Flight Training for Foreign Students (Non-US Citizens)
If you are a citizen of a country other than the USA, you can still take flight training here.
Visas: Note that you may need an appropriate type of visa to enter the US. Our understanding is that if you plan to enter the US primarily for flight training, in a full time course of over 18 hrs per week, you will need a student (M-1) visa. We can help. Contact us about how you may be able to get a student visa..
On the other hand, if your visit is mainly for tourism or business, and you'd like to take flight lessons part time (less than 18hrs per week), then you may not need a student visa and you may be able to enter with a tourist or business visa or on the visa waiver program. See the US Immigration web site and do check with your nearest US Consulate.
Trial lessons / Orientation and demo flights: If you just want to take an orientation flight or a trial lesson to see if you like it, no problem, you can just come and do it. Call us on 408-320-9614 to book your flight.
Have a pilot certificate from an ICAO country, including JAA: You can get a US Private Pilot Certificate based on your ICAO certificate. You will need to apply three months in advance. For details see the FAA Web Page for converting a pilot license After you receive your approval letter make an appointment with the local Flight Safety District Office in San Jose.
Already have a US pilot certificate: You can take lessons to improve your flying, or to add a tailwheel endorsement, or acrobatics. However if you wish to add an Instrument Rating or a Multi Engine rating then you will need to go through the TSA process. See below.
Non-US Citizens with no pilot certificate, or those wishing to add an instrument rating or multi-engine rating: You will need to go through the TSA Alien Flight Student Program background check. The process is fairly simple. Here is what you need to do:
To take regular flight training, foreign students must register with the Transportation Security Agency to be able to learn to fly with a US Flight School. This guide will help you complete the process:
1. Start an account on the TSA Alien Flight Student Program Web Site. You will need to create an account and the TSA will email you the user name and password.
2. Log in on the Flight School Candidates Web site fill in and submit an application. Follow the notes below:
Provider: AeroDynamic Aviation.
School Student Identification number: your first initial and last name - e.g. avasquez
Course Identification Number: 101 (Private Pilot) or 102 (Sport Pilot) or 103 (Instrument)
Course Name: Private Pilot or Sport Pilot or Instrument Rating
Course Description: Private Pilot Training or Sport Pilot Training or Instrument Training
Rating Goal: Sport Pilot ASEL or Private Pilot ASEL or Instrument Rating
Aircraft type is important!
Use: "Champion 7ECA" or "Cessna 172" for private pilot training
Use: "Aeronca 7AC", "Taylorcraft L-2", or "Evektor SportStar" for Sport Pilot Training
You can use multiple types.
(Or contact us for help)
Start Date: Enter a date about 30 days from application
End Date: 1 year after your selected start date.
3. Review Application and Submit
4. We will receive a notification that you have aplied and confirm your application. The TSA will then send you a note to pay the Fee.
5. After you have paid, wait for email confirmation from TSA which includes your AFSP Training Request number and instructions for fingerprinting. Print the email.
6(a). If you are NOT in the Bay Area see the NATA Clearing House for TSA fingerprints Web Site to locate the nearest fingerprint office. Then follow the process below for your chosen site.
6(b). If you are already in the Bay Area
- There is an electronic fingerprinting office at San Francisco International Airport. Call to make an appointment
- OR Pre-enrol for fingerprinting at Nice Air in San Jose and pay fingerprinting fee. Print out confirmation.
Most larger police stations, FBI or CIA offices, and some embassies and consulates can also do the fingerprinting for you. Make sure you tell them it is for the TSA Alien Flight Student Program.
7. Call the selected office to:
- Schedule an appointment to submit fingerprints; Make sure to tell them it is for the TSA flight student program.
- Ask if the candidate must supply his/her fingerprint cards (2 cards are required) and pre-paid shipping envelope (traceable means only, such as FedEx, UPS Next Day, etc.); and
- Determine fingerprint collection fees and accepted payment methods.
8. Go to the office at the appointed time.
IMPORTANT: Have with you:
- A printed copy of TSA confirmation email;
- Your passport (if a non-resident alien), resident alien card, or U.S. driver's license (if resident alien);
- If required by the fingerprint collection location, the candidate must also bring fingerprints cards (2 are required) and a pre-paid shipping envelope (traceable means only, such as FedEx, UPS Next Day, etc.)
9. The agent will submit your fingerprints to TSA. A candidate may NEVER BE IN POSSESSION OF HIS/HER FINGERPRINT CARDS AFTER BEING FINGERPRINTED.
10. When TSA receives your fingerprints, the AFSP will provide and email notification to you and to us, the Flight Training Provider. Call us after 7 days to check we have received notification of TSA's fingerprint receipt. If we have not, please call TSA AFSP to follow up.
Prices and rates are subject to change without notice. All training and rentals are subject to the terms and conditions in the Renters' Agreement.
Come and fly with us in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. Our flight schools are located at Reid Hillview airport in San Jose (KRHV), at the south end of San Francisco Bay, and at Salinas Airport near Monterey. We offer ground and flight training for sport pilot, private pilot, commercial pilot license, instrument rating, CFI (certified flight instructor), tailwheel, aerobatics, and multi engine certificates and ratings.