Converting your foreign licence into a CASA licence

This is a guidance page only, it is advised to always check CASA’s website for the most up-to-date information.

So you’ve got a non-Australian licence and want to convert it to an Australian licence to enable you to fly around this beautiful country? Read on to find out what options you have and what process needs to be followed.

Central Coast Aero Club Stockton Beach/ Port Stephens Joy Flight

Typically, all flight hours count no matter what country you fly in, an aircraft is an aircraft no matter where you are in the world. Flight reviews for Australian Licences need to be conducted on Australian aircraft for them to be valid. A flight review/test pass in a different country would not revalidate your Australian flight review. However, your recency requirements for taking passengers can be done in non-Australian aircraft.

Options that you have:

1. Certificate of Validation (CoV) [CASR 61.290]

  • A CoV allows you to fly an Australian registered aircraft for a specific operation and for a period of up to 12 months. You do not need an Australian medical if your overseas medical is the applicable class for intended operations (private or commercial).
  • You will be required to apply for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN) through CASA.
  • You do require an Australian aviation security check and will need to be issued either an ASIC or AVID. These needs to be done before CASA will issue your CoV. A security check usually takes between 4-6 weeks to complete.
  • You do require an English Language Proficiency assessment. Some foreign licences may have your ELP listed on the licence. You will need an ICAO level 4, 5 or 6.
  • When ready fill out Form 61-4COV from CASA.
  • CASA may require you to sit a flight test for certain licences/ratings
  • CASA may also require confirmation from the overseas issuing body to verify your licence. Depending on the country you may need to contact the overseas body to authorise the release of your information.
  • A CoV will need to be completely reapplied for if you visit again.

2. Permanent Conversion [CASR 61.275]

  • This is intended for those are planning to stay in Australia for more than 12 months (or a regular visitor)
  • You will be required to apply for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN) through CASA.
  • You will require an Australian medical; there are several DAME’s located overseas, and this can be done before moving to Australia if you wish.
  • You will require an Australian aviation security check before being issued your Australian licence. An ASIC application can take between 4-6 weeks to complete
  • You may have to do an English Language Proficiency assessment, depending on what CASA decides in regard to your overseas licence.
  • The first step is to apply for your licence with form 61-4A. This form is where you list all your foreign licence information and your flying hours.
  • After this form is submitted, CASA will contact the overseas issuing body and verify the details with them. This may take up to 4 weeks. Some overseas bodies require you to authorise the release of your information. Contact the overseas body that issued your licence to check if they need this authority.
  • Once CASA has completed this process the next step varies depending on your licence:
    • For Private Pilot’s Licence; You will be issued an Australian Private Pilot’s Licence. To make this licence valid you will need to complete a flight review with an authorised instructor/flight school. Warnervale Air/Central Coast Aero Club can complete this for you.
    • For Commercial Pilot’s Licence, Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence, and ratings (NVFR, Instrument, Instructor, etc.) CASA will send you a letter that will detail what they want next. Usually you will need to do a theory exam (or 2 for CPL/ATPL) and the appropriate flight test for each licence and rating.
      • (For example a holder of a Canadian CPL with NVFR and Multi-Engine IFR will need to sit two CPL theory exams as well as the instrument rating theory test. They will also need to sit both the CPL flight test and instrument flight test. The multi-engine rating is automatically given like a PPL, but will require a flight review.)
    • Once you have sat the applicable theory exams and passed the flight test for your CPL/ATPL and/or ratings. You will then submit CASA form 61-4B
  • Once this process has been all completed, you will then have a full Australian licence that is valid indefinitely as long as your medical and flight review is valid.

3. Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act (TTMRA) NZ Only [CASR 61.280]

  • Due to the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act, any NZ qualification can be converted to the Australian qualification.
  • You need to submit an Application for Licence Verification form to CAA NZ
  • You need to submit form 760 to CASA
  • You will need both an ASIC card and Australian medical
  • Any operational ratings converted (ie. Instrument, instructor) will need an Australian proficiency check.

4. Dual Flights

  • If you are only here for a short time, it is generally easiest to just go up with an instructor. It will cost a little more, but you won’t need to go through any of the above processes.
  • However, due to Australian regulations if you want to fly, you won’t be able to have any passengers on-board, other than the instructor. If you wish to go up with friends/family, then it is considered a charter/joy/scenic flight and only the instructor will be allowed to fly.

Contact us if you want to convert your licence and start flying around this country we call home!