FLYING IN THE USA
All the information you need about student visas and your opportunities to gain flight experience in America
LIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM
WORK IN THE USA
And gain important flight experience as a instructor and Pilot
F1 Visa, CPT and OPT
Pilots who train in the US and want to gain flight experience as pilots and/or flight instructors need to choose a flight school that offers not only the F-1 Visa for students but also the CPT and/or OPT, that allows them to work for up to 23.5 month.
HAA is the only flight school for airplane and helicopter training that offers the F-1 Visa with CPT and OPT to our students
Our students go through a structured Part 141 training program to acquire their licenses and must be a full-time students for at least one academic year (6½ months) to qualify for the CPT and OPT. After completing the training, they are eligible to work in the US for up to 23.5 month. The combination of our high quality flight training with a work permit makes the Hillsboro Heli Academy the ideal school for future professional pilots.
After our graduates have successfully completed their training and found a job, they can start their CPT (Curricular Practical Training). This makes it possible to work legally in the United States as a pilot and/or flight instructor. Regardless of whether our graduates apply to Hillsboro Aero Academy, other flight schools or companies as pilots - we are happy to help. The CPT is extended every three months to a maximum of 11½ months.
After the CPT, the work permit can be extended for another year. This is done with the help of an OPT (Optional Practical Training). It is important to apply to the US authorities for the OPT early.
Our flight school will be happy to help you with the application, but has no influence on the processing time of the US authorities. After successful approval of the OPT, you are allowed to work in the USA for another 12 months and then have 30 days to leave the country.
Working during the flight training
An additional advantage of the F-1 Visa is the ability to work on campus while you are still training. You can work for up to 20 hours per week on campus for the school. These jobs give you a good understanding and appreciation of all the departments of our school that support the training department. While this is beneficial in many ways, it also can slow down your training if you so you should make sure to have a schedule for studying and flight time to stay on track.
Gain experience and flight-time
One of the main advantages of flight training in the United States is the ability to gain flight experience. After you finish your training you will have around 200 hours in a helicopter or 250 hours in an airplane. During your CPT and OPT, you have the ability to work anywhere in the United States as a pilot or flight instructor. On average, most people build an additional 1000 to 1500 hours, which is sufficient to start working in Europe.
LET YOUR DREAMS TAKE FLIGHT
Working after your flight training
After you complete your training with us, you can work as a pilot or flight instructor anywhere in the USA.
Most pilots start their careers as flight instructors. There are two reasons for this: flight schools have a low requirement for minimum flight hours compared to other companies, and as a flight instructor, you improve your knowledge and flying skills on a daily basis.
In order to offer a high quality of training, we only hire our best graduates. Other schools guarantee that every graduate will be hired, but we believe that this is not realistic and raises false expectations. In order to increase your chances of employment at the Hillsboro Aero Academy, you should act professional throughout your training and treat other instructors and students like you want to be treated.
Due to the small size of the aviation community, it is very important to establish contacts and friendships with other pilots. This doesn't only help you with your training but also helps with your career. Hillsboro graduates have a very good reputation, so we are regularly contacted by other companies that are looking for pilots. We always share these job offers with our students and graduates and help actively with the job-search.
In order to be eligible for flight training in the USA as a foreigner, you will need a student visa.
Depending on the purpose of the training, you can apply for either the M-1 or F-1 Visa. Both can be used for either airplane or helicopter training.
The M-1 Visa is useful for those who do not plan to work in the United States as it a visa that only allows students to train in the US.
If you plan to work as a pilot after completing your training, you have to apply for an F-1 Visa.