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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)

GKaplan 9th Sep 2010 16:57

The FAA examiner will check you have the email confirming permission and that the training provider listed is the same as the one who signed you off for your flight test.
training provider? signed off? ...sorry no... but carrying on ;)

I agree with everything you say about an initial certificate,
however I do make the difference between "the initial issuance of a certificate" and "seeking training for the initial issuance of a certificate".

That would be more consistent with the thinking behind the requirements of a threat assessment for initial license, instrument rating, and MEL (see TSA's interpretation of flight training and the "training that substantially enhance piloting skills")

To be honest and although they are clear about it, they should include a 61.75 license in the exemptions because the piloting skills are already there (otherwise they shouldn't have issued the license!).
When you mention folks in my situation, the argument should be in favor of the exemption from the TSA assessment: ATP+5000 hours, my skills aren't going to be substantially enhanced by an other certificate :E

It's schyzophrenic to do otherwise after their explanations, but hey they would miss a few fees...$$$$$ That's all that counts in the end:E

GKaplan 9th Sep 2010 17:37

As I said previously I'll seek official advice on the matter.

Shall let you know ;)

Clintonb 9th Sep 2010 18:23

Thanks for this great post. Has shed more light on the topic. been looking through the listed schools is it possible for there to be other schools that aren't list with SEVIS that can still be approved? I'm looking into European Flight Training EFT a school in Fort Pierce, Florida and i see they are not on the SEVIS list. could they be approved by someone else???

rossauk 17th Sep 2010 04:11

This is a great post thanks guys for all the information.
I do have one question. I'm wanting to do my FAA HCPL license and Instructors from scratch probably in Florida with Bristow, i'm from the UK and was wondering, would I be able to do an additional college course that would give me a visa that allowed me to work whilst I was doing my flying training? Would I be taking on to much to do this? I know you cant work whilst starting your Heli training.

SunnyDayInWiltshire 22nd Sep 2010 19:08

Night Rating on Visa Waiver
This is a very comprehensive thread, but sadly I'm still confused.

I'm UK based, visiting the US for a conference and wondered about taking the 5 hour night rating, which might extend my stay by a day or two. It would also allow me to suss out the flight school/situation there for future potential trips.

I can't afford any risk of future travel to the US (I go there a lot on business, always for a few days with Visa Waiver), so must get this right.

Am I correct in thinking I just need the TSA approval, which the immigration officer will probably be able to see when I enter the country? It's about 6 weeks till I travel, so an M1 might just be possible to get, but seems somewhat excessive for just a few hours training.

SunnyDayInWiltshire 24th Sep 2010 06:52

SoCal - Thanks for the quick reply. Yes, my trip is to Orlando, so was thinking of one of the JAR recognised flight schools there.

I've not yet got my PPL license - up to 45 hours now but not sat the GST. It's extremely unlikely I would have the license/paperwork completed before my trip. I understand that you can do the night rating either before or after gaining the PPL, so thought this would fit either way.

Main reasons for considering this option are:
a) My home airfield doesn't have lighting, so will have to do this elsewhere anyway
b) Weather in November likely to cause fewer cancellations
c) Any flying in another country would broaden my experience

Will check this up with the USCIS and the flight school to ensure I have this in writing.

GKaplan 24th Sep 2010 17:00

An update on my scenario Going direct to the ATP practical exam.

1 - TSA threat assessment:

I wrote to the TSA ([email protected]) explaining the scenario in details, the answer came as quick as short:
Good Morning,
You do have to go through TSA.

I'm seeking my first stand-alone FAA certificate, Fair enough ;)

2 - Visa (emailed Dept of State for info)

I copy this in extenso so you can appreciate that I did mention (more than once!) the fact I wanted to take a test for the issuance of a certificate.

I am a professional pilot in the UK and while on holiday in the US I would like to take a test for the issuance of an FAA flying certificate.
My qualifications and previous experience allow me to take the practical test without any formal training.
During my stay (around 3 weeks) I plan to do 4 or 5 hours of recurrent training and preparation flights before taking the practical exam.
I won't require any sign off from an instructor to take the test, and the whole process should take no more than a week.
As I don't need to have an endorsement from an authorized instructor prior to my test, could you please confirm whether I need an M-1 visa to take this test?

