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TSA

REQUIREMENTS

 

TSA

TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (TSA)

Flight Training Requirements

If you are planning to train at Star Helicopters you will need to contact us before submitting a request to the TSA. If you require a visa, please take a look at our M-1 Visa page under Flight Training on our website to give you a step by step outline of what you will need to do to obtain a visa.

After the events of September 11th, the United States has implemented more stringent guidelines for anyone entering the country for Flight Training. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has developed a website, www.flightschoolcandidates.gov which all foreign nationals must go through to obtain permission for training.

Click here for step-by-step Instructions for completing your TSA request

Creation and Purpose of TSA

TSA is a controversial U.S. government agency that was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 19, 2001. The TSA was originally organized in the U.S. Department of Transportation but was moved to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 01, 2003.

The TSA is a component of the Department of Homeland Security and is responsible for security of the nation's transportation systems. With state, local and regional partners, the TSA oversees security for highways, railroads, buses, mass transit systems, ports, and 450 U.S. airports. The TSA's mission is to prevent terrorist attacks and to protect the US transportation network. The TSA employs approximately 50,000 people. Roughly 40,000 of its employees are Transportation Security Officers, commonly known as screeners.

The mission of the Alien Flight Student Program is to ensure that Non-U.S. Citizen Candidates seeking training at flight schools regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) do not pose a threat to aviation or national security. This website contains the application for aliens seeking to train at FAA-regulated flight schools. Candidates are required to complete this application prior to beginning flight training in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 44939 and 49 CFR 1552.

Candidates seeking flight training fall into one of four categories. A brief explanation of the categories follows:

Category 1

  • Candidates who seek flight training in the operation of aircraft with a maximum certified takeoff weight greater than 12,500 pounds but do not fall into Category 2.

Category 2

  • Candidates who seek flight training in the operation of aircraft with a maximum certified takeoff weight greater than 12,500 pounds, and who:
    1. Are employed by a foreign air carrier that operates under 14 CFR part 1546;
    2. Have unescorted access authority to a secured area of an airport under U.S.C 44936(a)(1)(A)(ii), 49 CFR 1542.229;
    3. Are a flight crew member who has successfully completed a criminal history records check in accordance with 49 CFR 1544.230; or
    4. Hold an airman's certificate that is recognized by the FAA or appropriate US military agency, and that permits the candidate to operate a multi-engine aircraft that has a certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or more.

Category 3

  • Candidates who request training for aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less. For example: Bell, Robinson and Schweizer.

    Further Clarification: Category 3 Rotorcraft Requirements: Candidates seeking training on rotorcraft with an MTOW of less than 12,500 lbs. are subject to the above Category 3 clarification. Candidates seeking rotorcraft training must obtain approval for the initial license, instrument rating or multi-engine rating if the pilot does not hold a fixed-wing equivalent.

Category 4

  • Candidates who are current and qualified on the aircraft for which they are requesting training.

Aliens - Non U.S. Citizens/Resident Aliens

This applies to any person not a citizen or national of the United States. This also refers to resident aliens (green-card holders) and visa holders in the United States who are receiving flight training inside or outside the United States for an U.S. airman certificate.

  1. Candidate Notifies Flight School.  

    The flight training candidate should provide advanced notice to the flight school that he or she intends to start flight training.

  1. Flight School Registers

    After the candidate notifies the flight school of their intent to start flight training, the flight school needs to register online with TSA at www.flightschoolcandidates.gov after accessing the AFSP provider Web page, scroll down the page to select "new account".  After registering, for flight schools in the United States, a user ID will be immediately provided and a password will be sent later via e-mail. For flight schools outside the United States, follow the instructions provided at the provider registration Web page.

  1. Candidate Creates Login

The candidate is required to create a login account at;   https://www.flightschoolcandidates.gov. A user ID is provided immediately after submitting the required information, and a password is sent via e-mail. (Time may vary on receiving the password possibly 24 to 48 hours.)

  1. Candidate Applies for Training

    After receiving his or her password, the candidate will be instructed to change it. The candidate then logs into the TSA student registration page at www.flightschoolcandidates.gov and continues the application process.

