Real Answers from Real Pilots

ATP for foreigners

Hello, I’m a permanent resident, I came from south America, currently, I have ATP-CTP with writing test, medical certificate class 1 and I have 6000 total hours. im very confused, Do I have Atp frozen, restricted, or nothing?. I want to apply for a job, but I don’t know if I can. If somebody can help me I appreciate it.


The question is do you currently have any FAA certificates? Based on your question I’m thinking the answer is no. The US does not have frozen ATPs age Restricted refers to hours or age. If that’s the case you’d need to convert your foreign CPL to an FAA license. With that and your time you could apply to a Regional and they would get you your ATP. The other alternative is taking a US ATP-CTP, getting a type rating and applying to a Major.


I took the ATP-CTP

Okay great, then EVERYTHING I said above without the ATP-CTP. You still must obtain your FAA Commercial Pilot License.



Are you sure? FAR 61.153(d)(3) says

If he has a foreign ATP or foreign commercial with instrument rating issued by a contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and has no geographical limitations, he should be eligible to take the ATP practical. Right? Or am I missing something?


yes, thanks tory. but I don’t have a type rating here. I have it in my ICAO license. Can I apply?

I don’t see anything in the regs about type rating. Only foreign ATP or foreign commercial w/IR. Do you have either?

Seeing as you have a foreign ATP, 1st Class Medical, ATP CTP certificate of completion, and ATM written test completed, it sounds like you are eligible for an FAA ATP checkride.

The one issue I see is that every US based airline requires US based certificates in order to be eligible to apply. That said, I would reach out to the airlines that you are interested in and ask them if they will accept your foreign ATP. If so, essentially when you complete their training and pass the checkride, you will receive an FAA ATP and Type Rating.

If the airlines get back to you and say that your foreign ATP is not acceptable, then you will need to take an FAA ATP checkride before applying, which by the looks of it you are eligible to take the FAA ATP checkride.



Everything I’ve ever heard and seen the FAA is very reluctant to transfer any foreign ATP, particularly with the recent regs.

Andres should contact his local FSDO and they can tell him for certain.


I have never known the FAA to transfer a foreign ATP license. Typically pilots have to retake the US version. I too would recommend speaking with a FSDO to get an official answer.


@Andrus regardless of what the regs say, it appears that US-based airlines require at least an FAA commercial w/Instrument. So just like C&A said, you will need to convert your certs to an FAA commercial w/Instrument. Apologies for the confusion.