I posted a question prior to this but it was too long and confusing. I have done some research and so I will ask:

If I obtain a medical certificate from Transport Canada (TC), and get my commercial pilot license through the FAA, can I work in the US as a commercial airline pilot and take school there?

I am a diabetic, so I can't obtain a class one or two medical certificate in America, but I can in Canada.

You can still fly in US airspace if you get a medical certificate from Canada, but I don't know if that's like from Canada into America.

Feel free to edit this question so it's more clear, I will include requirements from TC and such below.

On the second link, can someone explain it a little more to me? I am not great with understanding such things, I am sorry!

TC medical certificate regulations

Pilot medical certificate international use

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps flying Canadian registered aircraft with a Canadian license, operating in US. I knew a similarly situated pilot who worked for a Canadian survey company in the US. Something about NAFTA. $\endgroup$
    – mongo
    Sep 17, 2017 at 17:34

2 Answers 2


(This is similar to this question - and see this answer in particular - but there may be some points here that deserve a separate answer.)

First, can you use a Canadian medical instead of a US medical, with a US pilot's certificate? The answer is no, with one (?) exception. If it were possible, then people could shop around other countries to find the easiest medical for them, which would be a huge loophole and would allow them to simply ignore the FAA's medical requirements. As a general statement, the country of your pilot's certificate and medical certificate must be the same.

The only exception I'm aware of is when you hold a foreign license and medical, and then ask the FAA to issue a foreign-based private certificate under 14 CFR 61.75. See this question for more information but basically, you would have to hold a Canadian pilot's license and medical first, and even then you would be limited by the privileges of the Canadian license.

Second, could you get a US commercial certificate using a Canadian medical? Yes, but only in a very roundabout way, and even then you couldn't use it. You'd first have to get an FAA foreign-based private certificate as I described above - which means getting a Canadian license first - and that certificate would be fine to use for a US commercial checkride. However, after passing the checkride you'd still need an FAA second-class medical to actually exercise your new commercial privileges.

Finally, another option would be to get a Canadian commercial license and medical, and then fly only Canadian aircraft in the US. I have no idea how practical that is because most countries don't allow cabotage, but maybe there's some way to make it work.

AFAIK diabetes is only disqualifying if you're insulin-dependent; if you're on oral meds you may still be able to get a Special Issuance for it. If you have any doubts about your personal situation then I'd suggest consulting an AME and/or calling AOPA, if you're a member.


You must hold an FAA first/second class medical certificate to be paid to fly In the USA. But as a type one diabetic you can get a third class medical and are allowed to be a flight instructor (and obtain faa certificates) and all privileges that go along with being a third class medical holder. You can also get a Canadian first class and second class medical and fly for Canadian carriers into USA. Per Chicago agreement (I think that’s what it’s called).

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This looks like an answer, except for the last part which seems to form a separate question. Please note that answers on Stack Exchange are expected to be specifically answers to the question as asked. If you have a new question, use the "ask question" action link near the top of the page to ask it properly. Include a link to this or other questions if you feel that doing so provides context for your question. For the time being, I have proposed an edit to remove the question at the end. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Mar 9, 2018 at 18:29

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