ATP Flight School is the largest flight school in the United States and specializes in helping students train to become airline pilots. If you are currently located outside of the United States you might be wondering if you are able to attend their training program.
We often hear people asking if ATP Flight School accepts international students.
You must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident in order to attend ATP Flight School.
For resident aliens (who are not U.S. Citizens) there are other special requirements that must be met.
In this article we will take a closer look at what those requirements are and look at a few key details that might affect if you can attend their school.
Requirements to attend ATP Flight School
In order to be eligible to attend ATP Flight School you need to meet the following requirements:
- You must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED (General Education Degree)
- FAA First Class Medical Certificate (here’s a great resource for FAA Medical Certificates)
- Meet height limits – If you’re over 6’3″ you’ll be evaluated for the ability to safely use controls in the airplane
- Meet weight limit – Students weighing over 250 lbs may not be allowed to enroll due to aircraft operational limits
Please note that these are the requirements to attend ATP Flight School, which are different than the requirements to be an airline pilot. It’s important to note that in the United States you must either be a legal citizen or permanent resident to work as an airline pilot.
As you can see in their requirements, you can attend their program if you are a legal permanent resident. Let’s look at some additional requirements you’ll have to meet if you are not a US Citizen.
TSA Requirements for Non U.S. Citizens
In order to attend ATP Flight School as a non-U.S. Citizen you’ll have to pass a number of extensive FAA background checked. These background check requirements must be completed prior to obtaining any of the following:
- Initial FAA Pilot Certificate Training
- Initial FAA Instrument Rating
- Initial FAA Multi-engine rating
- Any training in an aircraft over 12,500 pounds
As you can see, there are many requirements and background checks for non US Citizens due to safety procedures and preventing the wrong people from getting flight training.
Why you might not be able to attend
As mentioned above, there are many requirements and restrictions when it comes to who can be an airline pilot in the United States. The reason many flight schools (like ATP Flight School) don’t take on foreign students is that they are focused on training their students to become airline pilots here in the USA. Since those students would not qualify, they would likely not be a good fit for the school
Other Flight Schools
Although you cannot work as an airline pilot (or attend ATP Flight School) as a non-US Citizen, you can still learn to fly here in the United States as long as you follow very specific guidelines set out by the TSA. You can learn about those on their website here. That means you’ll be able to take the training and earn your private pilot license so you can fly for yourself and family/friends as a hobby.
Many students from all over the world take advantage of this program to learn to fly in the United States.
Please note that if you intend to complete flight training in the US and then use that training and experience in your native country you should also look into what your native countries requirements are before beginning any program. This can save you a lot of time and money if for some reason the training will not transfer.
Due to regulations around who can and cannot obtain flight training in the United States. If you are currently located outside of the U.S. and are interested in becoming a pilot, you should start with looking into the process for obtaining flight training in your home country. Another option would be to consider working through the process to become a U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien before you begin your journey to become a pilot.