PHX787
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Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:17 am

Hey guys,

I've been knee-deep in the pile of paperwork that is my visa to move back to japan beginning in March, and I've wondered something...

when pilots fly to different countries, do the airlines/nations provide them with special visas and passports, or what are the procedures here?

For example, when I fly to Japan for my short stays, I receive an exit card with my departure flight written on it. Are pilots just issued this?

What about for flights to humanitarian areas; I know the people going there are issued special visas; what about the pilots?
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AF Cabin Crew
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:25 am

Ia Orana !

It depends on the passport the airline crew is holding, it is not particular to the pilots. For French passport holders working for any airline they have to have a crew visa for the following countries if their airline operate to these countries : China, Russia, USA.
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zeke
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:32 am

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
when pilots fly to different countries, do the airlines/nations provide them with special visas and passports, or what are the procedures here?

When I go to Japan, I get issued a shore pass on arrival, this limits my movement to 200 km around the city or arrival, I do not need a pre-issued visa, my details are on file, I just supply the finger prints, photo, and forms on arrival. Other countries I fly to my passport is confiscated on arrival, and returned on departure. Some have non paperwork at all, others require a crew deceleration, some require a crew/work visa to be issued prior to departure.

The procedure is country specific and tends to be different depending on the passport held. If you are arriving in a country from where the passport was issued it tends to be easier than a foreign country (this is the case in Japan). Some of the procedures have not been modernized at all, some countries have moved with the times.
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Pihero
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:47 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 2):
Other countries I fly to my passport is confiscated on arrival, and returned on departure.

That reminds me of an arrival into Cairo, where the procedure still stands.
The Tristar was full ;The cabin crew was quite busy helping illiterate passengers fill their landing forms and the purser had to be everywhere to help, manage the cabin...etc... He normally was in charge of collecting all the crew members passports and filled transit forms but that day, he asked the most junior stewardess in his woirds :"Get the passports and give them to me".
Some time later, he noticed the girl pulling a black bin bag along an aisle and asked her what she was doing. She said, "I'm collecting the passports as you asked."... She'd already done 2/3 of the cabin !
We were nearly three hours late getting out of the airport (When you have 50 Patels and 100 Singhs, it's not easy to sort the paxes out).
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wilco737
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:54 am

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
when pilots fly to different countries, do the airlines/nations provide them with special visas and passports, or what are the procedures here?

The only country which actually needs a visa prior entry is the USA. We have to go to the embassy with all the paperwork, leave our passport there (during that time we cannot fly as we don't have a passport).
Most countries give you a crew visa or landing permit for your stay in their country. Like China. You get an official document where all the names, passport numbers etc are filled in and send to China prior our arrival. Documents will be checked upon arrival.

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
For example, when I fly to Japan for my short stays, I receive an exit card with my departure flight written on it. Are pilots just issued this?

In Japan you get a shore pass as already explained in the posts before mine.

wilco737
  
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:29 pm

we actually had China and India visas. We also had the Shengan (?) visa for Europe.For the longest time we didn't have any visa going into France but that changed quickly one day. In some countries if the flight changed and you were deadheaded out in lieu of flying out it could become a real mess. The co. handled the renewals but we had to fly only domestic while the passport was sent away, usually a week was all.
 
airtran737
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:41 pm

All depends on where you want to go. I have a crew visa for China, and a business visa for Qatar, and Brazil.

Most places let you get by with just keeping the GENDEC with you while you are on layover.
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Pihero
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:20 pm

The "Shengen Space " comes from ab accord between 26 European countries who decide on on single frontier : Anybody accepted by one of these countries has free access to the rest of the space. The countries are the 27 EU members minus great Britain, Ireland, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romanian plus Norway, Island, Switzerland and Lichtenstein.

Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 5):
.For the longest time we didn't have any visa going into France but that changed quickly one day.

A tit for tat reaction to the US requiring a visa... In virtue of the Shengen accord, you need the "Shengen" visa.
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CosmicCruiser
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:27 pm

Right, interestingly we could move about the EU with no problem but FRA still insisted we go thru passport control. This was a little confusing at times because officers would see we had just arrived from CDG and motion us thru but the next night they would ask us why we didn't have a stamp!
 
Pihero
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:54 pm

Welcome to the club !
Even we are sometimes subject to some arbitrary decisions from passport officers in the Shengen area... But it happens les and less often nowadays..
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Bellerophon
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:00 pm

PHX787

...when pilots fly to different countries, do the airlines/nations provide them with special visas and passports, or what are the procedures here?...


One or two countries I flew to required operating crew names to have been pre-notified to them (by the airline) so that they could inspect the crew names and place them on some sort of "authorised crew" document or list for their immigration officials.

However, in thirty-seven years of flying international routes worldwide for a UK airline, there was only ever one country that required me to have a (crew) visa, stamped in my passport, before operating there, and that was the USA.

Every country is entitled to set its own immigration rules, and if you want to enter that country you have to abide by them, but given that the procedure for obtaining a US visa - as described by wilco737 - was rather tedious, I'm very thankful that the other ninety or so countries I flew to over the years didn't have the same requirements!

Best Regards

Bellerophon

[Edited 2013-02-11 08:03:11]
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:03 pm

Quoting wilco737 (Reply 4):
Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
when pilots fly to different countries, do the airlines/nations provide them with special visas and passports, or what are the procedures here?

The only country which actually needs a visa prior entry is the USA. We have to go to the embassy with all the paperwork, leave our passport there (during that time we cannot fly as we don't have a passport).
Most countries give you a crew visa or landing permit for your stay in their country. Like China. You get an official document where all the names, passport numbers etc are filled in and send to China prior our arrival. Documents will be checked upon arrival.

I was on a plane, which got diverted from YYZ to DTW because of the blizzard two days ago. I didn´t have a visa for the US, but the border officials were very helpfull and gave me a once off permit to stay for up to 4 days (though we left net morning). I will now apply for a C1/B crew visa, so that this won´t happen again.
In Shanghai the authorities will take the passports on arrival and only return them later close to departure stamped, even if we only stay for three hours.

Jan
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RussianJet
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:08 pm

Crew operating both into and then out of the UK get seven days dispensation. Fly out commercially and if you're a visa national you have to obtain a visa prior to travel.

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/po...law/guidance/ecg/crm/crm2/#header4

As stated in the link though, the definition of crew for the purposes of the concession is quite narrow.
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PHX787
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RE: Pilots And Visas Questions

Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:23 am

Thanks for the info guys!

Now does the same apply to test flights across borders? I recall the 10,000+ mile 787 flight from PAE to Dhaka....
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