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Applying for US Pilot Certificate On the Basis of a Foreign Pilot License

Applying for US Pilot Certificate On the Basis of a Foreign Pilot LicensePilot licensing or certification refers to permits to fly aircraft that are issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in each country, establishing that the holder has met a specific set of knowledge and experience requirements. The certified pilot has a right to specific pilot privileges in the country where certificate is issued . Despite attempts to harmonize the requirements between nations, the differences in certification practices and standards from place to place serve to limit full international validity of the national qualifications.

In the United States, pilot certification is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a branch of the Department of Transportation (DOT). A pilot is certified under the authority of Parts 61 and 141 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, also known as the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). In Canada, licensing is issued by Transport Canada. In the United Kingdom, licensing is issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

In most European countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, and many others, licensing is issued by the National Aviation Authority (NAA) according to a set of common rules established by the Joint Aviation Authorities known as Joint Aviation Rules – Flight Crew Licensing (JAR-FCL). Source-Wikipedia

Determining Validity of Foreign License

FAA’s The Airmen Certification Branch, AFS-760 must have the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) verify the validity and currency of the foreign license and medical certificate or endorsement before you apply for an FAA certificate or authorization. The processing of the Verification of Authenticity of Foreign License, Rating, and Medical Certification form takes approximately 45 to 90 days to complete. NOTE: Do not schedule any travel and/or checkrides, etc until a valid Verification Letter has been obtained from AFS-760.

Foreign applicants who require a visit to a FAA Flight Standards District Office or are applying for the issuance or replacement of an airman certificate in accordance with 14 CFR 61.75 must contact their selected Flight Standards District Office upon receipt of this verification letter to schedule an appointment with a FAA Inspector or authorized certifying official. Do not anticipate an appointment earlier than two weeks after this initial contact, due to enhanced security procedures.

14 CFR Part 61, Section 61.75-Allows a person to be issued a U.S. pilot certificate with private pilot privileges on the basis of a foreign pilot license that is equivalent to or higher than the U.S. private pilot certification level. The foreign pilot license must have been issued by a foreign Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that is a member state of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the foreign pilot license must be valid. The holder of a valid foreign pilot license issued by an ICAO member state may use that foreign pilot license as the basis for issuance of a U.S. pilot certificate even if the issuing country is now defunct (e.g., the Russian Federation).

Procedures for Conversion of Canadian and U.S. Pilot Certificates Only

Under a new Bilateral Agreement between the United States and Canada, effective December 5, 2006, pilots in the United States and Canada may apply for a new unrestricted airman certificate. This procedure only applies to a Canadian or U.S. pilot holding a private, commercial, or ATP SEL or MEL airman certificate. Glider, helicopter, and balloon ratings are excluded and are not applicable for conversion under the agreement. Read the FAA’s Advisory Circular 61.35, Conversion Procedures and Processes for FAA Pilot Certificates and TCCA Pilot Licenses, and Transport Canada’s General Aviation Advisory Circular 401-001 for information and instructions.

TSA Alien Flight Training/Citizenship Validation Rule

On September 21, 2004, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an ” interim final rule” on flight training for aliens and other designated individuals. When the interim rule was first issued, it required every person to prove his or her citizenship status (including U.S. citizens) prior to undertaking flight training in an aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or less. Additionally, all foreign flight students were required to complete a background check process with TSA. Not only did the rule apply to flight training, but also to recurrent training under 14 CFR Part 61. This meant that pilots would have to prove citizenship, and aliens submit background checks, for flight reviews, instrument proficiency checks, and aircraft checkouts.

Determining Applicability and Eligibility

This requirement applies if the applicant is applying for a certificate issued on the basis of a foreign license under the provisions of:
14 CFR Part 61, § 61.75,

  • Special-purpose pilot authorizations under § 61.77,
  • Using a pilot certificate issued under § 61.75 to apply for a commercial pilot certificate under § 61.123(h),
  • Applying for an airline transport pilot certificate issued under § 61.153(d)(3),
  • Applying for a certificate issued on the basis of a foreign license under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 63, § 63.23 and § 63.42.

