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-   -   M1 Visa or no Visa and SEVIS approved schools in the USA (https://www.pprune.org/professional-pilot-training-includes-ground-studies/418519-m1-visa-no-visa-sevis-approved-schools-usa.html)

lurod11 4th Aug 2017 23:18

Do I need a M1 Visa for Multi Engine Training?
Hi, I have a B1/B2 and I need to get a Multi Engine Rating in my FAA Commercial Pilot License, since I have multiengine experience in my country, the estimated training is at most 15 hours that include ground and flight, I expected to do it in about 10 days. Do I need a M1 Visa?

I will appreciete any orientation.


Sepp 20th Nov 2017 20:34

Greetings all,

I hold a current EASA ATPL with a rating on a type 'bigger' than 12,500lb. I have been offered work that will require me to hold an FAA ATPL and a new rating on a much heavier type. Licence is currently being validated.

I intend to take the ATP-CTP course at one Flight Safety facility, the knowledge test at a CATS facility local to that FSI centre, and then transfer to a second FSI centre for the type rating and ATP check ride.

TSA ought [!] not to be a problem - I've been through the process for my current type rating, and no details have changed since then - however, do I need three separate approvals? Or two? Or one? This question can, I believe, be answered by the training provider but I include it here as the answer might help someone else.

The $64,000 question is, of course, what visa is required? If I understand things correctly, the current 20k lb rating and foreign licence puts me in TSA's Cat 2... so, M1?

All help greatly appreciated!

SurreyFlyer123 5th May 2018 18:40

US EASA flight training
Has anyone recently done their EASA ATPL in the states? I have been looking at schools such as those in Florida and tried searching on here but the posts seem a little out of date.

any advice or experiences would be much appreciated,

r10bbr 5th May 2018 21:29


rudestuff 6th May 2018 14:51

Surrey flyer - do you mean ATPL or something else? Normally you'll do your ATPL test at your airline as part of an LPC/OPC

Flightofbagayna 11th Aug 2018 17:00

Flight training
Can anyone share experience or a recomendation of flight school in california or anything up in the north east for commercial traning. Florida like california seems ideal, but seems alot of flight school theres have more reputation of whats in your pocket other than your education. As i have some of my friends there have experience, once you alredy invested on them. Good bye! I aim to look for transparency and equality of flight training, not coming off some ® b.s adverstisement of pilot shortage you should enroll to us bla bla..®

felipe2407 20th Aug 2018 18:08

Choosing the right flight school
Hello everyone!

I'm from Colombia and I'm looking for the right flight school. I've seen a lot of schools but some of them are too expensive and the other ones don't convince me in terms of quality of training. Iīve checked schools in FL, TX, CA, but the location doesn't matter to me if it has good weather conditions. Here are some of the schools I've seen.

-Epic Flight Academy
-American Flyers
-Global Atlantis
-Fly Safety
-L3 Aviation
-Sunrise Aviation
-CAE flight Academy
-Wayman Aviation
-2Fly airborne
-Aviator Collegue
-Phoenix East Aviation
-Florida Flyers Flight Academy
-Flying Academy Miami
-Dean International Flight School
-ADF airways

Do you guys recommend me one of them or another? I'll be really glad to read your comments.

Thanks a lot!

Rkon 1st May 2019 08:19

add another one
Straightly advise you to add Crystal Aero (FL) to your short list. Passed PPL&IR there.

AviaToR50 2nd Sep 2019 16:26

Flight training in USA or Canada. Which is better ?
Hey guys, I'm new to this forum here and I'm a wannabe pilot too. I'm currently doing an undergraduate course in aeronautical engineering and I'll be finishing it by April 2020 and after this I want to pursue a career as an airline pilot. But I'm really torn between pursuing my flight training in Florida or Canada.
I've heard that the Canadian Immigration and visa processes are easier and after a few years of working there I can get a PR. Whereas the US isn't as immigrant friendly these days ?( Just telling what I've heard :/). Also Canada has affordable flight training and better overall training as I'll be flying in different weather conditions when compared to Florida or anywhere in the States. My plan is to work in either of these places and I have no plans of returning back to India so what do you think how my job oppurtinities are going to be in USA or Canada.
Pilots of this forum I'd really like your opinions on this and it'll be highly appreciated.

NWHeliPilot 23rd Nov 2019 23:15

Hey AviaToR50,
our school in Oregon has a so called F1 Visa which allows you to train and then work for 23,5 month in the US. This is one of the easiest way to get some experience and you can move to Canada afterwards and convert your FAA license to the TC license by just doing a few written tests. Some of my friends have done that and they have the advantage of coming into Canada with over 1500h, which makes the job-hunt much easier and makes them more interesting for companies to sponsor their permanent residency.

