Rumor has it JetBlue is planning the same thing. Can anyone elaborate?
Under NAFTA, certain job descriptions are deemed portable and pre-approved. Commercial pilots are not on that list. That is not likely to change. The NAFTA treaty itself may cease to exist,
Seems the rumour mill keeps churning.
Foreign pilot recruiting isn't one. They still receive thousands of applications every time the window opens.
It's definitely not out of the realm of possibility in the future. A few caveats though:
1- Right now (and it will change) the majors, jetBlue, Fedex, UPS & Southwest are having NO problem attracting candidates. It's only the regionals that are having challenges.
2- To be a Captain on a Part 121 aircraft (equivalent of 705 here in Canada), you have to have 1000 hours SIC Part 121 time. Canadian time doesn't matter, so even if you had 1000 hours on an RJ in Canada, they'd still need another 1000 hours as an FO in the US (there are a few limited ways that this time doesn't have to be 121 time, but it still needs to be in the US i.e. PIC on a fractional ownership jet).
3- To get the most info on what's happening in the US, Airline Pilot Forums is a pretty good resource.
4- All that being said, it's never a bad idea to get an FAA ATPL certificate. There is a conversion process. A separate FAA medical is necessary as well as a written test. The big difference is that in order to write the written exam, candidates are required to cockpit procedures course (CTP Course). Most regionals will hire someone without the ATPL and then pay for the CTP course. However, if you want to do it on your own, it's $3,000 - $5,000.
5- If you have questions about a specific airline, the recruiters are pretty eager to chat with pilots, even if you're not eligible, it's pretty good for the ego to feel wanted