Aviation experts around the globe now see a worldwide shortage of professional pilots, beginning around 2013, due to the culmination of retiring pilots, airline expansion, and a dwindling pilot pool due to the restrictive cost or training. The major airlines have not addressed the problem publicly, but they will be scrambling to fill the void left by retirees and general attrition of these prestigious positions.

There has never been a brighter future for pilots than today. A window of opportunity has opened, and those prepared for a career in aviation will benefit in many untold ways. OCFC will help you obtain the necessary certificates and ratings to kick start your future as an aviation professional. We offer pilot training from zero hours to virtually any experience level, suiting your career goals from Private Pilot License through the Air Transport Pilot rating.

The Southern California coastline is a perfect environment for flight training, with most days of clear skies mixed with some actual instrument flying experience, you can fly from sea level to a quick hop for high-altitude mountain landings in all types of weather. For the most part, the weather is gorgeous and the Orange County lifestyle cannot be beat.

Let Orange County Flight Center help with your International paperwork for training, and we’ll see you through until your career takes off!

Step 1: Application for Enrollment

I-20All international students must submit the following to apply for enrollment:

  • Student Intake Form: A non-refundable fee of $175 is required to process your I-20 information. All foreign students are required to have an I-20 Form to gain entry into the United States. Upon receipt of your I-20 fee and your Student Intake Form, Orange County Flight Center will send you a letter of acceptance and your completed I-20 form.
    Download Student Intake Form
    Download Credit Card Authorization Form
  • English Proficiency: All students are required to demonstrate English proficiency. A TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) score of 650 or above is required.
  • Bank Statement: A bank statement is required as proof of the ability to pay for flight training as well as living expenses while training.
  • Medical: All students must be eligible for an FAA medical. For more information visit the FAA website at
    http://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/ .

Step 2: SEVIS Form I-901

Visit http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901 to complete the I-901 process.


Step 3: M-1 Student Visa

F1_Student_Visa_ApplicationTo obtain an M-1 Student Visa, call the nearest U.S. Embassy to set an appointment to receive your visa approval. The U.S. Embassy will need to see the following documents: I-20 Form, Passport, FInancial Statements and Receipt for payment of Form I-901. Please bring all documents with you as requested by the embassy (specific documents may vary by country). Your visit to the embassy will also entail a brief interview.

The length of time for this process varies from country to country. You will be notified as to whether you have been approved or disapproved. The U.S. Embassy will provide you, the student, with an M-1 Student Visa permitting you entry to the United States. 

Step 4: TSA Clearance

tsaYou can obtain TSA clearance from your country or from the United States. Visit FlightSchoolCandidates.gov to apply for TSA clearance in the U.S. 

Step 5: Down Payment

A $2,500 deposit is required to begin flight training. Download Credit Card Authorization Form


Step 6: OCFC Training Documents

All students must submit the following forms before flight training can begin.

Step 7: Living Arrangements

residence_innContact OCFC for information about temporary living arrangements when you arrive. We have negotiated special rates with some extended-stay hotels within walking distance to the John Wayne Airport.

* Note: FAA time requirements are considerably less than the national average. As a member of the United Nations, the United States must publish those times — grossly inadequate for learning to fly in today’s U.S. airspace — as prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). To solve that dilemma, the FAA publishes a practical test standard (PTS) for each certificate and rating, which mandates training to proficiency, not flight time. The national average reflects that requirement.