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Do Green Card Holders need approval from TSA to start ground school and take the FAA knowledge test? Or are they allowed to take the test before they apply for fly training?

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The TSA only regulates flight training, per 49 CFR 1552. That's defined as "instruction received from a flight school in an aircraft or aircraft simulator". There's no TSA approval required to take a written test, or for ground training. The FAA requirements are listed here.

I suppose it's possible that if you want to do training at a large school with integrated ground and flight training (probably under part 141), they would require TSA approval as a pre-requisite for starting the course. In that case it would be a school requirement, though, not an FAA or TSA one.

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Good question! Permanent residents need to create a profile in the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) System, prior to taking an FAA Airman Knowledge Test. Creation of the profile will provide you with a Federal Tracking Number (FTN) that you will need to take an FAA knowledge test.

Source: FAA Airman Knowledge Testing Matrix

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    $\begingroup$ Getting an FTN from IACRA applies to everyone. The question is whether there’s any approvals specific to an LPR. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Dec 27, 2021 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenS The letters "LPR" are nowhere in the question, therefore that is not the question. $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2021 at 3:39
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    $\begingroup$ Green Card Holder = LPR $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Dec 28, 2021 at 4:05
  • $\begingroup$ You could also cover the difference between starting ground school and taking the knowledge test. $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Dec 28, 2021 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ The question is whether TSA approval is needed. The answer is "No." $\endgroup$ Dec 29, 2021 at 5:03

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