AOPA has learned that FAA field offices will receive on Monday new procedures requiring all foreign pilots to submit to background checks before the agency will issue a U.S. pilot certificate based on a pilot license issued by another country. This new procedure will remove an emergency suspension of pilot certificate issuance to foreign pilots put into place a little over a week ago because of national security concerns.
The policy will establish new procedures for FAR Part 61.75, issuance of an FAA pilot certificate based on a current foreign pilot certificate. Non-U.S. pilots will be required to submit an application directly to the FAA's office in Oklahoma City and, upon approval, will be directed to the appropriate FAA flight standards district office to receive the U.S. certificate. According to the FAA, the entire process could take up to 60 days.