Foreign Flight Students Information

A candidate (the flight student) must participate in the Alien Flight Student Program and undergo a security threat assessment if:

  • He/she is an alien; and
  • He/she is seeking flight training inside or outside the United States for U.S. airman certificate under 14 CFR. This rule applies only to flight training towards an initial pilot certificate, including a recreational pilot, sport pilot, or private pilot certificate; instrument rating; or multiengine rating.
  • NOTE: Information on this page applies only to aliens training in aircraft with a maximum certificate takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less.

The Application Process

Discovery Flights

If you are a foreign flight student, your instructor is trained by TSA to help you through this process.  Please consult with your instructor first!

More information about foreign flight students may be found here on AOPA's web site. Foreign flight students would be advised to study this web page in detail to understand the requirements.

The fee charged is not charged by the flight instructor or Leighnor Aircraft. This is a fee charged by TSA to process foreign flight student applicants.

  • Apply to TSA for approval to start flight training

    The candidate will be required to submit the following details about his or her training: name of the school, course name, course description and ID number, type of aircraft, pilot certificate or rating sought, and the start and end dates for the flight training.

  • Confirm candidate's training request

    TSA will send the flight instructor an email requesting confirmation of the candidate’s training request after the candidate request has been submitted.

  • Look for a preliminary approval email from TSA

    After the instructor has confirmed the request, the candidate will be instructed to pay a $130 fee. Upon receiving payment, TSA will send the flight instructor and the candidate an email with the subject “Preliminary Approval.” This email does NOT grant the candidate permission to receive training. 

  • Assist candidate in submitting fingerprints

    If the preliminary decision is favorable and a successful payment has been verified, the candidate will receive an email from AFSP with fingerprint instructions. The candidate should NOT submit fingerprints prior to paying for his or her training request and receiving the official AFSP fingerprinting instructions

  • Wait for TSA to approve training

    There are several factors that affect the amount of time between training request submission and response. TSA will make a final determination as to the candidate’s eligibility to receiving flight training and will notify the instructor and the candidate of its decision.

  • Start flight training

    Once the candidate has permission to train, the candidate has 180 days to begin training and 365 days to complete the approved training. These time periods start from the day the candidate receives approval. If the candidate does not finish, a new training request must be submitted.

  • Take candidate's picture for TSA

    The instructor will be required to upload this photo – not one copied from a passport or other identification – to TSA’s website or have it faxed to TSA at 571/227-4532 or 571/227-4534.