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Moving From US To UK For ATC: Possible?  
User currently offlinePanAm330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2660 posts, RR: 9
Posted (6 years 1 month 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3948 times:

First and foremost, let me just say that I love the UK, and as far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to live there. This is all speculative, and I just want to know if it's even possible. Right now, I'm a born-and-bred American, and am currently halfway to getting my Bachelor's Degree in Air Traffic Control at ERAU. I want to see if becoming an ATC across the pond would be possible for me.
From what I've heard, the UK won't just grant citizenship to everyone, and that people wishing to move to the UK have to have skills that would "justify" it. After googling forever, I've failed to come up with answers to the following questions:

1) Would ATC be considered "special" enough to justify me gaining citizenship?
2) Can I even be considered for ATC in the UK, being an American? I know that in the US, the FAA requires controllers to be citizens.
3) Is there an age limit? I know the UK is insanely expensive when compared to the US, so I might want to stay here and 'gain a financial foothold' (read: wait for the USD to gain value so I can take more money with me  Wink) first, but not too long if I'll pass the age window by.
4) Any additional input? Am I completely crazy for even wanting this?  tongue 

Thanks to all who answer any questions/offer advice to feed my curiosity!  Smile

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 5909 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3926 times:

Have you tried emailing the NATS and asking them about the possible options you have? I would imagine that they would know these sort of thins  Smile

http://www.nats.co.uk/form/12/contact_us.html


User currently offlineSean377 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1225 posts, RR: 42
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3906 times:

Try asking on PPRuNe? Someone there'll have some advice for you.

PPRuNe

ATC forum = http://www.pprune.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=18

Best of luck.



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man... Landing is the first!
User currently offlinePanAm330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2660 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3875 times:



Quoting CPH-R" class=quote target=_blank>CPH-R (Reply 1):
emailing the NATS

Not a half bad idea! Thanks CPH!

Quoting Sean377 (Reply 2):
PPRuNe

Thanks! I posted over there as well. Here's to hoping!  Smile


User currently offlineAjd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3850 times:



Quoting PanAm330 (Thread starter):
From what I've heard, the UK won't just grant citizenship to everyone, and that people wishing to move to the UK have to have skills that would "justify" it.

Correct, same if you're trying to emigrate to the US - you need a skill that the country needs. It's quite hard to gain UK citizenship too, especially the "exam" they give you (The test about British history and all that, i don't know the name of it but from some of the questions they put on it, it's damn hard. I didn't know any of them when somebody asked me a few of them, and I've always lived here)

Try calling up NATS and posting on Pprune to get some info, i can't help you anymore unfortunately.


User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 2779 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3831 times:

Mrs Shamu (she's an ATCO) advises that, as far as she is aware, US ATC qualifications are not recognised in the UK.

Therefore, you would be required to go through the same selection process as any ab initio and go through the whole training course. To be invited to the selection process, you must have prior authorisation to work in the UK. NATS does not sponsor overseas applicants.

If selected, the money whilst training is meagre, and should be factored into your considerations.

Shamu



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9483 posts, RR: 42
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3815 times:

Are you sure you need to worry about UK citizenship at this point? Wouldn't a work permit do for now? Granted there are stiil hurdles to overcome but it's surely easier than getting citizenship?

You'd have to learn ICAO phraseology, though!  duck 


User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 2779 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3797 times:



Quoting David L (Reply 6):
You'd have to learn ICAO phraseology, though!

No "cleared to land number 12" 50 miles out !!!  stirthepot 

Shamu



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlinePanAm330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2660 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3780 times:



Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 5):
Mrs Shamu (she's an ATCO) advises that, as far as she is aware, US ATC qualifications are not recognised in the UK.

Bah! Money down the drain!  thumbsdown  Do I need any higher education to be considered? I saw something about 6 courses with C grade or higher (no problem there).

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 5):
To be invited to the selection process, you must have prior authorisation to work in the UK.

Without 'sponsorship' from NATS, do you have any advice on how I could go about this?


User currently offlineP3Orion From United States of America, joined May 2006, 544 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3776 times:



Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 8):
Bah! Money down the drain!

That would go for the FAA as well.



"Did he say strap in or strap on?"
User currently offlineATCT From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2221 posts, RR: 39
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3726 times:



Quoting David L (Reply 6):
You'd have to learn ICAO phraseology, though!

Line up and Wait...


Anywho id say stick with the going to the FAA man. As long as you get a halfway decent facility above say like a level 9, you'll make good money that 99% of the time is worth the BS you put up with at work. Its still a fun job...you just gotta put up with some BS from people who havent worked an airplane in 15+ years that still think they could work the busiest sessions. Anywho, I like my job!

ATCT



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
User currently offlineNbgskygod From United States of America, joined May 2004, 726 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3691 times:

There are other options to get to the UK though. The Air Force has several bases over there that have civilian DoD controllers attached to them, however I think they all require a prior CTO and at least a year of controlling. In my opion your best bet is to continue your ATC career here in the US until you get a couple of years of expierence under your belt, then try to go overseas.


"I use multi-billion dollar military satellite systems to find tupperware in the woods."
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21081 posts, RR: 56
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3690 times:



Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 7):
No "cleared to land number 12" 50 miles out !!!