    The candidate will be required to submit the following information:

    • Background Information

      Full name, gender, current address and five-year address history, date and country of birth, and citizenship information

    • TSA Identification Number

      The TSA identification number is not given to the candidate. Rather, it is an internal designator only seen by TSA.

    • Passport and Visa Information

      Foreign applicants are required to have a passport. A candidate may either scan his or her complete passport and submit it to TSA electronically, or copy his or her complete passport and fax it to TSA using the fax number provided on the AFSP Web site.

    • Training Details

      Basic information including the name of the school, course name, course description and ID number, type of aircraft, pilot certificate or rating sought, and the start and end dates for the flight training. If the flight school is already registered with TSA, it might be helpful if the candidate brings his or visa and passport and registers at the flight school. This will allow the flight school to upload the required documents to TSA and also to make copies for the flight school's record-keeping requirements. Upon completion of the application, the candidate will be prompted to click on the "validate and submit" icon. If any errors appear in the application, the candidate will be instructed to make any necessary corrections or complete any missing information. After making any changes, the candidate clicks on "submit application." Furthermore, after submitting the application, and for the application to proceed further, the candidate must select "I agree" or "I disagree" after reviewing important information regarding his or her application. The candidate training request status is available on the AFSP candidate home page at www.flightschoolcandidates.gov. Each training request the candidate has entered into the system is listed in the Current Flight Training Applications section of the AFSP home page after login.

    • Fingerprints

      Free fingerprinting forms are available by calling the American Association of Airport Executives at 703/797-2550.  (AAAE has reported that it is not issuing fingerprinting forms to candidates, only flight schools and instructors).  Flight schools may opt to receive the fingerprinting forms via express or overnight mail for a charge. Additionally, a prepaid return envelope for returning the forms to AAAE may also be provided for a charge.

      A candidate's fingerprints must be collected by or under the supervision of one of the following:

      • A U.S. federal, state, or local law enforcement agency.
      • U.S. government personnel at a U.S. embassy or consulate that possesses appropriate fingerprint collection equipment and personnel certified to capture fingerprints.
      • Another entity approved by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or TSA, including airports that possess appropriate fingerprint collection equipment and personnel certified to capture fingerprints
    1. Note: Aliens are exempt from resubmitting fingerprints for taking additional flight training. Fingerprints will continue to be transferred to new flight training requests but only if the alien uses the same account (pin) number that was used for the initial flight training request.

    2. $130 Application Processing Fee

      The fee must be paid by credit card on the TSA's Web site. (Candidates now have a maximum of 10 attempts at paying the processing fee. After the tenth failure, the training request is canceled by TSA's system, and the candidate must submit a new training request. Please verify that your credit card is valid before attempting to pay the processing fee)

    3. Photo

      The student should have his or her photo taken by the flight school when he or she arrives at the flight school for the first day of flight training. The flight school will be required to upload this same photo, not one copied from the candidate's passport or other identification, to TSA's Web site or have it faxed to TSA at (571)227-4532 or (571)227-4534. For guidance on taking and uploading the photo of the candidate, please see the frequently asked questions section below.

    4. The following are descriptions of each status type:
      1. Draft

        Candidate has started to enter request, but it has not yet been submitted. Next step: Candidate (or provider for Category 4) selects the "Validate and Submit Application" icon and corrects errors prior to submitting the request.

      2. Submitted

        The request has been fully submitted. Next step (Category 1-3): Provider logs into Web site to validate or deny the request.

      3. Provider Accepted

        Provider accepted the candidate's request. Next step: Candidate pays the $130 AFSP fee online. Once the fee has been received by TSA, an authorized agent fingerprints the candidate.

      4. Provider Rejected

        Provider rejected the candidate's request. Next step: Candidate contacts the provider to inquire about denial of request.

      5. Preliminary Approval Granted

        Preliminary approval has been granted to the candidate.

      6. Fingerprints Received

        TSA has received the candidate's fingerprints. Next step: Category 1 candidates up to 30 calendar days to receive approval; Category 2 candidates up to five business days to receive approval; Category 3 and 4 candidates will not receive this status.

      7. Final Approval Granted

        Candidate has been granted final approval for the training request. Next step: Training must commence within 180 days of final approval.

