OK I just became a flight school provider and have had several training request from students. My question is when do I start seeing all the paperwork...so far its been pretty mellow. The students are coming in from Mexico and they handle their own registration process in Mexico. I'm meeting a few this weekend to help them with fingerprints. Am I missing something?
All I have to say is the process takes forever. Have your students ready for their fingerprints before arriving in the U.S as finger printing will take a week the way the system is currently set up. The sad thing is that if you do digital fingerprinting, it will take longer than just manual finger print cards.
My school took one student to do his prints digitally and the other manually the day after. So far the manual print student is flying and the digital print student is stuck waiting over the weekend for his flight status.
I had the same questions like you guys. My understanding for training foreign students is that you have to register your school with TSA first so they can get the TSA clearance . But how can you give student visas to foreigners? Where do you go for that. I know has nothing to do with TSA and FAA. Is it an easy process to issue visas? Im very comfused! Is it also possible to give flight instruction to people with a tourist visa? (assuming they have TSA clearance). Please help because i can have 5 students next week if i clear this thing first.
Visa's are entirely separate from the TSA clearance. For Visa issue your school must be approved by immigration, and they only approve 141 schools.
The students who can be taught under part 61 and require TSA approval are those who have legal status from another avenue, (such as permenent residents with a green card) rather than those seeking a visa for flight training. It would also include those seeking training for FAA certificates abroad.
You can give FAA training on a tourist visa, or a visa waiver provided that the training is less than 18 hours of study per week, and that it is incedental to the visit. For example, someone who is already a pilot visiting to build hours, who also intends to get a multi-engine add-on while he's here, may not require a visa, but would require TSA approval. If the course of study is less than 18 hours per week, then they are not eligible for a student visa.
The CFI's responsibility is to make sure the student is veted by TSA, not to check visa status. CFIs are not required to have any training in what visa is what. As some have pointed out, some training can be done under a tourist visa (such as tail wheel training). Also, in border areas such as along the border with Mexico and Canada, training can be done under part 61 as long as the student returns to their home each day and does not reside in the US. The same thing is done at universities along the border.