ednyc
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Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:01 am

Dear All,

I have just been employed by UA as an FA, I have a hurdle that I cannot pass. Since I am not yet a US citizen, I still hold my Lebanese passport. I was handed a paper which had about 30 countries to contact and see if I require a visa to enter them. I have called some embassies and asked, some were nice to reply and told me that ur ID will suffice yet others didnt bother to reply at all. I don't know what to do, I even contacted a 3rd party company which arranges visas and asked, they want to bill me a 100$ to do this. (I dont mind paying as long as I have an answer) I also met a friend of a friend who holds another Arab nationality who told me that he doesnt use his passport usually unless its Russia or China.
Anyone can help me with this problem?? who to contact? do i, as crew need visas?
 
goldorak
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:05 am

First, congratulations for your job  Smile
Reading your post, I am extremely surprised that UA does not have a department in charge of this kind of issues ???? If you need a visa, will you have to take care yourself of all those demands ?

[Edited 2012-06-24 23:06:56]
 
ednyc
Posts: 3
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:16 am

well.. thanks.. am so happy I got the job and u know, I want to finish nd submit all the requirements ASAP..

NO idea if they do or don't.. They gave me the list and said I should contact the embassies and see :/ Yes I will have to take care of myself.. :/ no clue what to do :/
 
blueflyer
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:21 am

If you are really going to be doing this on your own, my first recommendation is that you get yourself a second passport. Some countries can take weeks to process a visa application, and if you multiply that by the number of visas, you may not see your passport for a couple of months or more.

With a second passport, you can at least fly to countries where all you need is a valid passport and your inclusion on the General Declaration (GenDec) while your first passport does the round of consulates. I don't have an exhaustive list, but I know the EU Schengen area, Canada and the UK are among the places where a visa isn't necessary.

Beyond that, go ahead and spend the $100.00 for professional assistance. If you are not sure the supplier you found is legit, there are forums dedicated to air crew where you can inquire. Some countries will be forgiving if you do not have everything in order on your arrival, others will not.

[Edited 2012-06-25 01:25:19]
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no clothes.
 
mandala499
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:27 am

What UA means probably, go and check which countries require visas for you to enter as "crew on duty".
Basically what they want is for you to come up with a list of countries you can't go to as "crew on duty" so that they don't schedule you there unless you have the visas.
In a lot of cases, no, these countries don't need crew visas.

Quoting EdNyc (Thread starter):
I have called some embassies and asked, some were nice to reply and told me that ur ID will suffice yet others didnt bother to reply at all.

U'd still need your passport... So, your name and passport details will come up on the flight's General Declaration... if the immigration wants to check, they'd just go and ask to see your passport to make sure you are the person on the GenDec.

Becareful when you gotta deadhead though...

Mandala499
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
johns624
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:55 pm

I doubt that you'd be flying international as a new hire, anyways.
 
eastern023
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:13 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 3):
If you are really going to be doing this on your own, my first recommendation is that you get yourself a second passport.

The majority of countries (I am a dual U.S. Citizen as well) do not allow to have two valid passports. You have to surrender the old one to get the new one or report it lost (which invalidates the current) I think it may be worth speeding up U.S. Citizenship as much as you can (hire a lawyer if you don't have one..) Or...this may be worth a trip to DC and spend a day or two going down the list of consulates. The good part is that they're all located within blocks of the other on Embassy Row...
AA will Rise Again!
 
coachclass
Posts: 354
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:13 pm

Quoting johns624 (Reply 5):
I doubt that you'd be flying international as a new hire, anyways.

Unless he/she was hired specifically for flights to the middle east with a destination language f/a. It would be a waste to use a presumably fluent Arabic speaker to flying to Kansas City than to DXB. But it's odd that UA would hire someone with passport/visa issues to fly internationally without first determining if there were issues. I find it hard to believe that a Lebanese passport would be a problem in the middle east. Maybe you're worrying about something that is not really a problem. Good luck in your new position.
 
blueflyer
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:44 pm

Quoting eastern023 (Reply 6):
The majority of countries (I am a dual U.S. Citizen as well) do not allow to have two valid passports.

