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Visa Information

This section applies to aliens who are planning on receiving flight training in the United States.The requirements for obtaining any visa are separate from the requirements of the TSA alien flight training rule.

According to INS regulations, Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 214.2(b)(7), any alien who is permitted to enter the United States on a B-1 or B-2 visitor's status visa is prohibited from enrolling in a course of study. Such an alien must an either obtain an F-1 or M-1 non-immigrant visa from a consular officer abroad and seek readmission to the United States, or apply for and obtain a change of status under section 248 of the Act and 8 CFR part 248. The alien may not enroll in the course of study until the Service has admitted the alien as an F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant or has approved the alien's application.

Taking flight training without an appropriate visa could be a violation of your immigration status and could result in your arrest and removal from the United States; therefore, it is important that you have a visa that permits you to take flight training in the United States. If you do not possess the correct visa, or if you have questions pertaining to your visa status or the appropriate visas for flight training, please contact your local Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services at 800/375-5283 or or the State Department Consular Affairs Office for assistance. The AFSP will deny flight training requests from candidates who are present in the United States illegally or who do not have an appropriate visa for flight training. Fees paid for denied applications are not refundable.

Part 141 Flight Schools. Only FAA certificated Part 141 and/or 142 schools that are approved and participating in the Student and Exchange Visa Information Service (SEVIS) program are authorized to issue an I-20 form to a prospective student upon their enrollment into a course, which the prospective student needs to request the change of status and receive the subsequent student visa.

Part 61 Flight Schools and Independent Flight Instructors. Part 61 flight schools and independent flight instructors may train a foreign national if that alien is a legal permanent resident or in a work status (H-type visa) with extended stay privileges or a refugee in asylum status with appropriate DHS documentation. They also may train a foreign national on an F-1 (academic visa) provided that the student is still enrolled and attending the college or university as shown on the F-1 and the student has notified SEVIS of the additional training being received at a non-SEVIS approved school.
Alien candidates who are coming to the United States to start flight training and need information on obtaining a visa should first contact the flight school where they intend on taking their flight training to get detailed procedures. In many cases, the flight school already has procedures in place to help a candidate obtain his or her visa.