As COVID-19 wanes and the pilot shortage in the United States (“US”) comes roaring back, there is now an unprecedented opportunity for experienced foreign pilots to apply for permanent residence in the US without obtaining a job offer or labor certification.
“Numerous reports indicate that there will be a severe deficit of pilots in the US by 2023. As the demand for professional pilots continues to rise, foreign pilots holding the appropriate background may now apply for a green card for themselves and their families through the EB-2 National Interest Waiver Program,(eb2 visa for pilots) (View program)” according to Jean-Francois Harvey, Global Managing Partner of a leading business immigration law firm, Harvey Law Group.
To qualify for the program eb2 visa for pilots (View program), applicants must meet the following criteria:
- They will undertake an endeavor that has both substantial merit and national importance;
- They are well-positioned to advance the proposed endeavor; and
- It would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer, and thus the labor certification.
“The growing demand for pilots in the US has made it potentially easier for foreign pilots to meet criteria i) and iii). In other words, so long as an applicant can demonstrate that he/she has the skills, experience, and education the US needs to address its pilot shortage problem, the applicant likely qualifies for a green card without securing a job offer,” said Harvey.
To paint a picture of the pilot shortage situation in the US, reports predict that there will be a shortage of over 12,000 pilots by 2023 and the country will need a total of 65,000 new pilots in the next 10 years to meet the demand for air travel. Furthermore, the Federal Aviation Administration predicts that the US will need to recruit 87 new airline pilots every day for the next 20 years to meet the growing demand.