Obtaining an FAA Private Pilot License Based on a Foreign ICAO License
As per CFR Part 61.75, prospective students who hold a private pilot or greater certificate issued by a country which is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) can apply for an FAA Private Pilot certificate based on that foreign license. Those who apply for a certificate issued on the basis of a foreign license are required to have the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that issued the certificate(s) verify the validity and currency of the foreign license. Be advised that the license must be validated and found current at the time of completion of your next higher rating or pilot certificate that uses it as a prerequisite. For example, when taking the FAA check ride for an FAA Instrument Rating, your foreign license must be current and valid at the time of the test, and before you can take the test, you must have at least a Verification of Authenticity from the FAA, or you will not be able to take the check ride for the Instrument Rating. To avoid any delays in training, we ask that you pre-apply to the FAA to validate your foreign license at least 60 days prior to arriving at FFTC (the 60-day estimate assumes the foreign aviation authority will respond to the FAA verification request in a timely manner). Once the foreign license is verified, the FAA will send a Verification of Authenticity letter to your address and the FAA Flight District Standards District Office provided on the application. The FSDO uses this letter to issue you an FAA Private Pilot certificate based on your foreign pilot license.
Here's how to submit the application:
You begin the application process by submitting a form developed by the FAA Certification Branch. The form is available here
for your convenience. We strongly recommend you view the FAA information regarding your foreign license and follow FAA directions to get your FAA Private Pilot license as soon as possible to avoid training delays. Here is how to get to the FAA’s information on this matter:
- Go to faa.gov
- Click on the “License and Certificates” tab.
- Click on the “More Airmen Certification” link in the center of the page.
- Click on the “Verify the Authenticity of a Foreign License, Rating or Medical Certification” link in the center of the page. This page provides instructions and another link to the “Verification of Authenticity of Foreign License, Rating, and Medical Certification,” which will allow you to download the PDF form.
The FAA will need the completed form as well as the following to verify the authenticity of your foreign license:
- A legible copy of all pages of the foreign pilot license
- A legible English transcription of the foreign pilot license, if the license is not in English
- A legible copy of the foreign medical license/endorsement, as appropriate
After the form and documents are submitted, the FAA’s Airmen Certification Branch located in Oklahoma City will do the following:
You can send the completed form and documents in one of two ways:
Federal Aviation Administration
Airman Certification Branch, AFS- 760
P.O. Box 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0082
- Verify the authenticity of the person’s foreign pilot license and medical license with the foreign Civil Aviation Authority.
- Ensure the person’s foreign pilot license and medical license is not under an order of suspension or revocation.
- Issue the Verification of Authenticity letter to the Flight Standards District Office and a copy to the applicant.
NOTE: The Verification of Authenticity letter expires 180 days from the date on the letter. The applicant can use the restricted FAA Private Pilot certificate as a requirement to earn addition U.S. pilot ratings. The pilot is able to add additional ratings with the currency dates of the Verification of Authenticity letter. If the pilot is not able to complete his training within the 180-day period, the application process for a Verification of Authentcity letter would start over from the beginning. Once an FAA certificate (i.e., commercial) is earned, the Verification of Authenticity letter is no longer required since the FAA license is no longer based on a foreign license.