The applicant must have the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that issued those certificates verify the validity and currency of the foreign license and medical certificate or endorsement before applying for an FAA certificate or authorization.
Eligibility; English Language Requirements. Early in the process of issuing a private pilot certificate on the basis of a foreign pilot license, the FAA aviation safety inspector (ASI) (Operations) or an FAA aviation safety technician (AST) must determine whether the applicant can read, speak, write, and understand the English language. Advisory Circular (AC) 60-28, English Language Skill Standards Required by 14 CFR parts 61, 63, and 65, explains how to determine English language abilities required for pilot certification.


Medical Requirements. A person applying for a U.S. pilot certificate must submit evidence that he or she currently meets the medical standards for the foreign pilot license on which the application for the pilot certificate is based (see § 61.75[f]). Some foreign Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) enter periodic medical endorsements on their foreign pilot licenses, which affect the license’s currency. Therefore, if the foreign pilot license must have a medical endorsement in order to be valid, an FAA medical certificate alone will not satisfy the regulations.

In cases when a medical endorsement is not used, a current medical license from the person’s foreign medical examiner or a current FAA airman medical certificate issued under 14 CFR Part 67 will satisfy the requirement.
If the person’s foreign pilot license shows a medical endorsement, the person should enter the word “endorsement” on FAA Form 8710-1, Section I, block R, or the equivalent class of medical certificate. If using Airman Certification and/or Rating Application (ACRA)/IACRA, enter the date of that endorsement in block S. If the name of the examiner who administered the medical endorsement is unknown to the applicant because the foreign CAA administered the physical, then simply state “CAA” in block T.

Applying For Rating or Medical Certificate

A person who is applying for a U.S. rating or medical certificate on the basis of a foreign license must apply for that certificate at least 90 days before arriving at the designated FAA FSDO where the applicant intends to receive the U.S. certificate. This initial application step is the responsibility of the applicant.

The information you submit to the Airmen Certification Branch must include your:
  1. name and date of birth
  2. address where you wish to have the verification of the authenticity letter mailed
  3. certificate number and ratings on the foreign license
  4. country of issuance of your foreign license
  5. location of the FAA Flight Standards District Office where you intend to apply for your U.S. certificate
  6. statement that your foreign license is not under an order of suspension or revocation

Note: The Airmen Certification Branch would prefer to have a copy of the foreign license and medical certificate or endorsement included with all requests for verification of authenticity of the foreign license.

There are additional requirements for pilots from the following countries. Please visit FAA website for details:

  • Australia
  • Cyprus
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • United Kingdom Applicants


International Flight Training Programs From Aviator Flight Training Academy
Commercial Airline Pilot Program

M-1 Visa
The Commercial Airline Pilot Program is for the international student that needs to possess an FAA multi-engine commercial certificate. The program could take as little as 4 months to complete. Housing is included for the duration of 4 months. In the program you will earn the private pilot, instrument, single engine commercial and multi-engine commercial. The program is an approved FAA part 141 program which most countries are requiring. Upon your graduation in this program you will receive a Part 141 Commercial Graduation Certificate.

Additional single or multi engine hours can be accumulated at reduced prices. for further information contact our admissions department by email or phone +1-772-466-4822.

Commercial Pilot Program with Flight Instructor Ratings

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The Commercial Pilot Program with the addition of 3 flight instructor certificates is a Part 141 and Part 61 Program. The program is designed for the international student coming from countries requiring additional hours for employment in their country. Typically these countries require up to 1500 and to hold an FAA ATP(Airline Transport Pilot) certificate. The program can completed in as little as 6 months. Housing is included for the duration of the 6 months. After you have earned all required certificates, you then can be placed in the Part 141 standardization and CPT internship ( 510 hours ).Upon completion of the CPT internship you will then be able to apply for an instructor position for up to 12 months.

To be able to apply for OPT ( Flight instructor Position) you must have completed the program on time with no more than 1 checkride failure. Written exam grades must be at least 85% or higher and you must pass a flight instructor review board.

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