I already validated my non-US licence and got a FAA Private VFR SE Licence based on my foreign licence. I recently completed my IFR rating in my home country and was wondering how to 'upgrade' my FAA licence and add the IFR privileges?!

I tried my best to find something on google but I only found references to a "FAA Instrument Knowledge Test Foreign Pilots" without any details.

Any experience or pointers for me?

  • $\begingroup$ I recently completed my IFR rating in my home country Which country may I ask? $\endgroup$
    – Firee
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 11:00

2 Answers 2


I assume that your FAA private license was issued under 14 CFR 61.75, and that section also includes the requirements for adding instrument privileges:

(d) Instrument ratings issued. A person who holds an instrument rating on the foreign pilot license issued by a contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation may be issued an instrument rating on a U.S. pilot certificate provided:

(1) The person's foreign pilot license authorizes instrument privileges;

(2) Within 24 months preceding the month in which the person applies for the instrument rating, the person passes the appropriate knowledge test; and

(3) The person is able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant's pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.

The "appropriate knowledge test" in this case is the Instrument Rating - Foreign Pilot test, it's described here with a few sample questions. Some more information is here, including the point that you don't need any prior authorization to take the test:

• Requires NO instructor endorsement or other form of written authorization.

I'm not sure about the exact process involved (I guess you just do the test and send the certificate to the FAA) but the FSDO that validated your foreign license for VFR should be able to give you all the details.

  • $\begingroup$ thanks for your answer. I will contact the respective FSDO and will ask them for the correct procedure. $\endgroup$
    – alex25
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 11:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @alex25 If you get any extra information from the FSDO that would be helpful then you can edit my answer, or even add a new answer yourself. Both are perfectly acceptable here. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ We deal with a lot of foreign pilots and certification issues, just remember that any time you do anything that changes your FAA certificate based on a foreign certificate (add anything) you must complete the entire verification process again! $\endgroup$
    – Richard
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 23:11

I just contacted FSDO about adding the IFR rating to my FAA PPL land, multiengine,based on my foreign license, and the answer was I need to go through the verification process again, then take the test and then create an application with IACRA, after that call the fsdo to get an appointment.


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