How to convert your EASA PPL (A) to an FAA PPL (A)

Lana Rasool

Interested in converting your EASA PPL(A) to an FAA PPL(A) in sunny Florida? And receive a unique flight experience in the most developed aviation infrastructure in the world?

Once you understand the process, converting a foreign pilot license to an FAA certificate is a straightforward process. If all you need is to convert a private pilot license, it is simply a matter of paperwork and patience. For higher certificates, you will need to complete the necessary flight training and knowledge tests.

FAA Private Pilot License

According to 14 CFR 61.75, a foreign pilot who holds a private pilot license may convert that license to an FAA private pilot certificate. All aircraft ratings listed on the foreign license will also transfer. This is the only direct conversion permitted without any additional testing. For example, a foreign-issued commercial pilot license can only be converted to an FAA private pilot certificate, not a higher certificate. Your FAA PPL will remain valid for as long as your primary PPL is.



Here you have our "How to convert your EASA PPL(A) to an FAA PPL(A)" step-by-step guide:


Step 1 - Create an IACRA account for the role of “Applicant”

The first step in converting your EASA pilot license is to create an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) account and filling your personal information. You can click here to redirect you to IACRA.


Step 2 - Send in your license to the FAA for validation

Once you have your IACRA account activated, log into it and click on the “Start Foreign License Verification Process” option at the main console. Complete the information required and attach a copy of your EASA license and Medical for review (Pictures or PDF files).

The FAA will review your information and contact your home country to verify that you hold a valid and current pilot license. This process normally takes 5-10 days. Thereafter, you will receive a verification letter valid for 6 months which can be renewed following this process.


Step 3 - Make travel and flight school arrangements

Once your verification letter has been completed and made available to you via IACRA, you will need to fly to the U.S. to continue the process together with a flight school.

Keep in mind that you would need a visa to enter the country. If your purpose is to continue your training past private pilot, it should be a student visa (M1). Otherwise, a tourist visa will be enough. In any case, you will need to arrange your itinerary to fit into the 6 months validity of your verification letter or renew it if needed.


Step 4 - Meet with an FAA inspector

When you arrive in Florida, your flight school will complete the foreign license application in IACRA and set an appointment with an FAA inspector who will review all your paperwork at the school. For this meeting you will need to:

  • Have a current verification letter
  • Be able to speak, read, and write English
  • Hold a current medical certificate (EASA or FAA of at least 3rd Class)
  • Bring your instrument rating knowledge test report with you if you wish to convert an instrument rating as well

It is important to understand this meeting is not a test; it is to verify your identity and the validity of your documents. After this meeting, you will be issued a temporary airman certificate and will be able to exercise private pilot privileges in the United States.


Step 5 - Complete a flight review

FAA certificates do not expire; however, they are subject to a “flight review” every 24 calendar months. In order to start exercising the privileges of your new FAA private pilot certificate based on a foreign license, you would need to conduct your first flight review to comply with this requirement.

The flight review consists of a ground portion, typically one hour in length, and a fly portion with one of our FAA-certified flight instructors.


Step 6 - Start flying!

Ensure that you build enough hours to meet the requirements for continuing with your EASA CPL/ME/IR when you return to Europe (or have a plan for building those hours when you get home).

You will receive a plastic license a couple of months later, either to your address back home, or your temporary address in Florida if appropriate.

Important note: Once you obtain an FAA private pilot certificate that is based on a foreign license, you will need to keep both the FAA certificate, a photo ID (your passport), your foreign license, and a current medical (FAA or EASA) in your possession when exercising your FAA privileges.


Interested in converting your pilot license and building your flight hours in Sunny Florida? Read more about our customized Time Building packages by clicking here (or on the image below). 

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