IDG77 23rd Jan 2020 17:15

Hi guys,
I'm planing to go to U.S two months to do the time building, probably the IFR(FAA) and maybe the CPL(FAA) , if it was just the time building I know with an ESTA Visa (90 days) is enough but since IFR and CPL is a study program would it be enough with the ESTA, or will I need an M1 visa?

NWHeliPilot 23rd Jan 2020 20:06

If you are only timebuilding, the ESTA is enough. However, if you are doing the IFR rating or multi engine flight training, you need a TSA backgroundcheck. You can apply for that here: flightschoolcandidates.gov but you will need information from the flightschool and they have to confirm that you are training with them. The current wait time is around 2 weeks, which is not bad.
If you want to fly solo, you also need to get a foreign based FAA license. For that you have to fill out a form and send it to the FAA. Just google: AC 8060-71
I would recommend you find a school that knows the procedures and helps you with this!

IDG77 24th Jan 2020 10:07

Thanks for the info, I still have to decide what school Iīll go to, so if they can take care of all the paper work better, I just like to know all the steps.

Ana Valencia 22nd Feb 2020 14:26

Hey guys a quick question. I am a Canadian citizen. And I wish to do flight training in the US part time, Iíd be doing less than 18 hours a week of flight training. Essentially I do my own ground school and I only go
to fly. It would be at a part 61 school. Does anyone know what kind of visa I need to be able to do this??

selfin 23rd Feb 2020 01:06

Probably M1. Requires a Part 141 school and it must be SEVP certificated. A database of these schools is maintained by Homeland here https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/school-search

The M1 is available only to full-time students so requires attendance (not the same as dual instruction hours!) of 18 or 22 hours a week. Border commuter students are exempt from the minimum attendance requirement. Either way as a Canadian citizen no physical visa will be issued but you do need the I20 certificate.

The attendance requirement is also not applied if you are admitted to US with status in a different class, eg TN status (working as a NAFTA professional) or because you’re from an aboriginal group (Jay Treaty), etc. See the guide Nonimmigrants: Who Can Study? published by SEVP (pdf link).

selfin 19th Jul 2020 09:37

The US has now reopened for flight students, seeking admission under an F or M student visa, coming from the Schengen Area, UK & ROI.

See notice posted 16 July on US Bureau of Consular Affairs website (link):

National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland

Certain business travelers, investors, treaty traders, academics, and students may qualify for National Interest Exceptions under Presidential Proclamations (PPs) 9993 (Schengen Area) and 9996 (United Kingdom and Ireland). Qualified business and student travelers who are applying for or have valid visas or ESTA authorization may travel to the United States even as PPs 9993 and 9996 remain in effect.

Students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel. Students from those areas who are traveling on a J-1 may contact the nearest embassy or consulate to initiate an exception request.

MarekThePilot 24th Mar 2021 02:53

Im on m1 visa doing IR and CPL. I need to do 50h PIC IFR for my EASA license so I can convert my license. Since my m1 and I20 is on the school, can I go and rent a plane in a different location? I’m not getting any rating, all I’m doing is building time on my own in my free time.

selfin 26th Mar 2021 04:43

There will be a designated school official at your educational institution who is competent in addressing questions like these.

Building time in itself does not require an M-1 visa. However, an alien admitted under an M-1 visa must remain in full-time attendance until successfully completing the course of study. This means hour building, done outside the institution named on the visa, must be incidental. Except that after completing the course, including practical training if any, there will be a 30-day grace period (60 days in the case of the F-1 visa) during which attendance isn't required. See SEVIS Help Hub (link).

MarekThePilot 26th Mar 2021 12:55

@selfin thanks for the reply! Thatís what I figured after calling few people. The problem with my school is that they told me three TIMES that I can do it and it is no problem. Once I came and told them that I would leave to Orlando, they changed their mind and said that I cannot leave. Thatís what made me mad - not being honest from the beginning...but what can you expect from flight schools? Not honesty, for sure. Iím probably will do it in my grace period (30 days) in May/June or if they open borders, after Iím done with the whole program, I will fly to Bahamas for a day and come back on tourist visa.

selfin 26th Mar 2021 20:28

The DSO might believe the proposed hour building precludes meeting the attendance requirement. However, if vocational student status is maintained it's really none of the school's business whether an aircraft is rented elsewhere for recreational purposes.

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