TSA, SEVIS regulations for an international student

Jun 24, 2004
Total Time
Hey guys,

A quick question.

Let's say I'm an international student, enrolled at my favorite local community college. I'd be in the U.S. with a F1 student visa majoring Business or whatever.

Let's say I'd like to learn how to fly and work on my PPL, do some hours building and get my IFR single engine add on at my favorite local FBO under Part 61.

TSA rules say: "Part 61 Flight Schools and Independent Flight Instructors. Part 61 flight schools and independent flight instructors may train a foreign national if that alien is a Legal Permanent Resident or in a work status (H-type visa) with extended stay privileges or a refugee in Asylum status with appropriate DHS documentation. They also may train a foreign national on an F-1 (academic visa) provided that the student is still enrolled and attending the college or university as shown on the F-1 and the student has notified SEVIS of the additional training being received at a non-SEVIS approved school".

Here I shoot my question to those of you, CFIs who have had an international student: Would I be granted the permission to train towards my PPL while attending my college/university even if the legal reason of my F1 visa is "Business Major"?

I've been told, basically, the day of a checkride, the examiner checks the proper visa (which indicates that the student enter the States legally)... So why would Work visa holder be allowed to train toward a license as something to do during his/her spare time, while the basic reason for them to be in the US is "work as an Electronic Engineer"?

I do realize, it's pretty much tricky.

Thanks for your inputs.