U.S. immigration law stipulates that foreign nationals planning to enter the United States primarily for tourism, who would like to engage in an incidental, vocational/nonacademic, short course of study (18 hours per week or less) while here may do so on a B-2 tourist visa.

GKaplan 28th Sep 2010 07:13

TSA was always pretty much a certainty as they clearly state "for the initial issue of any FAA certificate".
Agree with you (however as discussed previously, $$ make more sense than logic).

What they are telling you however is that you specifically need to get a visa - the B2.
No, they're telling that I may engage in a short course of study on a tourist visa. "specifically need to get" is your interpretation.

Wouldn't it make sense that I was given the short answer that applies to all, regardless of citizenship?
And that "if however you're a national of a VWP participating country and meet the requirements ....blah blah...you get the idea"?

They do NOT say you can enter on the VWP.
They do not say I can't, do they?

A B2 visa is required for those individuals who are NOT eligible for the VWP.
Correct sentence - similar to "those individuals who are eligible for the VWP don't require a B-2 visa".

Agree with everything you say about restrictions on the VWP (did read post #19 of this thread) and visa not guaranteeing entry. And I personally am eligible, thank you (I have been visiting the US every other year for the past 10 years).

Oh wait... just got the following:

Question (sent with the full inquiry in the body of the message, before somebody argues that they're giving a restricted answer due to lack of information...):
May I engage in the short course of study I mentioned using the Visa Waiver Program, or shall I specifically apply for a B-2 tourist visa?

Yes, this can be done under the auspices of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) as well.


GKaplan 28th Sep 2010 21:25

On the website travel.state.gov and the student visa information page:
If you have additional inquiries about F or M student visas/J-1 exchange visitor visas, please email our Student/Exchange Visitor Visa Center at: fmjvisas (at) state.gov (pprune wouldn't accept the full email syntax).

Each time answered in 24 hours :ok:

VFR Transit 13th Oct 2010 11:58

Hi All

I am planning to go for a holiday as my primary vist to the USA and while there is would like to investigate and maybe complete a JAA MEP Class Rating, having spoken to a certain school they said no visa was required as the primary purpose was a holiday and advised this would be ok under VWP:bored:

Is this correct??? my understanding was that as this would be my inital MEP class rating then means I would need to obtain an M1 visa??

Any advice would be great as the search function came up with nothing.

I was planning on the UK for the training but as I am already going on holiday it would make sense?


fred1977 19th Oct 2010 12:03

Faa atp
i plan to go to america to get may ATP do i need a M1 visa or may i go to america with just a tourist visa and receive my flight training and do my check ride ???
No TSA is required for ATP

Thank to answer


fred1977 19th Oct 2010 12:07

for information i have already a faa commercial


fred1977 20th Oct 2010 07:24

just 2 to 3 weeks or maybe less juste te time to fly 10 to 15 HOURS and do my checkride

fred1977 20th Oct 2010 21:14

the problem it's if you don't pass your atp first time! so on bad senario the best is to get a M1.
But where is your freedom if you want to go a small flight school?
with the M1 you have to go to some flight school where there are a lot of students!

Thank you

BigGrecian 27th Oct 2010 22:51

Those who were after the reference regarding B1/B2 visas.
This is the extract from 8 CFR 214.2 which does not allow any studying on a B1/B2 visa.

(7) Enrollment in a course of study prohibited. An alien who is admitted as, or changes status to, a B1 or B2 nonimmigrant on or after April 12, 2002, or who files a request to extend the period of authorized stay in B1 or B2 nonimmigrant status on or after such date, violates the conditions of his or her B1 or B2 status if the alien enrolls in a course of study. Such an alien who desires to enroll in a course of study must either obtain an F1 or M1 nonimmigrant visa from a consular officer abroad and seek readmission to the United States, or apply for and obtain a change of status under section 248 of the Act and 8 CFR part 248. The alien may not enroll in the course of study until the Service has admitted the alien as an F1 or M1 nonimmigrant or has approved the alien's application under part 248 of this chapter and changed the alien's status to that of an F1 or M1 nonimmigrant.

sambel 12th Nov 2010 13:09

JAA - FAA licenses
Hey guys, thanks for finally explaining the USA TSA/VISA hassle....

