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
  • are only here for short-term aviation work – you can apply for a Certificate of Validation
  • are New Zealand flight crew – you may be able to convert your licence or qualification under special rules.

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

Steps to convert 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. Prove 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

    There are certain people who can certify documents you send to us.

    You may need someone to witness a statutory declaration for overseas work. Check the Attorney-General'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.

Filling in the application form

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

Staying longer than 12 months

Fill in the form to convert an overseas flight crew licence.

If you're converting:

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

Staying less than 12 months

Fill in the form to get a Certificate of Validation on basis of foreign civil qualifications.

You 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.

We usually take 20 days to process your application.

We will send your certificate to the address you put 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

You don't need to convert a Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAANZ). Instead, you can apply for a verification under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act, 1997 (TTRMA).

To apply:

  1. Complete the Civil Aviation Authority New Zealand (CAANZ) CAANZ Application for Licence Verification.
  2. Send the application to the address on the form.
  3. CAANZ will review your application and send us a Verification Report.
  4. Fill in and send us the form to apply for a licence under the TTMRA.

You must also send a statutory declaration with any TTMRA forms.

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

You may also have to pay if your licence is lost or damaged.

Renewing a rating with TTMRA

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

Converting a balloon licence

Fill in the 

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

form to convert a balloon licence.

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.

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