same government implemented harsh pandemic travel policies, without any consideration or assistance for the aviation industry)

Did I mention we have freezing temperatures 4-6 months of the year, if weíre lucky? Longer usually.

Bottom line: Taking in all the factors above, with 25-30 years left in my career, I can easily double or triple my income and work in better conditions by moving somewhere else. Even if not the majors.

I wonít leave until I have a CJO, but I wonít hesitate if and when the opportunity arises.

Last edited by axiom87; 5th Apr 2022 at 06:57.
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Old 5th Apr 2022, 09:18
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axiom87,

Now that I think about it, you might ask your visa question on Delta's pilot recruiting Facebook page. I've heard people say they can sometimes get answers there.

I'm not on Facebook and don't know much about it. Maybe others in the Big Six also have such Facebook Pages ?
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Old 6th Apr 2022, 21:50
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Thanks. I will definitely look into those options!
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Old 7th Apr 2022, 12:55
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Why donít you guys just walk across the southern border like everyone else ?
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