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I am looking to acquire a FAA PPL certification. I have a B1 visa and I am getting conflicting advice on whether I can get a PPL certification in the USA.

Some people/websites say that a B1 visa is adequate and some others say that without a M1 visa, I can only get training but not the certificate. I have checked with Treasure Coast Flight Training in Florida and received less than satisfactory response (from their Indian rep).

I would like to complete the training at the shortest possible time period. If anyone can clarify what kind of visa I need and, perhaps more importantly, direct me towards a flight training school suitable for my needs, I would be obliged. At 57, I do not have the luxury of waiting indefinitely; especially, since I am planning to use this certification (and any possible networking within the flying community) to start my next business.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi, unfortunately ressource location it out of scope for aviation stackexchange, for this reason this question might get closed... But out of curiousity, why do you not get your PPL in India? Would that not be easier/cheaper? $\endgroup$
    – U_flow
    Commented Jan 24 at 12:53
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    $\begingroup$ "I am planning to use this certification [PPL] to start my next business." In India, or the US? If US, I trust you have researched the privileges and limitations of a PPL? As well as work vs training visa requirements? (presuming they might be different...) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 24 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ U_flow, hope I get some answers to my question before our gets taken out. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 25 at 13:04

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If you are in the US on a B1 visa, only study that is "avocational or recreational in nature" is allowed, per the Who Can Study? document published on ICE's website, and it must be incidental to the purpose of your visit.

While one could argue that taking a few flight lessons could be "recreational," it's hard to imagine that argument working for an accelerated course of study culminating in a certificate that will be used for business. You almost certainly need to apply for a change in visa status for that to be kosher.

All that said, you should stop relying on random internet sources (me included!) Contact the US State Department directly for any questions you have.

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