But they don't exchange lists of invalid passports. Declare passport A lost and keep using it, no one will notice as long as you're disciplined enough not to use it "at home" and wise enough to stay out of trouble and not give someone "on the road" a reason to check your passport thoroughly.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no clothes.
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:49 pm

There's an ID card that allowed my sister and I to work at University of Utrecht. We were actually trading places with two Dutch academics who came to the US, so no jobs were taken (We were stopped on the street and asked who employed us). It worked out very well, though, since we were both fast-tracked through customs at Schiphol.
 
ORDJOE
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:08 pm

Quoting johns624 (Reply 5):
I doubt that you'd be flying international as a new hire, anyways.

Arabic is considered one of the hardest languages to learn, there are not many in the US that know how to speak it, so I could see them hiring the OP specifically for DXB, DOH, BAH, KWI as an arabic speaker (are they not required to have an arabic speaking FA on these routes).
To the OP, talk to human resources, your supervisor, there has to someone at UA that knows the rules about this. UA can face significant fines if they transport someone to a country without a visa or other entry permit. I doubt UA would leave it up to an untrained employee to decide whether they can make a certain route or not.
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:13 pm

How did Pan Am work this out back in the days ? They always had a very international crew. I remember that the B747 that blew up over Lockerbie had two stewardesses from Norway among other nations ...
 
eastern023
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:19 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 8):
But they don't exchange lists of invalid passports. Declare passport A lost and keep using it, no one will notice as long as you're disciplined enough not to use it "at home" and wise enough to stay out of trouble and not give someone "on the road" a reason to check your passport thoroughly.

Is not that easy and yes they do exchange valid passport numbers (at least via Interpol) CBP in the US and other countries that belong to Interpol do keep a close track. Do you think this day in age countries are so liberal about this?
AA will Rise Again!
 
hrc773
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:35 pm

RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:55 pm

Quoting johns624 (Reply 5):

As a new hire Flight Attendant you are on reserve, which means that you are filling gaps ANYWHERE. More than likely it will be mostly domestic but I can guarantee you at least one international trip month or every other month. That's why I always bid reserve when I was with United, I knew that at least once a month I would get a nice international trip.

As far as passports and visas; I know for a fact that the airline is supposed to take care of that. I personally know one of the immigration attorneys that works for the firm that United hires to take care of all the visas and other immigration issues. Like someone said in a previous posting, airlines are subject to HUGE fines for transporting people without required documentation, especially crew. It's in their best interest for the airline to take care of that.
 
YULWinterSkies
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:14 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 8):
But they don't exchange lists of invalid passports. Declare passport A lost and keep using it, no one will notice as long as you're disciplined enough not to use it "at home" and wise enough to stay out of trouble and not give someone "on the road" a reason to check your passport thoroughly.

This would be the last thing I would recommend anyone to do. Think of applying for a visa with a passport that has been declared lost or stolen. Here goes your application, my friend.... if you do not even get into more trouble. Ever though of the consequences of a false declaration? mmmhhhh no, you don't want this!
It goes without saying that the passport is checked against a database, at least when going through thorough checks during visa applications. At a mere border crossing outside the USA, perhaps not, but one thing I know for sure is every time I enter the EU with my EU passport, apart from not asking me any questions at all and barely looking at my face, they do scan the passport. What for? None of my business, but enough for me to not attempt to travel with an invalid passport.

Quoting CoachClass (Reply 7):
I find it hard to believe that a Lebanese passport would be a problem in the middle east.

Well, it hurts to say it, but unrestricted travel without visas is not yet a reality outside of the Western countries and parts of Asia and S America. Especially the Middle East, as many countries are not politically stable and may come up with new rules for foreign travel as the weather goes, as old tyrants get shown the door, and new ones get elected...
When I doubt... go running!
 
