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Old 9th Aug 2012, 08:59   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: It rains a lot here
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EU Citizen becoming a Flight Instructor in the USA - possible?

Hi guys,

Is it realistic for someone with a UK passport to become a flight instructor in the USA?

I have never really considered this option before. In terms of working permit and visa, is it relatively easy or something that should be avoided altogether?

I currently have a JAA PPL so I haven't paid for the MEIR CPL yet. I love flying in the US so just curious if becoming an instructor there is a good way to go?

Thanks
Bearcat F8F is offline   Reply
Old 9th Aug 2012, 12:04   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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I would have thought the only way is to train in Europe as a JAR instructor and then try and get a job at one of the JAR schools in the US.

I have seen programs advertised before that offer FAA instructor ratings and a placement at the end but I would have thought these would be just for US citizens.

Maybe worth asking in the instructors forum.

Regards
felixflyer is offline   Reply
Old 9th Aug 2012, 13:19   #3 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
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Bear,

Couple of differences between the USA and Europe.
One of them being that becoming a Flight Instructor is a stepping stone for, I'll have to take a wild guess, 80-90% of the CPL trainee pilots in this country.
Translated this means there is NO shortage in FAA certificated flight instructors.
After 2001 the whole visa/work thing got really complicated and as fas as (FAA) instruction goes......forget about it not going to happen.
To be eligible for a H1B work visa you need exceptional skills which are not readily available with local job applicants.
For instance:

JAA/EASA Head of Training Qualifications
JAA/EASA examiner qualifications
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
JAA/EASA Flight Instructor (unrestricted)

H1B visas are issued in a 2-week window every year in April and have a quota so if you miss the dead line or the quota is filled you need to wait a year.

Alternatively you could enroll with one of the very few schools in the USA that have a F-1 visa authority. After completing your training you can work another 12 months in your filed of study, ie instructing.
Now keep in mind the school has you by the cojones for that time and some of them don't pay.
cojones - Google Search

Last edited by B2N2; 9th Aug 2012 at 14:39. Reason: Zpelsjek
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Old 9th Aug 2012, 16:24   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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B2N2, thanks but I am still a little confused. So basically, yes you can (theoretically) become a flight instructor in the US and get paid for it? I assume you mean that you must be JAA instructor only to stand a chance of getting a job?

Here's a list of EFT's instructors:

European Flight Training Instructors

Looks like everyone is foreign.

And with regards to the F-1 visa schools 12 month employment, can they not give you a longer contract?
Bearcat F8F is offline   Reply
Old 9th Aug 2012, 17:05   #5 (permalink)
 
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Working in the USA with a UK passport is a bit harder than working in the UK with a USA passport.
It's not in the EU, so you can't just go there and get a job, you have to have a visa to get a job. To get a visa, you pretty much have to have a job.
So, unless you've got some reason that you should be hired above all the other unemployed people in the USA, it's going to be tough to do.

My son-in-law, from Panama, married to a US citizen for 2 years, took just over a year after he got into the country to get his work visa approved... It took 2 years to get the visa to enter the US (NOT a work visa, but a spousal visa)

Good luck.
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Old 9th Aug 2012, 18:05   #6 (permalink)
 
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Thanks, yeah sounds like a lot of effort for a "maybe yes, maybe no" job prospect. I was just curious whether it's possible or not. I'll stick to Europe for now.
Bearcat F8F is offline   Reply
Old 9th Aug 2012, 20:38   #7 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
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Quote:
Looks like everyone is foreign.
To take a bit of artistic liberty:
The "old" ones will have entered the US ions ago and gotten green cards or passports through their own means and the "younger" ones will have an F-1 visa from Ari Ben and have temporary status unless EFT has applied for and gotten them H1B work visas which are good for 6 years.


F8, another option for you I forgot to mention, enroll with a University and train and instruct in their aviation programs.
Some very good ones:
  • University of North Dakota or UND
  • Middle Tenessee State University or MTSU

Last edited by B2N2; 9th Aug 2012 at 20:41.
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Old 9th Aug 2012, 23:10   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
F8, another option for you I forgot to mention, enroll with a University and train and instruct in their aviation programs.
Some very good ones:
  • University of North Dakota or UND
  • Middle Tenessee State University or MTSU
That sounds very interesting. But in what way is this better/ different to something like EFT or any other flying school? Are they more likely to give employment to foreign students? What's the catch?

Bearcat F8F is offline   Reply
Old 10th Aug 2012, 10:49   #9 (permalink)
 
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The catch is that it is limited in duration to the limits outlined in OPT and CPT. I might be mistaken but I believe EFT is running the same system now for flight instructors.
zondaracer is offline   Reply
Old 10th Aug 2012, 11:42   #10 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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I see, thanks! I think I will steer clear of the US for now. I am still keen on ending up there one day but for now I will concentrate on finding a better place to start a career as a pilot.

Thanks for the info once again everyone.
Bearcat F8F is offline   Reply
Old 13th Aug 2012, 14:46   #11 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
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There is no catch, if you go to a University you will leave with a four year degree.
Doesn't have to be aviation related.
Theoretically you could instruct for 3 out of the 4 years if you start with zero time.
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