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R/w Training In The States....


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I am also just looking at schools and am planning on attending in the states. The reason is because they offer a professional pilot program with CFI,IR,and CFII. Also because it is easy to get a job instructing and gaining hours afterwards. Has anyone else on here done this? Is it a good plan? Thanks.


If you don't have the right to work in the US, forget about it. Sure, if you want to come down here and do your training to get your commercial ticket, you'll save some money. If you want to do your CFI/CFII and work (cheap) to build time afterwards, you need at least a temporary work visa. Depending on where you're from, you might be eligible to enter the annual visa lottery, but if you're Canadian, Australian, or from Western Europe, forget about it, 'cause we're not eligible for the lottery. You will be able to get a student visa, of course you'll have to go through the TSA Alien Flight Student Program process (no picnic). A student visa, however, does not allow you to work, ergo you cannot work as a flight instructor...

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If you do your training in The States, remember to include the cost of converting to Canadian CPL and the lack of tax deductions.

CCRA will most likely deny the tax deduction for a course done outside of Canada, that is offered here in Canada.

Good Luck! :up:

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OK, here goes...


At the beginning (in 1997-8) when I did my research, I had Heli-college, Sierra Academy and Helicopter Adventures on the top of my list. Heli College was the only canadian company advertising internationally, so that was all I had from Canada.


I decided not to go there, of two reasons, 1, R-22's and my "frame" don't mix, am on the heavier side, and it would have been a constant battle, and 2, the lack of work visa's


I delved with Sierra and HAI for some time, they were neighbours in the bay area of California.


In the end I chose HAI, since they had more machines, and were dedicated to training helicopter pilots.

If you go there, you will get a VISA for two years (J-1) which if you do things right (taht is WORK HARD) you can finnish training in 9 months to a year, and then work for the time left over.


If you need to fly R-22, they'll require 200 rhs minimum. Schweizer you can fly at 155-160 (which you WILL have after fininshing all licenses).


Finding work is not THAT easy, but if you work at it, there are plenty of opportunities. But the question remains, what do you do when finnished with your J-1 visa?


ANd what is the cost of living? In California it is VERY expensive to live.

Soo many options, but the choice will remain yours!


My 2 kroner :)

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yup, new rules...


"Foreign pilots who are seeking flight training must first complete the Transportation Security Administration's Alien Flight Student Program.


You must submit a request if:


You are not a citizen or national of the United States;

You wish to receive flight training for any aircraft; and

You wish to receive flight training from an FAA-regulated flight training provider that will lead to an FAA certification, type rating, or other FAA-covered distinction, regardless of whether training occurs in the U.S. or abroad. "


fingerprints, fees & fun! <_<



oh... and HAI (Helicopter Adventures) has moved to Florida, Sierra Academy no longer has helicopter training AFAIK.

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I just went through the TSA AFSP process, and it's a royal pain in the arse. Apparently it is getting better, but you have to go through this process, which btw costs about $200 USD (130 for TSA + 60-90 for fingerprints), BEFORE you can even apply for the visas. Before you can do the TSA thing, you have to have chosen your flight school, and they will likely require a non-refundable deposit to do their end of the administrative hassles.


So, to recap:


1- Choose your school and give 'em some money

2- Apply to TSA Alien Flight Student Program https://www.flightschoolcandidates.gov/

3- Apply for a student visa (if you're Canadian, this only applies if you'll be here longer than 180 days)

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oh... and HAI (Helicopter Adventures) has moved to Florida, Sierra Academy no longer has helicopter training AFAIK.


Not entirely correct there...


HAI has moved the MAJORITY of it's operation to Titusville, Florida, but some of the training is still done in Calif. ("Mountain training" in the Sierra Nevada's). Sierra Academy used to lease their machines from HAI.. Go figger.


But immigration to the US now officially SUCK :up:

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Roscoe -------it's not that much more difficult. The biggest mistake folks make when planning such a thing is to deal strictly with the US Immigration Department. Doing that yourself is akin to treating yourself at home for a serious medical problem.......and emigrating to another country is serious and has nuances that the average person doesn't completely understand. The record shows that those people wishing to do so are MUCH more successful if they get the assistance of an Immigration Lawyer.


Next, it depends on your education and how much, your profession or trade is required. Depending on your experience in that profession or trade will also increase your chances. Think north also when thinking of the US because Canadians have many of the needed experiences that Alaskan firms cannot find in the lower 49......and many from that area consider Alaska to be the North Pole and ain't going period. Evergreen Alaska are looking at this moment and they'll take experienced Canadians, contract or permanent.........and THEY do ALL the paperwork.....all you do is supply a Canadian Passport. So to say one can't emigrate to the US and find work is not just a simple black and white statement as that.......it's more complicated and diverse. There's an average of 30,000-50,000 Canadians per year who emigrate to the US to work/live and that's been the average for many years now. So first step is consult an Immigration lawyer and 2nd step is find an employer in the US that will hire you IF you have that Work Visa or will get one for you.....and state so in writing. Without the former you got a fool for a client and without the latter your chances diminsh again.


I only added my comment here because I have duel citizenship and while in the States have seen some very unfortunate things in this regard.......and a lot of it was because of the person doing it themselves or only being able to say, "well the Immigration person at such and such an office told me.........". It's then a poor time to START seeking legal expertise.

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  • 2 weeks later...

HAI is looking for Instructors right now. I know because when I got home to collect my mail I had a letter and application from them. I talked to them, they are very busy. So there is some oppertunity for low time guys there.


As for the TSA, well there is some paper work you have to do, that is all. Also there is some paper work the flight instructor needs to do as well when you show up for training. You tell them who you are and what you want to do training wise, then when you show for training, the instructor or flight school conferms that you are who you are with TSA.


Yep its a pain, but our little 9/11 friends, had some 60 different Drivers licenses between them and over stayed there Visa's. They messed up what was a pretty good deal, anybody could come seek education and then take a year to get some work experience before returning home. Sorry that some are not happy with this, but then again as a nation or any nation can not allow just anybody to do what those guys did, and never respond to it. TSA is in responce to that event, it may not be perfect, nothing ever is. We could have just said to everybody here on a Visa, will have to leave the nation at once, we didn't just a couple of forms to summit. The last time I was in Canada, I was asked a whole bunch of questions and a few forms to fill out, and they knew my whole story because they showed me the info they had on computer. Canada had a need to know who I am and what I was going to do, in your Country. While it took some extra time for the crossing that day, I didn't think it was all that problematic for me. The wanted to know were I would be going how long I planned on staying and when I would return to the States.

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  • 1 month later...

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