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I have an EASA PPL/Medical with VFR privileges only. I have an FAA license which is based upon the EASA license. I’ve lived in the US for 5 years and would like to obtain an IR. Can I get an FAA IR with FAA certificate being based on a foreign license?

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Short answer: yes. I got an FAA IR while holding a foreign-based private license and medical (South African in my case).

The information in this question might be helpful too.

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Yes, You will need to take the FAA's IRA knowledge test and pass the instrument practical test (after receiving the required training).

Your FAA Private Pilot (Restricted certificate) will list Instrument-Airplane (US Test Passed)

  • this will authorize you with all the same instrument privileges as a standard FAA certificate and instrument rating. Additionally, if you later pass the FAA Private/Commercial pilot practical test, the Instrument rating will transfer to your FAA Standard Private/Commercial certificate.

Reference: 8900.1 Volume 5, Section 2, Chapter 14

  1. Private Pilot Certificate. When a private pilot certificate is issued on the basis of a foreign pilot license and the foreign pilot license has instrument rating/privileges, in order for that person to receive instrument privileges on the U.S. pilot certificate, the person must pass either the IFP knowledge test or the standard instrument rating (i.e., Instrument—Airplane, Instrument—Helicopter, or Instrument—Powered-Lift) knowledge test, and the standard instrument rating practical test (refer to § 61.65).

    NOTE: If the applicant’s U.S. pilot certificate has not been issued with instrument privileges, then the issuing evaluator will advise the applicant that they may not serve as a required pilot crewmember of a U.S.-registered aircraft under IFR when exercising the privileges of that U.S. pilot certificate. When the applicant passes the IFP knowledge test, instrument privileges will be granted on the U.S. pilot certificate. Passage of the IFP knowledge test does not qualify a person for the notation “U.S. TEST PASSED” for the instrument rating.

  2. U.S. Test Passed Notation. To qualify for the notation “U.S. TEST PASSED” for the addition of an aircraft or instrument rating to a U.S. pilot certificate, the person must accomplish the appropriate aeronautical experience, pass the knowledge test (if applicable), and pass the practical test as required under part 61. Each rating added to the temporary U.S. pilot certificate will have the notation “U.S. TEST PASSED” following the rating to which the notation applies. The required aeronautical experience must be shown on FAA Form 8710-1, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application. Do not indicate “U.S. TEST PASSED” on the temporary pilot certificate if only the IFP knowledge test was passed.

Additionally, if you are not a US Citizen you will need to complete the TSA approval before receiving the training for the instrument rating. TSA FSTP website

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