TSA Application Process

Any non-US citizen must receive permission from Homeland Security prior to beginning flight training.  Please follow the steps listed below to expedite the process.

Create Login Account

The candidate is required to create a login account at http://www.flightschoolcandidates.gov.  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.)

Apply For Training

After receiving your password, the candidate will be instructed to change it.  The candidate then logs into the TSA student registration page and continues the application process.
The candidate will be required to submit the following information:

  • Background Information – Full name, gender, current address and five year address history, date and country of birth, and citizenship information.
  • 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 website.
  • Training Details – Basic information including the name of flight 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.  (Rainier Flight Service, Course ID 101, Category 3, Training Aircraft (C162, C172, etc), 5/1/2011-4/30/2012, etc.)
  • Fingerprints – Schedule an appointment for fingerprinting at:

 Boeing / Alteon

1301 SW 16th St Renton, WA  98005



  • $130 Application Fee – The fee must be paid by credit card on the TSA website.
  • Photo – Upload one copy of the photo for the application and provide us one copy for your records.

Flight School and 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 application and fee have been received by TSA, but they still need to receive the candidate’s fingerprints.

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.  If the decision is not favorable, the candidate will be provided details regarding any information that may be missing from their registration.

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.

Final Determination is Made by TSA

The flight school takes a photo of the candidate when he or she arrives on 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 the TSA website.

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.


Q. Are introductory or “discovery” flights exempt from the requirements of the TSA rule?

A. Yes.  You may conduct an introductory flight prior to TSA approval for flight training.
Q. What is the definition of flight training as it pertains to this rule for the purposes of needing to undergo citizenship verification?

A. The TSA has further interpreted the definition of “flight training” for aircraft with a maximum certified takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less to only apply to training for a recreational pilot, sport pilot, private pilot certificate; multiengine or instrument ratings.
Q. How long will it take to get an answer on my training request?

A. It depends on the accuracy and completeness of your training request.  The application can be approved in as little as two weeks.
Q. Once my flight training request has been approved, how long do I have before my approval expires?

A. Once you have permission to train, you have 180 days to begin training and 365 days to complete the approved training.  These time periods both start from the date you receive approval.  If you do not finish, a new training request must be submitted.
Q. What do I enter for training aircraft?

A. Enter the aircraft type you plan on using for your training.  If flying multiple types, include each type.  Check Rainier website for current list of training aircraft.
Q. Is there anything I can do while waiting for approval?

A. You can begin the ground training portion and get ahead with the knowledge as the first stage of training is a firehose of information.

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