BE77
Posts: 360
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:29 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 8):
But they don't exchange lists of invalid passports. Declare passport A lost and keep using it, no one will notice

!
Good luck with that!
You might get away with it for a while (apparently 98% of people arrested had gotten away with their very first offence) - but for example if you used a 'lost' passport anywhere the information was shared, you are certainly going to miss your next flight or two sorting it out, with a chance of earning the chance to explain it to a judge. The issuing country is going to be interested in hearing about the 'lost passport story as well.
The best outcome of getting caught at that is spending an hour in the immigration office...for every trip for the next ten years.
PS - as far as I know, the US and Canada share everything they can (legally - which is a lot) about passports and crime. I imagine that includes lost / stolen passports. It certainly includes 'wanted' information and license plates - which very succesfully worked when a murder suspect from Canada tried to enter the US a week or two ago and was arrested and handed back very efficiently by our CBP friends in Lynden.
Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
 
HBGDS
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:52 pm

A lot of countries have that information on their visa website, but it is true that it tends to be buried. Generally, they all have a section pertaining to travel crew. It is possible, but not likely that a visa for, say, France, will be enough for the whole Schengen zone, but it is more likely that you need clearance from each country.

Regarding using an extra passport: The only legal way to do so is if you hold dual citizenship. Otherwise, don't try the lost passport trick. Since 9/11, many countries have agreed to help the US by implementing their versions of Patriot, and this includes a cross-check on the visa level, especially if the passport is from a Middle Eastern nation (anyone holding a green card, no matter how "clean" is not a US citizen. This means you are on file with DHS; it does not give DHS power as such --it cannot tell a soverign nation what to do, but it gives it access to information; I've experienced this as a dual citizen). Especially if you hope to file with DHS for citizenship in the future, you want to be as "clean" as possible.

I'm sorry for your troubles; it is definitely unfair. Methinks the "list" you received is a cost-saving measure that some bloke at CO or UA thought would be a good way to do business. All work places tend to do that nowadays. My advice would be to ask an immigration lawyer familiar with possibilities of fast-tracking applicat0ns; these are, however, expensive.
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:23 am

A couple things....first...welcome to A.net...second....glad you are part of our family...MUCH bigger family. So many questions......send me an IM or email me through here and I can help you to the best that I can.....nice to meet you and hope to see you on line, soon!!!!

ECC
You can't cure stupid
 
blueflyer
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:28 am

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 14):
Think of applying for a visa with a passport that has been declared lost or stolen. Here goes your application, my friend.

I would agree, and thought it went without typing, that using the "lost" passport to apply for visas is very stupid...

Quoting BE77 (Reply 15):
Good luck with that!

Thanks, it's been working very well so far, and by so far, I don't mean a month or two.

Quoting HBGDS (Reply 16):
anyone holding a green card, no matter how "clean" is not a US citizen

A green card is a different matter altogether. While not usual (good luck getting an airline to agree, for instance), you technically don't even need a passport to enter the US if you have a green card. Other forms of ID are acceptable, including foreign ones.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no clothes.
 
Flightsimboy
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:42 am

In Emirates every cabin crew there has a foreign passport  . I don't believe Emirates has any Emirati cabin crew as well.

I knew an FA on PIA who had a special class of visa to enter the US on their US trips, which I believe was arranged for by the airline.

I doubt very much an airline would leave it to the FA to get the visa. The airline arranges the visa for you, or you just don't get those flights where a visa is required.
 
FlyboyOz
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:34 am

That's odd... it's airlines job to help you to get/pay the visas. They must to do some research on the visa issues for their own flight attendants.
The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
 
RIXrat
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:55 am

I am very surprised that UA hired you as a Lebanese passport holder and then didn't send you directly to their HR department which knows about all the nooks and crannies to get you fast-tracked for multiple entry visas. You are gold to them on Mideast flights and that's why they probably hired you, because of your foreign language proficiency.

You seem a bit mystified by all this, but if you've got the job already, be bold enough to knock on HR's door and explain your problem. They should respond positively. There seems to be something missing here.
 
fn1001
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:28 am

When asking the embassies do not forget to mention that you fly as a crew member. Many countries have a simplified visa procedure for business visa.
Mai bine să-ţi fie rău decît să-ţi pară rău.
 
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MillwallSean
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:30 am

As a new hire I assume they want him to fill in paperworks before he really start the job. Fairly natural and many companies ask for this. With the passport being Lebanese I see heaps of countries were a visa would be needed.

A good start is the internet several specialist visa pages. I assume they want you to fill in just normal visa regulations. What countries that usually ask for visas from lebanese citizens. That you should use a website for and that should be enough.

I looked through our company website for visas.
As lebanese you have visafree travel to 32 countries in 2010. Up 5 from 2008.
Unfortunately most are small pacific/indian ocean islands etc, add on a few middle eastern countries plus Turkey and Asia minnows. Europe is not possible at all without visa.