I think what fred1977 is trying to say, that If you have to choose a flight school that has the ability to provide the applicant with the necessary paperwork the prices and rates will also increase rapidly.

Quick explanation on my situation. I have JAA CPL(A) IR SEP MEP with a frozen ATPL(A) TT about 750h and a JAA CPL(H) R22,R44,H300 TT 220h and FAA PPL (A) SEP MEP based on my foreign license. I've been wanting to get the FAA CPL(A) IR SEP MEP but on a very cost effective way and keep my options open concerning flight school or not. I haven't had a very good experience with USA flight school in the past. So the best option is just a CFI that has his own plane, just to do some prep flights, that still flies for fun... I only encountered flight schools that see me as a walking dollar sign.
So I'm also not looking for training, just check rides like GKaplan. I did the FAA CPL written test in Paris and it will expire by the end of January 2011.
Oklahoma is waiting on me to tell them to what FSBO they can send the approval.

So I have a issue with the TSA clearance, it states that my flight school has to verify the training.... I don't know what my flight school will be, I'm hoping, there will be none. Also the dates and duration is a question mark, I hope fast...
Also for a visa I need a flight school.....

I've been requesting price offers from a lot of schools, but no joy there... full training offers?? High prices per flight hour...Etc..

I've even been checking the AVGAS fuel prices to determine the state in which to find a flight... So If someone can point me in the right direction concerning a flight school or CFI or examiner please PM.

So all this is keeping me from coming to the USA...again...

If you ask me, I would get the TSA and M1 VISA, but then I need to go to an expensive flight school. How many times can I request a M1 VISA, because I will need it because I also want to get the FAA CFI in the future and then I will need training....

thanks again for the great topic!!
Greetings from Belgium.

BigGrecian 14th Nov 2010 17:35

So I have a issue with the TSA clearance, it states that my flight school has to verify the training.... I don't know what my flight school will be, I'm hoping, there will be none.
You have to do it at a flight school. You CANNOT do it with a private CFI as US immigration law does not allow this.

You will have to go to a SEVIS approved school ie. a 141 school.

There is no limit on the number of M1 visas you can have. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements and maintain your status you should have no problems.

This has been covered in much detail above. Please read the posts rather than just posting on the end.

tr0jan 14th Nov 2010 18:35

why would you guys wana do training in this USA , and go through all the headaches and visas and stuff. do you training in a welcoming country like the UK and you have got a much better chance to have a job with a JAA license. south africa , brazil and lots of countries now are offering cheap package prices for a full professional pilot course

sambel 15th Nov 2010 00:06

I've read all the posts above,thank you very much... Finding the TSA / VISA clearance thing a big money joke... oops now I might get flagged... The only reason why I would like to get the FAA licenses is because there are a lot of "N" registered aircraft's in Europe.... Just because the maintenance is a little less expensive than when it's registered in a EU country... I still wonder why there needs to be a difference between the rules is the aviation rules in the CAA, FAA or JAA.... certainly not for flight safety. Money???
Yes I'm still looking for a job and I really don't want to pay for a TR. By job I mean get payed a fair amount of money to perform the piloting task. Not like what I'm doing now a lot of unpaid standbys and resulting in not many flight hours..... So If there are jobs that I didn't come across I'm always grateful to receive PM's..
I just had an offer from a flight school "special deal"...right?... a FAA CPL is 3 days only $4500,00, I really find this an absurd price, that's $1500 a day.... that's why I don't like the TSA/VISA system, It's just for the money.. If someone can prove me different, please do....

B2N2 15th Nov 2010 16:00

This is really really off topic but I can't stand it anymore:

Sambel, tell me the following:

I have a FAA CPL ME IR and 9000+ hrs, I want a JAA CPL...how much is that going to cost me? More or less then $4500?

I'll save you the trouble and tell you how much...around $20,000.
Thank you.
The audacity of some European pilots to complain about the US system/cost....:ugh: outrageous.

Look at your own systems/cost before you complain about anything.
Trust me European trained pilots are not God's gift to aviation even though too many seem to think that way.

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