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For those students that are not citizens of the USA, you are require TSA authorization to flight train in the United States.

Please see below for information pertaining to receiving the authorization to flight train in the USA from our school.

The process usually takes about 7 days to complete but can take longer. It is recommend to start the process as soon as possible.


Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

If you are planning to train at Specialized Helicopters, Ilc you will need to contact us before submitting a request to the TSA. 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, which all foreign nationals must go through to obtain permission for training.

Candidates seeking flight training at Specialized Aviation fall into the following categories:

Category 3

·         Candidates who request training for aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less. For example: Cessna, Robinson, Schweizer, Piper Seminole.

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.


FOR Aliens - Non U.S. Citizens/Resident Alien- Follow these steps**            

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.

  2. Candidate Creates Login. The candidate is required to create a login account at 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.)

4.       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 and continues the application process.

The candidate will be required to submit the following information:

a.       Background Information

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

b.       TSA Identification Number

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

c.       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.

d.       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 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.

e.       Fingerprints

Specialized Aviation will work with you to obtain fingerprints and we can provide fingerprint cards or you can choose to have them processed digitally.

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

  1. A U.S. federal, state, or local law enforcement agency.

    1. U.S. government personnel at a U.S. embassy or consulate that possesses appropriate fingerprint collection equipment and personnel certified to capture fingerprints.

                                                      iii.            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

f.         $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)

g.       The following are descriptions of each status type:

                                                         i.            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.

                                                        ii.            Submitted

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

                                                      iii.            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.

                                                      iv.            Provider Rejected

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

                                                       v.            Preliminary Approval Granted

Preliminary approval has been granted to the candidate.

                                                      vi.            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.

                                                    vii.            Final Approval Granted

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

                                                   viii.            Final Approval Rejected

Candidate has been denied training.

                                                      ix.            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.

                                                       x.            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 to or fax them to (571)227-4532 or (571)227-4534. Be sure to include the training request ID number with the re-submission to ensure proper filing.

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

5.       Flight School Acknowledges Training Request

6.       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.

7.      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.

8.       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.

9.       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.

10.    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. For guidance on taking and uploading the photo of the candidate, please see the FAQ section below.

11.    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