In North / South America (2010) these were visa free countries for Lebanese passportholders:
Bolivia
Dominica
Ecuador
Haiti
Saint Kitts and Nevis

Europe
Turkey
(Kosovo)

Africa
Cape Verde
Comoros
Djibouti
Madagascar
Mozambique
Seychelles
Togo
Uganda

Asia
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bangladesh
Cambodia
Georgia
Jordan
Laos
Macau
Malaysia
Maldives
Nepal
Oman
Syria
Timor-Leste

*if a Palestinian refugee to Lebanon, different rules apply.

Thats my works database.

I dont know if Lebanon allows two passports. many countries do when you have a job such as yours. get in cotact with the lebanese embassy and ask.
As said though for you flying in and out of US the best bet is to get a US passport asap. lebanon passport will never be an easy sell...

Hopefully this will give you a start...
No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
 
quiet1
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:43 am

Quoting ordjoe (Reply 10):
Arabic is considered one of the hardest languages to learn, there are not many in the US that know how to speak it, so I could see them hiring the OP specifically for DXB, DOH, BAH, KWI as an arabic speaker (are they not required to have an arabic speaking FA on these routes).

Considering it is sCO who is hiring -- sUA cannot hire with 100's of F/As still on furlough -- I'd be surprised if they hired specifically for DXB, DOH, BAH and/or KWI, as those are sUA routes.

I agree that it seems odd that UA doesn't already know, or have quick access to information about, crew immigrations requirements for their overseas stations. But, this is UA we are discussing, so....
 
ACFA
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:03 am

AC used to hire non-Canadian FAs. My year was the last time this was done, and it was a huge mess. All non-citizen hires were responsible for getting all the visas needed to enter every destination AC flies before they would be officially online. I know someone that spent well over a thousand dollars acquiring the visas necessary. The big problem was with China. The Chinese government would not allow Chinese national FAs to work for a Canadian airline, and so these FAs were blacklisted from being assigned china flights. The same situation occurred for those that had a Taiwan passport. Since then, only Canadian citizens with a valid Canadian passport are hired.
 
ednyc
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:49 am

Thank you all for your feedback, I really appreciate your kind help when it comes to the issue am facing.
As an asnwer to some of your feedback:
1- my country doesn't issue two passports (already asked at the embassy) and reporting one stolen and then using it, would never solve the problem.
2-I know as a Lebanese passport holder, I have limited, VERY LIMITED, access to the world but it seems after being in touch with some embassies, I was told that the passport or nationality doesnt count, as long as my name is on the General declaration, then it is ok to enter the country.
3- I have been in touch with Lebanese FAs who fly for the Lebanese Carrier MEA and have, like me a LEB passport, and was told that there was no hurdle for them to travel anywhere in Europe.
4-Have been in touch with the blegian embassy in DC which informed me that I do not need a visa to any schengen country.
5- I think till now, the main ones I am concerned would be Latin America, Russia, India, China..

THANK YOU SO MUCH guys,.. just to know that you took the time to help me or read my reply, feels good.

Thanks,

EdNyc
 
hamad
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:39 pm

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 19):
In Emirates every cabin crew there has a foreign passport . I don't believe Emirates has any Emirati cabin crew as well.

Emirates, Etihad, as well as Fly Dubai does have Emirati cabin crew, I happen to be one of those Emirati crew, and have been with my company for few years now. There is only a handful of us, but we do exist.


As for the OP, Do they not have a department at UA that take care of those situations? majority of countries don't require a visa, however for US if we are going to USA we require a special category visa that can be only issued to flight attendants. Lebanese crew require a visa to go to Hong Kong.

[Edited 2012-06-26 10:42:14]
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Viscount724
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RE: Flight Attendants With Foreign Passports

Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:50 pm

Quoting ACFA (Reply 25):
Since then, only Canadian citizens with a valid Canadian passport are hired.
AC doesn't seem to have the same requirement for pilots. The careers section of their website says pilot applicants can also be landed immigrants (term recently changed to "permanent resident") who of course don't yet have Canadian citizenship.

Wonder how many AC pilots are not Canadian citizens? Probably very few.

[Edited 2012-06-26 13:53:05]