I am currently about to complete my CPL in the United States, can I join a cadet program in Europe or in the UAE with my current License and ratings? I will have a CPL with instrument rating and am thinking about completing my CFI and Multi engine add ons.

Can I join a cadet program in the UAE once I have? Or do I have to transfer my license to work in the UAE or even in the UK?


1 Answer 1


The general idea of a cadetship is that they are designed for those with little to no flying experience. For those with a license already, they must go through the direct entry process.

Except in specific circumstances, you can't fly for a foreign airline with your FAA license. For most other countries you will have to convert your license to that country first. The conversion process usually involves some theory exams, a bit of remedial training and a flight test. At least you won't need to repeat all the hours you've already done - they are credited anywhere.

The other part to consider is having the right to work in the foreign country. In places like Europe it will be difficult to get an airline to sponsor you because they already have so many local pilots they need to employ first. But it's easier in places like the UAE, Hong Kong and Singapore to name a few.

  • $\begingroup$ This was really helpful! So just a back story here, my dad is currently a pilot for emirates airlines and I already have a UAE residents visa. By May 2023, I will have my FAA license (CPL) and a Bachelors degree. So I guess my question would be, how would I go about applying for a cadet program in Dubai? As well as what else would I need to do in order to join? $\endgroup$ Sep 21, 2022 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ How would I go about a direct entry? $\endgroup$ Sep 21, 2022 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ @AnayaSingh With every cadet program I have inquired with, having a CPL means you are NOT eligible to join, because they are designed for people with no flying experience. The Emirates program may be different but I doubt it. The best way to find out is to ask them directly rather than asking someone on the internet. $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Sep 22, 2022 at 5:27
  • $\begingroup$ For direct entry you just go on their website for first officers. For Emirates you need 2000 hours in a jet - emiratesgroupcareers.com/pilots $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Sep 22, 2022 at 5:28

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