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Alien Flight Student Program: 4 Common Errors Before Training Starts

Posted by Clint Braswell on Tue, Mar 05, 2013

Alient Flight Student ProgramThe rules and regulations pertaining to the Alien Flight Student program can be confusing. Because we provide services to support the Alien Flight Student Program, we see some of the common problems that occur. Below, I have detailed the four most common errors that cause an Alien Flight Student’s prints to be rejected or delayed.
Mistake #1: Typing Errors

This first mistake occurs early on. Students, when filling out their information on the website, will need to make sure the information is correct. Incorrect data will result in the Training Request numbers being sent back to ‘draft’ status, which means the whole process will be started over. If you or your student have any questions on what to fill out, you can check out the flight school candidates website where they have an application guide, calling the AFSP Help desk (571.203.8470) or emailing them at AFSP.Help@DHS.Gov

Mistake #2: Visa / Passport Issues

The student’s passport and visa numbers must be accurately submitted to the AFSP program during their initial enrollment.  If any of the information is inaccurate, the student will need to work with the AFSP Help Desk in order to make the correction. This additional step will cause delays in receiving the Fingerprint Instruction email and/or the Initiate to Train clearance.
If AFSP finds out a student’s visa is not one that allows them to take flight training, AFSP will cancel the request immediately, notifying the flight school and the student by email. Make sure the student has applied and has the proper visa.

Mistake #3: Getting Fingerprints Taken Too Early

We all know that Alien Flight Students will need to get their fingerprints taken during this process. However, they cannot have their prints taken before they get the fingerprint instructions emails. After the candidate has paid the $130 fee to the TSA, the TSA will send a preliminary approval email to the student which is just that, a preliminary approval. Once AFSP has gone through their documents acceptance phase, the student should get a fingerprinting instruction email. If the candidate submits prints before receiving the official AFSP fingerprinting instructions, their training request number(s) will be canceled and both you, the flight school, and student will receive emails notifying them of this. Make sure the candidate has their official email before getting their prints taken.

Mistake #4: Failing to Escort a Student When Using a Law Enforcement Agency for Fingerprint Collection

This is one of the most common issues, if not the most common. Although some of students who might not have followed this rule may have snuck past and not got “caught”, non-compliance is a dangerous move and can cause the student’s training request(s) be canceled. When the candidate gets the fingerprinting instructions email, they are given an option of where they can get their prints taken. They can go to a Law Enforcement Agency in the United States or a TSA approved location.

If the student chooses to go to anybody but the TSA approved locations, they are required to be escorted to the location by an employee of their flight training facility. This means that someone from the flight training facility needs to go with the student to the law enforcement agency, monitor the fingerprint process and will need to have a pre-addressed envelope to the Alien Flight Student Program in Springfield, Illinois, for the prints to be put into and mailed immediately after the completion of the printing process. If this process is not completed and AFSP becomes aware of this at any point, the prints will be rejected and the training request number(s) will be canceled.

These four errors are the most common issues that will either slow down the Alien Flight Student or stop them all together. Knowing which mistakes are common can help you avoid them. In my next blog post, I’ll show you how to speed up the process of getting prints submitted and accepted for all fingerprints submitted.

Tags: AFSP

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