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 an 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