Converting an overseas flight crew licence

There are a few ways to convert your overseas pilot licence to an Australian one.

If you have an overseas licence and:

  • plan to fly in Australia for longer than 12 months – you can apply to convert your foreign licence to an Australian licence
  • are only here for short-term aviation work – you can apply for a Certificate of Validation that allows you to fly Australian-registered aircraft 
  • it was issued by New Zealand – you may be able to simply verify your NZ licence or qualification under special rules.

Always check our advice before you fly to Australia in case we update it.

Steps to convert or verify an overseas licence

  1. Get an aviation reference number

    An aviation reference number (ARN) is like a customer or account number.

    You must have an ARN to interact with us.

  2. Show you are proficient in English

    You must have:

  3. Get your documents translated to English

    The documents you send to us must be in English or come with a version translated into English.

    If you are:

  4. Certify your documents

    The documents you send us need to be certified as true and correct copies of the originals.

    Only certain people can certify documents you send to us.

    You may need someone to witness a statutory declaration for overseas work. Check the Attorney-General Department's list of approved witnesses for who can certify these documents.

    If you're not in Australia, you will need to find an approved witness overseas.

  5. Authorise your information to be released

    You must authorise the overseas authority that issued your licence or qualification to release your information.

    This means we can check your licence or qualification is valid.

    It's quicker to verify qualifications from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) than other authorities.

  6. Do security checks and clearances

    So we can finalise your application, you must:

    If you aren't an Australian citizen, security checks also include:

    • a police check
    • an immigration check.

    This process can take up to 8 weeks.

  7. Get a medical check

    You may need to get an Australian medical certificate for your application.

  8. Submit application form

    There are different forms depending on how long you plan to stay and the type of licence you have.

    Staying 12 months or longer – apply to convert your licence

    For most types of overseas flight crew licences, apply to convert your licence using this form:

    Flight crew licence application on basis of overseas civil qualifications (Part A) form-61-4a (PDF, 430.9 KB)

    If you're converting:

    • a private pilot licence (PPL) – this is the only form you need.
    • a flight crew licence other than a PPL – you must pass a conversion exam and a flight test.

    You must do the Australian exams. We don't recognise foreign exam credits.

    For overseas Flight Crew Balloon Licence holders, apply to convert your licence using this form:

    Application for flight crew balloon licence on basis of overseas civil qualifications (PDF, 289.51 KB)

    We don't issue licences or pilot certificates for:

    • ultra-light aircraft
    • balloons for private flights.

    Contact the relevant governing organisation for information on these licences.

    Staying less than 12 months – apply for Certificate of Validation

    You need permission to fly an Australian-registered aircraft on a short-term basis using an overseas pilot licence.

    To apply for a Certificate of Validation based on foreign civil qualifications, use this form:

    Certificate of validation application on the basis of foreign civil qualifications form-61-4cov (PDF, 340.69 KB)

    Your application should include:

    • why you intend to be in Australia
    • why you need a Certificate of Validation
    • the type and registration mark of the aircraft you will fly
    • ferrying operation details
    • commercial operations details
    • details of Australian training you will do.
  9. Review of application

    We usually take 20 days to process your application and supporting documents.

    We will contact you using the details in your application.

Converting an EASA licence

We assess applications to convert from European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) licences on a case-by-case basis.

Ensure the medical certificate you show us is from the same contracting state as your licence.

Converting a New Zealand licence

Australia and New Zealand recognise each other's flight crew licences. So you don't need to convert a licence issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAANZ).

Instead, you apply for an Australian licence that is equivalent to your NZ Flight Crew Licence under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act, 1997 (TTRMA).

To apply:

  1. Complete the CAANZ Application for Licence Verification. Send the application to the address on the form.
  2. CAANZ will review your application and send us a Verification Report.
  3. Apply to us to register for the Australian equivalent licence using form 760:
Trans Tasman mutual recognition agreement licence registration (PDF, 286.84 KB)

Your licence can take up to a month to get to New Zealand from Australia.

Renewing a rating with TTMRA

To convert operational ratings under the TTMRA, you must do an Australian proficiency check before you can use it.

Last updated:
29 Jun 2022
Online version available at:
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