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Working as a CFI is USA

Old 3rd May 2011, 12:28
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Working as a CFI is USA

Hey all,

Any idea as to how I could find some work as a CFI in the states?

I got a few people who are willing to consider me for the job. But I am not an American and that is always a problem.

However, there seem to be plenty of non Americans here on P Prune who worked there as Instructors.

How did you guys do it?
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Old 3rd May 2011, 14:30
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I'm American, but I could suggest that you could apply for a green card lottery or marry an American and you can then apply for a greencard.
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Old 4th May 2011, 07:05
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Hey SoCal,

I had suspected that much.
Was just looking for another legal way to get to work there.

Had heard that it is actually possible on an H1B visa. However the insurance cost for the aircraft goes way up with a foreign instructor on board and that is the major reason why all the flight schools flight schools avoid us.

Wish I could get a legal opinion about this. ( I am cheap labor you know- will fly for food.)


@- zondaracer,

I wish it was that easy. My country is not eligible for the green card lottery and sadly I broke up with my American girlfriend.


Is there a "Marry-an-American web service"??? That will make things so much easier.


For all those US citizens looking for jobs PM me. I havent got much, but I know my school was looking for CFIs when I left and they always are. So if I cant get that job for myself, might as well pass on that info to you.


Then again,

If anybody else did it any other way, (without an F1 visa to begin with) let us know. Cause I am getting pretty desperate to get back up in the air now and any sort of advise is appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 28th May 2011, 01:21
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Hello Cactus! Ive got a question... what is your problem with F1 visa? Ive been checking PEA admission service and they paint it so good. Or... are you already FAA CFI??
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Old 28th May 2011, 05:56
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Doesnt 1 require a 3 year degree course for the F1 Visa?
I already have a CPL, so wont go back for some aviation course for three years now.

I do not have a FAA CFI, I didnt want to waste any money on it if it doesnt even lead to a job.

But it shouldnt be a problem. I could get one in a months time if I find a way to use it.


You know of any other way to get a F1 Visa or a way to get CFI work over there?
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Old 4th Jun 2011, 10:07
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I think I can help you out on this subject. I'm Portuguese and just arrived in March from the States where I spent 2 years studying and working as a CFI. I went on a J1 visa that no longer exists, but at the time was the only visa that allowed you to work. Now the F1 has replaced it. The main points about the F1 are that you have up to 5 years to finish the course (i think), a really long time, and then one whole year to work as a CFI. You won't get a F1 visa if you have flight experience over a PPL. I've seen European students being rejected because they had an ATPL theory with 250hrs, but other being accepted with 50. The M1 visa is another type that doesn't allow you to work, just study. There are very few schools that are allowed to issue F1 visas and they only do so on the basis that you will complete the whole course which could be around 40,000$. I've heard of some smaller schools that can issue M1 that do so to Europeans and then hire them illegally as CFIs. If you get caught you're screwed.

I was working in Oregon where the weather isn't great but the school was big so I was able to get a lot of hours considering I only worked for 13 months. The school where I was working normally employs students to work as CFI, they have a lot of students and are constantly hiring! If you already have an ATPL then you're only option in the States is either to go with a Green Card or just for time building.
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Old 5th Jun 2011, 02:22
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it is likely to be very difficult as there are plenty of US Citizen Instructors around ...
... who have also been unemployed for a long time and are desperately looking for work, any work.
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Old 11th Jul 2011, 15:35
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Hi All,

I am in similar situation looking for ways to fly in USA. bernardopa's response answers most of my questions.
I am on a H1 (non aviation) in USA and my wife is a CFI in india. She is here on a dependent visa but missing flying badly. Earning/job is not our main criteria. Can you please elaborate a little on option of flying just for time building ?

Can she just convert her CPL/PPL and fly for time building. I will eventually have a green card in couple of years after which she can start working. But interim, specially after looking how passionate she is about flying, I want to know if she can volunteer as a CFI for no pay and fly

Many Thanks
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Old 11th Jul 2011, 16:30
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Surajk, I understand your wife's passion for flying, but there are already lots
of CFI's on the streets without jobs, the last thing we need is someone giving free instruction. CFI pay is already low enough, we don't need people bringing down the pay to 0.
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Old 11th Jul 2011, 16:49
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I'm assuming though it is possible, if the company was European based, to get a long term working visa?

I believe PTC and OAA have US operations?
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