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3 Answers

Can a non US citizen become a CFI?

Asked by: 2889 views FAA Regulations, Flight Instructor

I am not an US citizen, but i am on my way to get my commercial pilot license in the states. I am here for my work from my country, doing the pilot stuff part time. I like this place and thought of immigranting here for good. But i need to find a source of income legally. So I am wondering is it possible for me to take up CFI as an occupation as an alien? Build time and get some income. Hope i could get some answers here. Appreciate you guys~

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3 Answers



  1. John D. Collins on Mar 06, 2013

    The FAA doesn’t have a requirement that a CFI be a citizen. See http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgFAR.nsf/0/DE50DEF0C265438E8625768F005C3A9F?OpenDocument

    I don’t know the immigration requirements to be authorized to work in the US. Your current Visa must include some type of work permit, but you should discuss any limitations with your employer or the US Immigration Service.

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  2. Carl Tyler on Mar 06, 2013

    Your FAA certification and rights to work in America are two different things.

    Because you become a CFI does not mean you can be a CFI that charges in the US.

    If you have a greencard (Permanent residency) you an do pretty much any job.

    If you have a H1B Visa, you can basically work for the employer that bought you over, the same goes for L, E and O visas.

    If you’re on a visitors visa, you cannot work period. If you are caught working, it will make it very hard for you to get a work visa in the future.

    What kind of visa do you have?

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  3. wind on Mar 08, 2013

    Thanks John. That’s exactly what my instructor told me to refer to as well. It’s more like what Carl is saying. Becoming a CFI doesn’t mean I can work as a CFI.
    Appreciate the info. I’m here from my company, you can call it an overseas attachment. I’m not sure what visa I need for such attachment, but I’m definitely legal for now.
    I dont think flight school would go through the hassle to hire a alien as a CFI. Am I right? There are so many CFI around. What do you think I can do, to make them do lesser and consider bringing me over with working visas?

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