Cathay Pacific expat pilots are finding difficulty in obtaining and renewing Hong Kong work permits, after the airline suffered a great economic downturn reaching 5,300 staff layoffs earlier in October 2020.

After large layoffs, permanent cuts in pay and changes in staff contracts, Cathay Pacific expat pilots are reportedly experiencing problems to obtain and renew work visas, as foreign pilots’ employment is under “great scrutiny” by the Hong Kong immigration authorities.

The work permits are being issued under stricter criteria, for instance, they are allegedly being given for three months instead of two years, according to the South China Morning Post.

According to the Hong Kong Immigration Department, the foreign nationals can be accepted for work under General Employment Policy (GEP), which includes criteria such as a first degree in relevant field, good technical skills, confirmed offer of employment, and work experience that cannot be readily taken up by the local workforce.

“In general, applications for extension of stay for persons admitted into Hong Kong for employment under the GEP will be considered if the applicant continues to meet the relevant eligibility criteria,” the spokesperson of Immigration Department commented.

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