Most pilots are unaware that they can fly and work as a pilot in Europe with a foreign pilots licence for commercial purposes. 

Below are a portion of the requirements for validation of a licence issued by or on behalf of a third country according to EASA Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 Annex III

PIC - Pilot in Command      MPA - Multi Pilot Aeroplane   SPA - Single Pilot Aeroplane     COPI - Co Pilot



Minimum 1500 hours as PIC on MPA


Minimum 1500 hours as PIC or COPI on MPA according to operational requirements.




Minimum 1000 hours as PIC since gaining an Instrument Rating.


Minimum 1500 hours as PIC or COPI on MPA according to operational requirements.

 - Must have right to live and work in EU un-restricted

 - Must not have a criminal record

 - Must have a Language Proficiency of 4 or higher.

So if you meet the flight requirements - what next?

1) Find an authority that suits you. Where do you think you have a chance of finding work? Hungary for example is well versed in foreign licence validations & Hungarian Operator, Wizzair Europe, has their aircraft registered in Hungary. Austria is where EasyJet & Lauda have registered some of their aircraft. Austrian Authority, Austro Control, also have experience in the handling of foreign licence validations. You can find link to each EASA authority HERE

2) You must prepare for your 14 EASA exams. You can find out more for each EASA authority and how they handle each exam HERE


  • We don't recommend obtaining a foreign validation without a provisional job offer or some form of work opportunity. It's highly unusual to find work on a validation. You do so at your own risk.

  • There is a chance that you might only come across work possibilities on aircraft in which you are already rated and experienced. You will also be required to have over 500 hours on a type aircraft if you want to add that specific aircraft type to your EASA licence after completing all 14 EASA exams. 

  • A foreign licence validation, will only be valid in the country in which you are awarded a foreign licence validation. For example, if you complete an EASA validation in lets say Hungary, you will only be allowed to fly Hungarian registered aircraft and not Swiss or French registered aircraft.

  • A validation is initially valid only for one year - It can be extended up to a maximum of 2 years. This is usually at the discretion of the local aviation authority. An extension beyond the 1st year of validation, is often awarded to pilots who have shown positive progress toward completing their EASA ATPL examinations. This brings us to our next point.

  • We only recommend you consider this option if you have an ATPL already and are highly self disciplined. It will require a lot of dedication to complete all 14 exams EASA within 18 months, whilst possibly still flying for an EASA certified operator. Many pilots have failed to complete their exams whilst flying on a foreign validation. They subsequently lost their job as a result and had to start the exam process again.

  • A third country validation requires your original licence to remain current. So it is important you know how to keep this licence valid whilst flying in Europe. However, you will still be required to do an EASA medical and proficiency check each year and possibly also a medical as well as proficiency check for your original licence. Some Non- EASA related authorities accept an EASA medical and EASA proficiency checks whilst others don't. The onus is on you to see what your specific authority would require from you if conducting a medical and or proficiency check with EASA.