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The validation process from ICAO-based license to FAA license

Posted on: 03/04/2024

One common question we receive from pilots with an ICAO license is how they can obtain an FAA commercial pilot license or airline pilot license.

For pilots with an ICAO license looking to get an FAA license, they typically go through a validation process rather than starting from scratch.

This involves one common step: applying for validation of their license through IACRA, the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application, which is an online system used by the FAA. Through IACRA, pilots can submit their documentation and track their progress throughout the process.

Step number one

To begin the process of obtaining an FAA ATP license with your ICAO license, you’ll need to create an account on the government website https://iacra.faa.gov/IACRA/Default.aspx. Once your account is set up, log in to IACRA as an applicant and initiate the foreign license verification process. You’ll be prompted to upload your national ICAO license and medical interpretation documents, then submit your application.

The verification process typically lasts between 45 to 90 days. During this time, the FAA sends a request to your local Civil Aviation Authority to confirm the validity of your foreign-based pilot license. Once the FAA receives confirmation from your local authority, they issue a letter of verification. You can access this letter through the IACRA website. With the letter of verification, you can proceed to the next step in obtaining your FAA pilot license.

It’s important to note that there are additional requirements for pilot license holders from specific countries such as Australia, Cyprus, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Be sure to review the specific requirements based on your country of origin to ensure a smooth application process. For detailed information on special requirements for Canadian and Australian pilots, please visit our website at the following links:

For Canadian pilots: https://atp.academy/faa-atp-for-canadian-pilots/

For Australian pilots: https://atp.academy/atp-for-australian-pilots/

Our Chief Instructor Andrey Borisevich has also created a tremendous video that specifically addresses the question you have.

Also, you may read this article regarding a Letter of verification – https://atp.academy/faa-letter-of-verification-what-why-and-how/

Step number two

The subsequent steps in the process are contingent upon your flight experience and the type of pilot license you hold, ensuring compliance with the specific requirements outlined in Part 61.153 and Part 61.159 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. These regulations oversee pilot certification and establish criteria for the accumulation of flight hours. The FAA evaluates these factors during the application processing phase to verify your eligibility for an FAA pilot license.

If you possess fewer than 1500 flight hours, you may explore alternative pathways to obtain an FAA license. For detailed guidance on this process, please visit the following page: “How to obtain an FAA License for Holders of ICAO CPL with Less Than 1500 Hours”.

If you already have ICAO ATP you can get your FAA ATP license without type rating based on ICAO ATP, read this “Step-by-step instruction for foreign ATP pilots”.

If you have an ICAO commercial pilot license with more than 1500 hours of flight time and you qualified for an FAA ATP license according to Part 61.159 then you can apply for an FAA ATP license straightforwardly. You don’t need to validate your license to a private pilot Form14.

If you’re applying for an ATP multi-engine license, whether it’s a non-type or type rating, completion of the ATP-CTP course is required. Our ATP.Academy offers these classes to fulfill this requirement. For more information on our ATP-CTP program and obtaining an ATP multi-engine license, please visit our website: ATP-CTP Program

Step number three

The ATM written exam is an examination administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This test assesses the knowledge of pilots seeking to obtain an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate with a multi-engine rating. The exam covers a wide range of topics relevant to multi-engine aircraft operations, including aerodynamics, aircraft systems, performance, weather, navigation, regulations, and safety procedures. With a pass rate of 70%, passing the ATM written test is an important step towards earning an ATP certificate and advancing one’s career as a professional pilot.

Step number four

To pass your checkride and obtain your FAA ATP license, you have options. You can choose a multi-engine airplane with piston engines, such as the Beechcraft Duchess for your checkride. Alternatively, if you are already a jet pilot with a type rating, you can combine your ATP checkride with your type rating. For instance, if you hold an Airbus A320 type rating in your country, you would need to undergo the Airbus A320 reduced course in the USA and then pass your checkride on the Airbus A320 Level D simulator, combined with the ATP checkride.

Regardless of your choice, you will receive your FAA ATP license independent of your local ICAO license. If you opt for the ATP single-engine license, the steps will be the same, but without the ATP CTP Course, as it is not required for single-engine pilots.

We have addressed several common questions about obtaining an FAA license based on your foreign ICAO license. If you have any further inquiries, please feel free to contact us at info@flydreams.us or through our contact form at https://atp.academy/contacts/.

If you prefer podcasts or videos, you can also explore our content on this topic through our video available at:

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