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I hold a FAA private certificate that is issued based on 61.75. I have single engine land and instrument ratings on the foreign license (EASA). My FAA certificate also has these ratings listed.

My question now is: What are the currency requirements to execute the privileges of the FAA certificate to fly in the US?

61.75 (e) states:

(3) Is subject to the limitations and restrictions on the person's U.S. certificate and foreign pilot license when exercising the privileges of that U.S. pilot certificate in an aircraft of U.S. registry operating within or outside the United States; and

This can be interpreted two ways:

a) The currency of a rating on the foreign license is a limitation or restriction and therefore the pilot needs to be current for both the foreign license (e.g. EASA 2 year check for SE land rating, and EASA 1 year check for instrument rating) in addition to the FAA required BFR and IPC/IR currency based on approaches etc.

b) The limitations and restrictions mean explicitly mentioned limitations (e.g. EASA PPL does not include night flying, so the US cert would have "VFR day only" listed as a restriction). The EASA license itself does not expire on its own and is valid as long as the pilot holds a valid medical. Therefore only the BFR and FAA instrument currency requirements apply to fly legally in the US.

So which interpretation is correct? Is there some other regulation which makes it more clear?

Practically "to be safe" I could just fulfill the EASA requirements every year/two years, but that is quite an effort (this can only be done by an EASA ATO which there are few in the US). It also adds additional costs.

I could also take the test(s) to get a FAA private and IR independently and everything would be FAA based only. That's an option but also requires time and effort.

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If you have that situation, you should ask FAA's Office of Chief Counsel. There is no univocal position about that.

The first position is that your EASA license should not be expired (which is not a case because EASA licenses do not have expiration date) or revoked, and should not list explicit limitations (according to Krauzs 2012 and Grossman letters). In that case your 61.75 license is good to go even with expired ratings in the EASA one. The only limitation is a current medical (because the license is invalid without it).

The second position is that all your EASA ratings should be current too, so they can be considered as limitations of your EASA license.

The second position is just safer. Nobody will have questions to you: neither FAA inspector, nor an insurance company.

In any case, it is required to be current by the FAA rules (BFR, medical, approaches/holdings etc.). For example, here (especially see Dave's comment) one had a problem with foreign-based license without current US medical.

In your case I would take FAA tests and obtain a standalone license, and forget about the problem (it's what I actually did recently). If it is not an option, either keep your EASA license current (just in case) or request an official answer in paper from the FAA.

Related topics on pprune: here and here.

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While your EASA license does not expire, your ratings (which form an integral part of the license for all intents and purposes) do expire.

Therefore I'd personally assume that I'd need to keep those ratings current in, which requires a checkride with an EASA certified flight instructor once a year plus a requirement for 12 hours logged time that year for an EASA PPL.

Time for that vacation back to the home country and an hour flying there maybe?

It's an extra cost of course, but it's peanuts compared to the other costs of flying, including the requirement to have an EASA medical for your EASA license to be valid, which medical is stricter than the FAA medical so probably means you won't need a separate FAA medical on top of it (but do inquire to make sure).

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