TSA / Visa FAQs

Who needs to obtain a student visa for flight training?
    • A student (M-1) visa is required for anyone who is not a US citizen or permanent US resident to conduct flight training for a certificate or rating in the United States.
    • A visa is not required for certified pilots who plan on receiving only recurrent training including a bi-annual flight review or instrument proficiency check.
    • A visa is also not required for an aircraft checkout or rental of an aircraft while visiting the United States.
Do permanent residents who are not U.S. citizens need to obtain a M-1 student visa to train for a pilot certificate?
    • Permanent residents do not need to obtain an M-1 student visa.
    • Permanent residents are only required to obtain TSA’s “Permission to Initiate Training” approval before the start of flight training.
Who needs to obtain TSA’s “Permission to Initiate Training”?
    • Anyone who is not a US citizen planning on receiving flight training in the United States must have TSA approval.
    • TSA approval is required for permanent residents and foreign citizens.
    • Use the guide below to complete the TSA approval process.
How can a U.S. Citizen prove Citizenship?
  • All US students must provide proof of citizenship upon initial check-in.  Copies will be made and placed in student’s flight training files.  Proof of citizenship must be shown by one of the following:
    • Valid unexpired U.S. passport.
    • Original birth certificate of the United States, American Samoa, or Swains Island, and government-issued picture ID.
    • Original certification of birth abroad with raised seal (Form FS-545 or DS-1350) and government-issued picture ID.
    • Original certificate of U.S. citizenship with raised seal (Form N-560 or N561), or a certificate of Repatriation (Form N-581), and government-issued picture ID.
    • Original U.S. naturalization certificate with raised seal (Form N-550 or N-570) and a government-issued ID