Becoming a pilot in a foreign land

Hello, as you see I am new to this forum and that’s because I have been jumping around google links about what to do with my aviation dreams and finally ended up here.

Anyways I am not from here. I am a Filipino and probably 1-2 years from now I might, with a very high probability, migrating to the US to join my wife and soon-to-be-born child (permanent residents).
I finished a 5yr degree here (Geodetic Engineering), passed the licensure exam, and currently practicing such profession. But because my soon-to-be-family are (and will be) US citizens we both decided to settle there.
That means I have to adjust and am seeing this an opportunity for a career change (not that very happy with GE), and being a pilot was a dream of mine since I was a child up to present.
I am currently planning on taking up my PPL license here in PH while awaiting papers and continue what’s left there.
My goal, as all others here, will be an airline pilot. Flying Regionals is fine with me (after reading posts here) and certainly if there’s a window will try my luck with the majors. After all we all wish to die somehow at the top of the game.
As for the financials, my wife said she’s got something stashed for me though she refuses to disclose how much but I don’t want to assume we can pay for your programs (found atp to be promising) straight. She’s building up her credits though.
Given all these info and assuming I will be approved for immigration in 2 years time, what are my odds? Am I on the right track? If I am gonna stay there in the US, might at least work my way up to finally achieve what I really want.

btw, just turned 27 recently

sorry for the long post, I wish I have a potato


Welcome to the forums. To begin with, to fly as a pilot in the US, you will need to either be a permanent legal resident or US citizen.

If you plan on coming to the US, I would not get the private overseas, I would wait to train in the US so that everything you do is up to US standards and you do not have to go through the conversion process with the FAA.

If you are able to immigrate in one of the categories mentioned above, then I think you have a good potential of making it to the airlines. This is of course assuming that you have a clean record, do well in training, etc.


wow that was fast, thanks for the quick reply chris,

As for the records, I had a near fatal solo car accident 4yrs ago but my dad had it scrubbed from my driving records. I don’t know if this is relevant but is there a way they will know? Personally I don’t think my driving records here will carry over there but I don’t know.

As for the residency pretty sure I am going at that direction, not sure though how long it will take the wife is the one working for my papers at the moment. But I really wish it won’t take that long. I don’t like to loiter around doing nothing.

While away I was reading some forum and learned it won’t actually take 2years for the fiance visa yay. But, I am not yet sure about how long it will take for the residency once there

Me too :slight_smile:


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All the best peter james. I too am waiting for my green card.

Mr. Chris,

That was a motivation to me. I’am 37 years and am waiting for my green card to the US as well. and on reading your comment yes it is advicable to do the flying in US ( if US is going to be the home). Only thing I"am worried is my age and will I be able to fit in the shoe of a pilot…?


How long have you been in US soil? And what kind of application did you get in order to get there? I am kinda worried of how long it takes to receive the greencard.


Well if you ask me that I"am in US…? at the moment no. and been to US… no.

My father and brother are US citizens at the moment. My father has filed a Green Card application, but again I’am really worried and puzzled how long it would take.The other part now is as mentioned by Mr. Chris, its better to start off our flying lessons in USA so atleast we can keep flying. But that is a big problem as my objection is my father and he is not allowing me to do so.

I"am keeping my hopes on as my father is right now in the US and if he comes and I may convince him it your spouse who is a Citizen…? then in that case you may get it soon. do keep your hopes positive. and mail me at

US is our only hope. if not a Commercial pilot, you have other opetions to become a general aviator or bush pilot or an agriculture pilot. do keep your hopes on peter.

Peter and Marzouk,

I would love to help you guys out with your immigration stuff since I’ve been through it myself, but I don’t think this is the right forum to do that. If you go to the folks there can help you figure this out.

Best of luck

Thanks Efe.