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Subject: Visa issue regarding Fixed wing training
 
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AirborneDaveUser is Offline
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01/18/2010 9:07 PM  
Happy New Year to everyone. I am here on a J1 visa doing an FAA professional pilot helicopter course. I hold private certificate for both fixed wing and rotorcraft and I was hoping to do a fixed wing IFR rating and then do an add on for the IFR rotorcraft. The school I am going to says I can not training in a fixed wing because my visa does not allow this, and I am getting conflicting messages. Can any one offer some clarification or advice? Respectfully DAVE
DwaineParkerUser is Offline
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01/18/2010 11:21 PM  
Hi Dave,

The school that you have your visa with can give you fixed-wing training. A J1 visa allowed you to train in helicopters and it will also allow you to train in airplanes as long as it is a part of their approved training by the FAA under their Part 141 certificate.

I am not sure why they are telling you this unless they can not provide you the training under their Part 141 certificate. If this is the case then you can find another Part 141 school and you can transfer your SEVIS status to the new school while keeping your J1 status with the old school. If your school is unwilling to do this then you will have to go back to your country and re-apply to a new Part 141 school that offers you the training that you are seeking.

If your school is willing to transfer your SEVIS status so you can complete the fixed-wing training then you will also have to get re-fingerprinted with the TSA by your new school but that would apply in anycase each time you seek an additional rating.

This is not an uncommon problem and we have done this in the past with the two Part 141 schools at KAPF. Both schools must work together in order to make it work but it can be done.

Let me know if you need more information.

Dwaine
AirborneDaveUser is Offline
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01/19/2010 2:36 PM  
Hi Dwaine,
thanks for the information. The school I am going to is only authorized for part 141 helicopter training. They have plenty of helicopters and one fixed wing. I will continue training in the helicopters and if the oppurtunity arrises I will seek my IFR fixed wing.
All the best
dave
SRTHELOUser is Offline
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01/21/2010 6:42 PM  
Dave, The school does not need to be 141. We are approved for foreign students and we are not a 141 program. Their J1 Visa program may only be approved for Helicopter training, which is where the problem is. When you apply to be approved for training foreign students, you have to submit each course you want for approval, very similar to getting 141 approval. E-mail me direct and I can probably help you out. Chris Gadbois SRT Helicopters www.srthelo.com chris@srthelo.com
DwaineParkerUser is Offline
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01/22/2010 8:04 AM  
Chris,

Out of all of the flight schools in the U.S. your Part 61 school is the only exception. All other flight schools providing non-U.S. citizens fllight training must Be a Part 141 school.

But he will still need his school to transfer him on SEVIS to your school and his school will still be responsible for him under the I-20 and Visa they issued him. (Or you can try to transfer his Visa to your school but that is a hassel)

Although you are a Part 61 school and the exception, you still have obligations to ICE and TSA just like you would if you were a Part 141 school.

As you know, if you are not a U.S. citizen and wish to learn to fly in the U.S. the student MUST be on an M1 or J1 Visa issued by a Part 141 flight school.

Unfortunately there are still Part 61 schools who are illegally training foriegn flight students (With the exception of your school).

The J1 Visa will allow him to WORK as a helicopter CFI but it will NOT prevent him from obtaining additional fixed-wing training as long as he trains at a Part 141 school (or your school as the exception) and he updates the TSA and resubmits fingerprint cards under his fixed-wing rating he is seeking; then he can legally train with his J1, F1 or M1 visa although his initial Visa application indicated helicopter training.

Other than your school, training foriegn flight students under Part 61 is illegal and is currently a big security concern for law enforcement.

I have only re-posted this for the benefit of others who do not realize that your school is the only Part 61 exception in the U.S.; all others must attend a Part 141 school and must have an M1, F1 or J1 Visa to legally obtain flight training in the U.S..
SRTHELOUser is Offline
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01/22/2010 10:26 AM  
Hi Dwaine,

You are correct in that the other schools are 141, but it is not a requirement. Now granted, we operate like a 141 with TCO's, maintenance etc, and are just now going through the 141 certification with the FAA.

