Summary of TSA Process

All non-U.S. citizens seeking training at flight schools in the United States will be following rules and regulations set forth by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They are the principal investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the second largest investigative agency in the U.S. federal government. Within ICE you will be registered with theTSA (Transportation Security Administration).

TSA was created in the wake of 9/11 to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce. Within a year following the events of 9/11, TSA assumed responsibility for security at the nation’s airports. TSA is the agency that will authorize you to begin flight training. TSA will also complete a security check on those individuals who already hold a pilot certificate and resident aliens who hold "green cards." 

ALL non-U.S. citizens who are beginning training for a new certificate or rating (not recurrent or proficiency training) in any size powered aircraft must be approved by TSA prior to the commencement of training. This approval does not come from the FAA.  "Training" refers to any training including Part 61, 141 and/or Part 135. ALL students and renters of American Winds must prove their citizenship by a current, official passport with the authorized stamped seal. If there is any doubt as to the authenticity of these documents, American Winds holds the right to verify these documents or deny training or rental privileges.

Please click here for information regarding SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) and SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)

Prior to commencing flight school training in the United States, you must receive clearance from the Alien Flight School Program (AFSP).  It is important that you have a current passport and visa that will allow you to train in the U.S. You must contact TSA to confirm whether you require asecurity clearance by calling AFSP (571) 227-1004 or e-mailing the AFSP Help Desk at AFSP.help@dhs.gov. 

Please note, when working with AFSP, you are requesting Category 3 flight training at American Winds. Category 3 are candidates who seek training to receive an initial airman's certificate of any type, Multi Engine Rating, or Instrument time (an initial license of any type, Multi Engine Rating, and Instrument Rating) and training dates may not cover more than one year.  Candidates must reapply for each rating or license. If training requires more than a year, the student must work with the Designated School Official to obtain an extension. 

Once you have determined which clearance, you are required to create a user account online at: www.flightschoolcandidates.gov

What will be required of you for the application?

1.  Passport
2.  Visa to train in the U.S.A.
3.  Submit copies of requested documents WHEN REQUESTED
4.  Pay $130 processing fee WHEN REQUESTED
5.  Get fingerprinting from TSA-approved collection agency WHEN REQUESTED


Allow at least 6 weeks for processing of completed application.  


How do I create and manage my AFSP account?
To receive a user ID and password, go to www.flightschoolcandidates.gov and click on “Create a New Candidate Account” at the upper right-hand side of your computer screen.  This will send you to the registration page where you can enter the appropriate information to create a new account.  Once the account is created, you will receive an e-mail with the user ID and password. 

Through this AFSP account, the student may submit his or her training request.  Each candidate may only create one account and may not share the account with other candidates. Providers and employers may not submit a training request for the student candidate. Failure to follow these account procedures will result in delay of the training request. In order to process your request for the issuance of Form I-20, you must supply us with the following information:  

Personal Documents

  • Full name (complete) – first name, middle name/s, last name/s
  • Age & gender
  • Current address and telephone number – must be for the past 5 years
  • Country or countries of citizenship
  • Copy of valid passport & visas
  • Copy of all expired passports & visas
  • Copy birth certificate & country of birth
  • Date of birth (mm/dd/yyyy)

Aviation and U.S.A. Related

  • TSA Training ID Number
  • Copy of signed school cancellation agreement
  • Copy of signed school enrollment agreement
  • Copy of any Pilot Certificates
  • School application fee of $180 paid
  • Copy of FAA Medical - you may obtain the FAA Medical Certificate OR you may obtain it upon your arrival
  • Copy of Proof of Finances statement sufficient to pay for ALL expenses & training costs" in the form of notarized bank document

Please note: ALL documents must be scanned and e-mailed to American Winds in a PDF-formatted file.