      8. Final Approval Rejected

        Candidate has been denied training.

      9. Insufficient Information

        Candidate has submitted a training request with incomplete or inaccurate information. Candidates should then carefully follow the e-mail instructions given to edit and resubmit the training request.

      10. Illegible Passport/Security Document Received

        Candidate's passport or airman certificate has either not been received by the AFSP or the copy sent was unreadable. Candidate should resend the documents via e-mail AFSP.help@dhs.gov or fax them to (571)227-4532 or (571)227-4534. Be sure to include the training request ID number with the resubmission to ensure proper filing.

      For Category 2 Candidates: If an "Illegible/Un-received Security Document" e-mail is received, please follow the instructions in the e-mail carefully. This may indicate that the candidate either sent in an illegible security document, the document has not been received, or that the candidate may not be eligible for Category 2 and should follow the e-mail instructions given.

      Further questions about the status of your flight training request should be directed to TSA by e-mail to AFSP.help@dhs.gov or by calling (571)227-4544.

  2. Flight School Acknowledges Training Request

    The flight school will be sent an e-mail from TSA requesting confirmation of the candidate's training request after the candidate's request has been submitted.

  3. Candidate Instructed to Pay Fee

    Once the flight school confirms the candidate's request, the candidate will be e-mailed instructions to pay the $130 processing fee (credit card only). Candidates now have a maximum of 10 attempts at paying the processing fee. After the tenth failure, the training request is canceled by TSA's system, and the candidate must submit a new training request. Please verify that your credit card is valid before attempting to pay the processing fee.

  4. Flight School and Candidate Receive Preliminary TSA Decision

    Upon receiving the payment, TSA e-mails both the candidate and the flight school an e-mail with the subject "Preliminary Approval." THIS DOES NOT GRANT YOU PERMISSION TO RECEIVE TRAINING. This e-mail confirms the application and fee have been received by TSA, but they still need to receive the candidate's fingerprints. If the preliminary decision is not received within seven business days, contact the TSA Help Desk at (571)227-4544.

  5. Candidate Instructed to Submit Fingerprints

    If the preliminary decision is favorable, candidates will receive an e-mail from AFSP with a subject "Fingerprint Instructions" when a successful payment has been verified. Although you may receive a notification from Pay.Gov for a successful payment, your training request will not be processed by AFSP until the payment is verified by TSA and you have been sent the "Fingerprint Instructions" e-mail. If the decision is not favorable, the candidate will be provided details regarding any information that may be missing from their registration.

    Note: Aliens are exempt from resubmitting fingerprints for taking additional flight training. Fingerprints will continue to be transferred to new flight training requests but only if the alien uses the same account (pin) number that was used for the initial flight training request.

    Notice: Effective April 17, 2006, if a candidate submits/submitted fingerprints prior to paying for his/her training request and receiving the official Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) fingerprinting instructions, the fingerprints are invalid, and the associated training request(s) will be canceled. The fingerprints will NOT be applied to any current or future training request. Both the candidate and the provider will receive an e-mail notifying them that the fingerprints are invalid, the training request(s) is/are canceled, and what steps need to be taken to resolve the problem to complete processing through the AFSP.

  6. Flight School and Candidate Receive TSA Confirmation

    Prior to beginning any flight training, both the candidate and the flight training provider will receive an e-mail with the subject "Permission to Initiate Training/Fingerprint Receipt" when all of the required information has been received and verified by TSA. This e-mail needs to be received by the candidate before training is started.

  7. Flight School Takes Photo

    The flight school takes a photo of the candidate when he or she arrives for the first day of flight training. The flight school will be required to upload this same photo, not one copied from the candidate's passport or other identification, to TSA's Web site or have it faxed to TSA at (571)227-4532 or (571)227-4534.

  8. Final Determination Is Made by TSA

    TSA will make a final determination as to the candidate's eligibility to receive flight training (training may have already started) and will notify the flight school and candidate of its decision.

Domestic and International Fingerprinting Locations

Certain international locations are equipped to process fingerprints for alien candidates as part of an expanded partnership with NATA Compliance Services. A list of participating airports is available at www.tsc-csc.com/printoffices

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