As to him transferring, I don't think the school can transfer him to us under their J1. He would most likely have to either get an M1, or once he had his commercial, he could come out to work for us under the J1, and also complete his fixed training, which is legal.

As you know, the J1 is no longer for new applicants. You have either the M1 or the F1, and they each have their pros and cons.

As to the rest of your post, SPOT ON Sir.

Have a great weekend.
DwaineParkerUser is Offline
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01/22/2010 1:25 PM  
Hi Chris,

This is the problem in that a Part 61 school or instructor (Excluding your school) is not authorized to give flight training to any non-U.S. citizen. It is a federal law which was first established under the Patriot Act and carried forward under the Department of Justice and enforced by ICE.

I am currently involved in 3 seperate investigations where Part 61 flight schools are giving flight training to non-US citizens. ICE is involved and they are looking to make an example out of these schools.

If any Part 61 school is caught giving flight training to any non-U.S. citizen then they are subject to federal prosecution and the student that was training will be removed from the U.S. and future VISA will be denied.

It is a serious problem and a great security risk for our country. I am staying busy enough just following up on approved VISA's at Part 141 schools where the foriegn student was approved for training but once in the U.S. has become a security risk.

I am only responding back to this thread because your reply makes it appear that it is legal to train in the U.S. at any Part 61 flight school if you are a non-U.S. citizen; nothing could be farther from the truth and it is illegal to do so although there are Part 61 schools doing so. (I apologize if I have misunderstood your position / information)

I just want potential foriegn students to realize that your school is the ONLY exception to the federal law and I do not believe that any future schools will be approved without substantial resistance from law enforcement.

If you have a moment I would love to share some additional information with you via a land-line regarding the security threat that we presently face through flight training and the current federal laws governing this subject. Having this information may allow you to help law enforcement in the future due to the type of training you do and the exposure you have to the training market by U.S. and non U.S. customers.

Regarding this student going to your school for training the easiest would be for his school to authorize him to attend. His school would update his SEVIS status and you would be responsible for submitting his fingerprints to the TSA for the rating he would be seeking. We have done this exact process at the schools located at KAPF but both schools have to agree and the school holding his VISA is ultimatley responsible for the student.

This VISA process is a complex and confusing issue involving 4 federal agencies. I have been deeply involved in this area of aviation security over the past 8 years and share many of the flight schools and students frustration over this whole mess.

As always, thanks for your professional discussion and input.

Dwaine
SRTHELOUser is Offline
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01/22/2010 11:12 PM  
Hi Dwaine,

You are right in that they have to be approved, and can't just hang a shingle outside their door and call it good. You are right, I probably could have been a little clearer.

It took us over a year to get approved, while lengthy, I will say that the folks at SEVIS for great to work with, as was the ICE and DHS reps who came out to inspect us.

Feel free to give me a call on monday.

E-mail me for the number.

chris@srthelo.com

Mario 1990User is Offline
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03/17/2013 3:57 PM  
Hi,

Currently I am a student on a F-1 visa and following a fulltime aviation study at Bristow Academy in Florida.
After completing this study I have a 60 day period to leave the US.
In that time I would like to do some FAA Part 61 training with a instructor I know.
I do not know if this is defined as a study, it is also aviation but not a school with a FAA Part 141 endorsement.
What I could find from the FAA is this:

"FAA Part 61 schools and independent flight instructors MAY train a foreign national on an F-1 (academic visa) provided that the student is enrolled and attending the college or university as shown on the F-1 and the student has notified SEVIS of the additional training being received at a non-SEVIS approved school."

Can I do some flight training legally in that time? Since I will not be attending my Visa school anymore in that period.
And how do I let SEFIS know I am doing this?

Thanks for the help!
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