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Pilot Training For International Students in San Diego

Join SOCAL's International Student Pilot Program!

International Pilot Program-Fly Socal.jpg

How to Join our International Student Pilot Program

For international students seeking to receive training to become a pilot in San Diego, SOCAL Flight Training stands as one of the best options. As a leading flight school in San Diego, our international student pilot program is open to non-US citizens, offering a comprehensive program to become a certified commercial pilot. International pilots, with a valid visa or green card, are welcomed to join our international student pilot program.

What You Need To Join An International Pilot Program In California:

To join an international student pilot program in the United States, candidates need a valid visa or green card. For international students, securing TSA approval is the first requirement. To gain TSA approval, you will need to create an account on the FTSP website, pay the yearly application fee, and select the designated Flight Training Provider and location.


Additionally, candidates must undergo a medical certification process through the FAA MedExpress website. You will need to arrange an appointment with an Aviation Medical Examiner based on flying intentions, and subsequently apply for a student certificate through the IACRA website.


Upon completing these necessary steps, individuals can start their pilot training with SOCAL Flight Training as an international student. We go into further detail in the step-by-step guide below.

Become an International Student Pilot in San Diego

Contact Us by email or phone to sign-up for SOCAL's International Student Program!

What are the steps to becoming an International Student Pilot in San Diego?

After obtaining a valid visa or green card to enter the United States and TSA approval, foreign student pilots should follow the steps below to get TSA approval.

Step 1 - FTSP (For non US citizens only)

  • Create an account at the Flight Training Security Program (FTSP) website 

  • Pay the $130 yearly application fee

  • Choose Ivan Cibrian (FlySocal) at the Flight Training Provider menu.

  • Choose training Location: Guillespie Field (KSEE)

  • Choose category: 3

  • Enter the following Aircraft Types: C172, P28A 

  • Training Request Date: One Year

  • After submitting your application, SOCAL will need to approve your request. Typically it will take between 2-5 business days to receive instructions for fingerprinting.

  • Upon successful submission of fingerprints and approval for flight training, your inaugural flight lesson will be scheduled. During the first lesson, we will make a copy of your Passport, Visa, or Green Card, and take your photo beside the aircraft.

  • It is important to remember that international students have to renew their TSA approval every year.

Step 2 - MedExpress


STEP 4 - Begin Your Flight Training

  • Once you complete all the steps listed above, we will take a photo of you next to your airplane (TSA requirement) and then begin your training!

Your International Student Pilot Program Instructor!

I'm Ivan Cibrian from Fly SOCAL in San Diego. I have over four years of flying experience, more than two years of flight training, and over 850 hours of flight time.

My flight career began at EVA Flight Training Academy in California, where I became a pilot and a FAA certified instructor. I continue to enhance my flying and training techniques at Plus One Flyers in San Diego.

As a flight instructor I have helped international student pilots reach their goals of learning how to fly in the United States. I am most proud of my high success rate with students passing their checkrides (80%) and becoming certified pilots.

If you would like to learn more about my experience as an FAA certified flight instructor please visit my about me page.

Ivan Cibrian Portrait

Ivan Cibrian CFI-I 

Study as an International Student Pilot in California

International students can take advantage of flight training in San Diego, when they learn with Fly SOCAL. 

The process begins with TSA approval, followed by gaining medical certification and applying for a student certificate.


As a leading Flight School in San Diego, Fly SOCAL's reputation and experience ensure a high-quality education for aspiring international pilots.


Call Ivan Cibrian at 619 494 8989 or use the button below to email him for more information about how to join the international student pilot program in Southern California!

FAQs: Pilot Training for International Students

1. Can an International Student Become a Pilot in the USA?

Yes, international students can become pilots in the USA. Students of all nationalities are allowed to partake in flight training in the United States as long as they have a valid visa and TSA approval.

2. What is the Cost of Flight Training for International Student Pilots?

The cost of an international student pilot program varies depending on experience. From zero experience to an airline pilot, expect to pay about $73,000 USD. For pilots starting from the Instrument Course you will pay around $44,000 USD. Starting from the Commercial Course the cost is about $26,000 USD.​

3. Do I Need a Student Visa for Flight Training?

An M-1 student visa is needed for non-U.S. citizens taking flight training. The B-1/B-2 tourist/business visa is not adequate for flight training in the U.S. Permanent residents in the U.S. who are not citizens do not need to acquire an M-1 student visa but must secure approval through the TSA's "Permission to Initiate Training" before training starts.

Join Our Pilot Training for International Students!

Contact Us by email or phone to sign-up for SOCAL's International Student Program!

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