What's wrong with that?  biggrin 

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineNbgskygod From United States of America, joined May 2004, 726 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3686 times:



Quoting Mir (Reply 12):
What's wrong with that?

Apprently the ICAO rulemakers don't like the idea of anticipated separation. I'm a bit surprised our FAA rulemakers haven't tried to that one away from us too along with TIPH, but thats for another thread.



"I use multi-billion dollar military satellite systems to find tupperware in the woods."
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3659 times:



Quoting PanAm330 (Thread starter):
I know the UK is insanely expensive when compared to the US,

That very much depends on where in the US and the UK. Having lived in both countries, I would say the difference doesn't have to be that huge.

Quoting Ajd1992 (Reply 4):
Correct, same if you're trying to emigrate to the US - you need a skill that the country needs.

There are several other ways. For example my wife and I got our Green Cards in the lottery. You can also be sponsored by a company (which is the skill based thing in another guise).

Quoting David L (Reply 6):
Are you sure you need to worry about UK citizenship at this point? Wouldn't a work permit do for now? Granted there are stiil hurdles to overcome but it's surely easier than getting citizenship?

Agreed. A work permit should be quite sufficient.

Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 8):
Bah! Money down the drain!

I'm not in the industry but I hardly think so. Those skills are useful anywhere in the world. You may have to relearn local particulars, but the basic mindset and way of thinking should be more or less the same. Also you can be useful when it comes to liaising with US controllers, should such an opportunity arise.



BTW are you single. Not suggesting you marry without love, but if you love the UK so much, maybe you should do some dating in the UK and see what happens.  Wink



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1639 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3616 times:

I understand your goal.

The roots of modern ATC are to be found in the system devised by Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain in 1940. I think about that every time that I am told to "squawk" a transponder code.

Piece of cake.


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9483 posts, RR: 42
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3607 times:



Quoting ATCT (Reply 10):
Line up and Wait...

That's one I was thinking of. Two digits for all runways was another. I was being facetious, of course.  Smile

Quoting Mir (Reply 12):
Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 7):
No "cleared to land number 12" 50 miles out !!!

What's wrong with that?

I'm pretty sure there are some places outwith the USA where that happens... well, maybe not "Number 12".  Smile


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5341 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3598 times:



Quoting David L (Reply 6):
Are you sure you need to worry about UK citizenship at this point? Wouldn't a work permit do for now? Granted there are stiil hurdles to overcome but it's surely easier than getting citizenship?

Well, the question here is: Do you need to be a UK citizen to be in UK ATC? If you do, then you'd better be sure you're be able to get citizenship before you move, and spend those bucks on UK ATC training.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
There are several other ways. For example my wife and I got our Green Cards in the lottery. You can also be sponsored by a company (which is the skill based thing in another guise).

Well, AFAIK, you'd need to be sponsored by a company/organization anyway. He wouldn't qualify for the highly skilled migrant visa (unless he's Einstein).

I never did understand the lottery thing (nothing personal of course). Some of us had to go through 6 years of application processing, and thousands of dollars, and those citizens of a neighboring country got theirs in the mail  Wink

Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9483 posts, RR: 42
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3564 times:



Quoting Bond007 (Reply 17):
Well, the question here is: Do you need to be a UK citizen to be in UK ATC?

Isn't that pretty much what I asked?  Smile


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3528 times:



Quoting Bond007 (Reply 17):
I never did understand the lottery thing (nothing personal of course). Some of us had to go through 6 years of application processing, and thousands of dollars, and those citizens of a neighboring country got theirs in the mail

It's a political thing. Hence the name "Diversity Visa". Citizens of countries with lots of immigrants to the US may not apply.

I don't get it either and I agree it makes little sense. But we gladly took it when we could.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinePanAm330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2660 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3511 times:



Quoting Nbgskygod (Reply 11):
In my opion your best bet is to continue your ATC career here in the US until you get a couple of years of expierence under your belt, then try to go overseas.

That sounds like a pretty good idea. I'll definitely keep it in mind.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
I would say the difference doesn't have to be that huge.

This is true, if you live in NYC or most larger, coastal cities in the US - but only because these cities are quite a bit more expensive to live in when compared to most of the US. I do see your point though.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
BTW are you single. Not suggesting you marry without love, but if you love the UK so much, maybe you should do some dating in the UK and see what happens.

I don't mean to sound like B747neverstopsposting here, but LOL. I would think that's a quick and easy way to do it. Do you know anyone who'd do it without a bribe?  Wink


User currently offlineAskr From Poland, joined Mar 2008, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3484 times:



Quoting PanAm330 (Thread starter):
am currently halfway to getting my Bachelor's Degree in Air Traffic Control at ERAU. I

No idea about the UK, but in Poland, all you need is the 'matura' - high school graduation, perfect english and preferably another foregin language.

No idea if foreginers may apply, but they will interview something like 99% aplicants and wash out mayby 99% out of them at the first interview.

Than there is training - you get a job as an intern with an aprpriate pay grade...



ATC-PL Wanabe :) - 2nd application is in... 11 July...
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