TSA Registration Requirements

Aliens and Non-U.S. Citizens Seeking Flight Training
All of the information below can be found at http://www.aopa.org/tsa_rule/alienft.html
AOPA has compiled easy to understand information concerning TSA’s Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP). Below you will find information on applicability, step by step guidance on submitting a request for flight training. Information on this page 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).

For more information, contact AOPA’s Pilot Information Center at 1-800-USA-AOPA. Any questions about the AFSP may also
be directed to the AFSP Help Desk at 571/203-8470 or AFSP.Help@dhs.gov. Please review TSA’s Help Desk guidelines before
contacting the Help Desk.


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. If you are training in
an aircraft exceeding this weight read, TSA Background Checks for Training in Aircraft over 12,500.

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.
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.

Verify that you have an appropriate visa.
The AFSP will deny flight training requests from candidates who are present in the U.S. illegally or who do not have an
appropriate visa for flight training (fees paid for denied applications will not be refunded).Moreover, taking flight training
without an appropriate visa could be a violation of your immigration status and could result in your arrest and removal from
the United States.

Note: Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) of the United States are not required to have a visa.
If you do not possess the correct visa, or if you have questions pertaining to your visa status or the appropriate visas for flight
training, please contact your local Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services at 800/375-5283 or www.uscis.gov or the
State Department Consular Affairs Office for assistance.

Notify the flight school that you want to begin taking flight training.
You should notify the flight school in advance that you intend to start flight training because the flight school also needs to
register online with TSA before you begin flight training.

If the flight school is already registered with TSA, it might be useful to bring all required documents and information for the
application to the flight school and register there, as you will have to include training details on your application. This will allow
the flight school to upload required documents to TSA and also to make copies for the flight school”s record-keeping

Ensure that you have a valid email address.
AFSP will communicate with you primarily by email, so you should have a valid email address that you are able to check
Create a login account at TSA’s AFSP website.
Visit TSA’s AFSP website at and create login account by clicking on “Create New Student Account” and following the
Note: you do not need to create a new account if you already have one from the FTCCP; any user ID and password that was
created for the FTCCP website will work on the AFSP website.
A user ID will be provided immediately after you submit the required information, and a password will be sent to you via email.
Time may vary on receiving the password – possibly 24-48 hours. Follow the email instructions, including changing your
You can learn more about creating and managing your account by going online.

Apply for training on TSA’s AFSP website
Log into the TSA page and continue the application process. The TSA Application Guide describes the information you will be
required to submit, including background information, passport and visa information, and training details. Follow these
guidelines to ensure your uploaded documents are legible.
Upon completion of the application, you will be prompted to click on the “validate and submit” icon. If any errors appear in the
application, you will be instructed to make any necessary corrections or complete any missing information.
After making any changes, click on “submit application.” For the application to proceed further, you must select “I agree” or “I
disagree” after reviewing important information regarding your application.
Your training request status will be available on the AFSP candidate home page. Each training request you have entered into the
system will be listed in the Current Flight Training Applications section of the AFSP home page after login. You can find
descriptions of each status type online.
Note: you may cancel a training request that is in the Draft status by going to Step 7 of the request, clicking on the Edit link for
that request, and clicking the “Delete Training Request” button.

Wait for the flight school to acknowledge your training request.
The flight school must acknowledge your training request before your application proceeds further. TSA will send the flight
school an email requesting confirmation of your training request after it has been submitted.

Pay the nonrefundable $130 processing fee per instructions emailed to you.
Once the flight school confirms your request, you will be e-mailed instructions to pay the $130 processing fee by credit card on
TSA’s website. Click here for guidance and information regarding the processing fee payment.

Look for a “Preliminary Approval” email from TSA.
Upon receiving payment, TSA will email both you and the flight school an email with the subject “Preliminary Approval.” THIS
DOES NOT GRANT YOU PERMISSION TO RECEIVE TRAINING. This email simply confirms that TSA has received the
application and fee, but they still need to receive your fingerprints. If you do not receive the preliminary decision within 7
business days, contact the TSA Help Desk at AFSP.Help@dhs.gov.
If the decision is NOT favorable, you will be provided details regarding any information that may be missing from your request.
If your request was returned because of insufficient information, you will receive an email notification. You may return to the
AFSP website, select the training request for which you received the email notification, and review the information for its
accuracy and completeness. Make any changes needed, and resubmit your training request. On resubmission, the flight training
provider does not need to validate your request again, and you do not have to pay another $130 USD processing fee.
If the decision is favorable, see the next step.

Submit fingerprints to TSA per the instructions emailed to you.
If the preliminary decision is favorable and a successful payment has been verified, you will receive an email from AFSP with
the subject “Fingerprint Instructions.” Although you may receive a notification from pay.gov for 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” email. Do NOT submit fingerprints prior to paying for your training request and receiving the
official AFSP fingerprinting instructions. This will result in the invalidation of your fingerprints and the cancellation of
your associated training request(s). The fingerprints will not be applied to any current or future training request. You and the
provider will receive an email notifying you 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.
If you have previously submitted fingerprints and received confirmation of fingerprint receipt for a prior AFSP training request
(i.e. you are applying for additional flight training), you are not required to resubmit fingerprints. TSA will use the fingerprints
already on file for you, if possible. Fingerprints will continue to be transferred to new flight training requests only if you use the
same account (pin) number that was used for the initial flight training request.
A list of domestic and international fingerprinting location is available online. Your 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
• 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.
The prints can be taken either electronically or by the provided forms. If you need a form, contact the Clearinghouse at (703)
797-2550. Be sure to bring the following items to the fingerprinting appointment: a copy of the Fingerprint Instructions email;
passport, residential alien card, or U.S. driver”s license (if resident alien); if required by fingerprint collection location, 2
fingerprint cards and a pre-paid shipping envelope; fees as required by fingerprint collector. After they are completed, the
prints are sent back to AAAE”s Clearinghouse (an address is provided on the fingerprinting forms), who then forwards a copy to
Visit TSA’s Fingerprint process FAQs, and Instructions to Fingerprint Collector for additional guidance on the fingerprint process.

Wait for TSA to notify you and the flight school of its decision.
There are several factors that affect the amount of time between training request submission and response.
As a category 3 candidate (training in aircraft less than 12,500 lbs.), TSA will make a final determination as to your eligibility to
receive flight training and will notify you and the flight school of its decision.

Once you have received TSA approval, START FLIGHT TRAINING!
Once you have permission to train, you have 180 days to begin training and 365 days to complete the approved training. Both of
these time periods start from the day you receive approval. For example, if you begin flight training 30 days after you have been
approved, you now have 335 days to finish. If you do not finish, a new training request must be submitted.

Have your photo taken by the flight school when you arrive for the first day of flight training.

The flight school will be required to upload this photo – not one copied from your passport or other identification – to TSA’s
website or have it faxed to TSA at 571/227-4532 or 571/227-4534. See AOPA’s guidance to flight training providers for further