U.S. Citizens Seeking Flight Training

This information pertaining to U.S. citizens who wish to begin training for a pilot certificate

Before a U.S. citizen can begin flight training toward an initial FAA pilot certificate, recreational, sport pilot, or private pilot certificate; instrument rating; or multiengine rating, a CFI must verify citizenship.

1.  Determine applicability. The requirements for determining citizenship status for any student, whether U.S. or alien, applies only to flight training towards an initial FAA pilot certificate, including a recreational pilot, sport pilot, or private pilot certificate; instrument rating; or multiengine rating.

2.  Proof of citizenship. Student must show evidence of U.S. citizenship to instructor with one of the following:

1.   Valid, unexpired U.S. Passport

2.   Original or government-issued birth certificate of the U.S., American Samoa, or Swains Island AND a government-issued picture ID

3.   Original certificate of birth abroad with raised seal (Form FS-545 or DS-1350) AND a government-issued picture ID

4.   Original certificate of U.S. citizenship with raised seal (Form N-560 or N-561) or a Certificate of Repatriation (Form N-581) AND government-issued pictured ID

5.   Original U.S. Naturalization Certificate with raised seal (Form N-550 or N-570) AND a government-issued picture ID

3.  Students who change flight schools and/or locations will be required to prove citizenship and receive a logbook endorsement. Recurring logbook endorsements are required when students change flight schools or instructors (if the instructor did not know the student when the student received the initial logbook endorsement).

4.     Flight reviews and instrument proficiency checks do not fall under the TSA definition of flight training. TSA has also interpreted the definition of recurrent training to “not include any flight review, proficiency check, or other check to review rules, maneuvers, or procedures, or to demonstrate a pilot’s existing skills on aircraft with a MTOW of 12,500 pounds or less”.


Aliens and Non-U.S. Citizens Seeking Flight Training

This information applies to non-U.S. citizens who wish to conduct flight training in an aircraft weighing less than 12,500 (typically under a Category 3 training request).

Any questions about the AFSP may also be directed to the AFSP Help Desk at 571/203-8470 or AFSP.Help@tsa.dhs.gov 


You must participate in the Alien Flight Student Program and undergo a security threat assessment if:

  •  You are an alien; and
  • You are seeking flight training inside or outside the United States for U.S. airman certificate under 14 CFR. This rule applies to flight training that you could use toward a recreational, sport, or private pilot certificate; multiengine or instrument rating; or any initial U.S. airman certificate issued by FAA.
  • NOTE: Information on this page applies only to aliens training in aircraft with a maximum certificate takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less.


As an alien, you are NOT required to participate in the AFSP and undergo a security threat assessment if

  • You are seeking recurrent training, such as a flight review, instrument proficiency check, or flight training listed under 14 CFR 61.31; or
  • You are seeking ground training; or
  • You are participating in a discovery or demonstration flight for marketing purposes; or
  • The Department of Defense or U.S. Coast Guard (or a contractor with either) is providing your training
  • You have been endorsed by the U.S. Department of Defense. Click here for instructions if you have been endorsed by DoD
  • These exemptions are further clarified at www.flightschoolcandidates.gov.

If this rule applies to you, follow the steps below before you begin flight training. Click on the steps for further information.

         1) Verify that you have an appropriate visa

         2) Notify the flight school that you want to begin flight training

         3) Ensure that you have a valid email address

         4) Create a login account on TSA’s AFSP website

         5) Apply for training on TSA’s AFSP website.

         6) Wait for the flight school to acknowledge your training request

         7) Pay the nonrefundable $130 processing fee per instructions emailed to you

         8) Look for a “Preliminary Approval” email from TSA.

         9) Submit fingerprints to TSA per instructions emailed to you.

         10) Wait for TSA to notify you and the flight school of its decision

         11) Once you have received TSA approval, start flight training

         12) Have your photo taken by the flight school when arrive for the first day of training