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The information about getting US FAA licenses is in FAR Part 61, which
you can find on the FAA web site at
Under "Current FAR" click "By Subpart" and then select Part 61.

Basically, there are three ways for a foreign pilot to fly in the US.

1) Bring your own airplane. You can fly a New Zealand registered aircraft with a New Zealand pilot license. (Yeah, this probably isn't too practical, but I'll include it in case there are Canadians reading.)

2) You can get a US private pilot certificate issued based a foreign license. Just take a current foreign license to the FAA. This is mostly used by people who are here for a short while and want to fly around on vacation.

3) Take the tests to get a US license. If you want to work here, this is what you'll have to do. For each license, there are minimum experience requirements, a knowledge test (multiple-choice) and a practical test (oral questions and flying). To get a flight instructor certificate you must first have a commercial license with an instrument rating.

The commercial pilot requirements are in Subpart F.

The instrument rating requirements are in Subpart B section 61.65.

Flight instructor requirements are in Subpart H.

Blue skies.
-Barbara (ex-CFI)
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