How To Qualify For Flight Training As A Non-U.S. Citizen

St. Pete Air has compiled easy to understand information concerning TSA’s Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP).

Below you will find information on applicability and step by step instructions 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).

Small Private Airplane At The Airfield In SummerWho must participate in the Alien Flight Student Program?

Persons seeking flight training must submit a request if they are not citizens or nationals of the U.S. and:

  • They wish to receive flight training in the U.S. or its territories, regardless of whether training will lead to an FAA certificate or type rating; and/or
  • They wish to receive flight training from an FAA-certificated facility, provider, or instructor that could lead to an FAA rating whether in the U.S. or abroad.

What is your next step?

If you are a non-U.S. citizens who wishes to conduct flight training in an aircraft weighing less than 12,500 (typically under a Category 3 training request), then proceed with the steps below..

    1. Register as a candidate at TSA’s Alien Flight Student Program website 
    2. After you validate and submit your application for flight training, St. Pete Air will be notified via email and will be required to validate or reject knowledge of your intent to receive flight training with them. If St. Pete Air validates your request, you will receive e-mail notification and must submit payment via the AFSP website.
    3. Once TSA receives confirmation of your payment, you will receive e-mail notification with instructions on how to submit fingerprints.
    4. Candidates in Category 3 may commence training upon payment of the application fee and acknowledgement of receipt of their fingerprints by TSA. You and St. Pete Air will both be notified once TSA receives the fingerprints and you have permission to initiate training.


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

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.

For further information contact St. Pete Air at 727-755-1359 or visit the TSA website FAQ page