What Does It Take To Convert A Foreign Pilot's License To A US-Approved One?

6 November 2017
 Categories: , Blog

In general, people who want to obtain pilot's licenses must complete an approved flight training program and log a certain number of hours of flight and/or ground time. If you obtained a pilot's license in another country, however, it may be possible to use it to qualify for certification in the United States. Here's what you need to know about the process.

The License Must've Been Issued by the CAA

To qualify for consideration, the license must have been issued by the Civil Aviation Authority. Additionally, the country that awarded the license must be a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The FAA will also accept licenses from countries are now defunct as long as the above requirements were true when the country was in operation.

The FAA will verify the license's validity, which can take up to 90 days to complete. Unfortunately, you must wait until the verification process is done before you can continue with your application. The only exception is if the person received the license in Canada. The US and Canada have an agreement with each other that allows pilots in one country to apply for licenses in the other without having to undergo verification.

Undergo TSA Background Check

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a new rule in September 2004 requiring any foreign-born and other designated persons prove their citizenship status and undergo background checks. This means you must show you are a US citizen or have, at least, obtained authorization to be in the country. Additionally, people who moved here from another country must pass background checks showing they are not a threat to national security.

This rule also applies to people enrolling into flight school, so you cannot bypass it by opting to take the long way to get your pilot's license instead of using your foreign license.

Meet the Minimum Standards

To be approved for a US pilot's license, you must also meet the minimum standards. Your pilot's training in the country where you received your license must be the same or better than the training available at flight schools in the United States. If the education standard in the foreign country is less than the US, you may be required to take a flight education course before you'll be approved for a license.

Lastly, you must pass a medical examination and be able to read, understand, speak, and write English.

You can find out more about using your foreign pilot's license to obtain certification in the United States by visiting the FAA website. If you find you do need flight training, contact a local flight school for information about classes available.Visit a site like https://flysunrise.com/ for more help.