Pilot licence conversions ICAO to EASA

There are plenty of misconceptions so it is time to clear them up. This post will serve as an overview without focusing on specific countries. The process is nearly identical anyway regardless of aviation authority with a few exceptions, and small details like what e-mail address do you have to submit your forms and such. That information can be always found on the website of the respective Aviation Authority. Here is a complete list of EASA member states, you can find the links to their Civil Aviation Authorities easily on this page.


Let us start with one of the exceptions, if you are planning to convert an FAA licence to a PART.FCL PPL the process is simplified. 

It is called TIP-L Part-FCL Licence Conversion or BASA (Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement) Conversion. 


  • FAA pilot certificate
  • Valid medical certificates (FAA and EU-Part MED)
  • Passport or equivalent proof of identity
  • Logbook to show other relevant information, e.g. experience, the    last flight review, the training performed
  • Skill test form

You do not have to pass written theoretical exams; the examiner will conduct an oral check to assess your knowledge. The conversion of the Instrument Rating is also simplified, if you have 50 hours Instrument time as PIC you won’t be required to attend training with an EASA ATO for the IR. 

Google: “TIP-L PPL conversion country you want to convert in” or “BASA PPL conversion country you want to convert in” 

An example from Austria here. 


Google: 3rd country ICAO licence conversion country name you want to convert in, or as mentioned before, go to the CAA’s website directly and look for the forms manually, most of the time it will be under a tab like “Personnel -> Licencing" or "Personnel -> Pilot licences” or “Pilots  -> Licencing” or “Flight training and licensing”. 

Common requirements: 

  • EASA Class 2 medical certificate
  • Theory exam Air law and Human Performance
  • Minimum 100 hours flight time 
  • Proof of language proficiency level 4 (English or National)
  • Radio qualification
  • Valid class rating (Single Engine Piston)

Once your PART.FCL licence is issued you can add existing ratings if you have the necessary experience. Find the details on the CAA website. If you have a CPL or ATPL and just planning to fly for pleasure you have to follow this process as well. 

An example from Switzerland here.


If you are planning to fly professionally there are two separate processes, licence validation and licence conversion. We won’t cover licence validations in this post because for that you need sponsorship from an Airline/Company with an EASA Air Operator Certificate. There are plenty of requirements but your company will provide you all the information, if they hired you, they will know the exact process.


CPL conversions do not have an EASA wide standard. Each CAA can approach this as they see fit. Common requirements are that you must always start with the 13 ATPL Theory Exams. When it comes to the practical part, training with an ATO (Approved Training Organization) and an individual training plan is always required. The exact details can vary depending on the CAA, this is the reason if you try to Google it you won’t find a definitive answer. More details and requirements about the practical training can be found here and about the theory training here.


Converting an ATPL(A) is pretty straight forward and has an EASA wide standard. You start with the 13 ATPL Theory exams. After you passed them and obtained the necessary medical and English proficiency, you just need to pass an ATPL(A) skill test in an EASA approved simulator with an EASA approved examiner and submit the paperwork for the licence issue. 

Reductions: Applicants converting an ICAO ATPL(A) are not required to attend classroom and are exempted from Internal Exams.

General Requirements:

  • Pass 13 EASA ATPL(A) Theory Exams
  • Valid Multi-Pilot Certified Type Rating (Must be valid at the time of the skill test) 
  • You must have at least 1500 hours Total Time on Aeroplanes, and 500 must be on the Multi-Pilot Certified type that you are planning to use for the skill test. 
  • In addition to the above you must either have minimum 250 hours of Command (PIC) on aeroplanes OR 500 hours of PICUS* or Copilot*. 
  • 250 hours, including at least 70 hours as PIC, and the remaining as PICUS can be accepted. (This can happen if you are an FO who has done integrated training and low on hours)
  • EASA Class 1 Medical Certificate
  • English Language Proficiency (Must be issued by an EASA CAA approved school)

*PICUS or Co-Pilot time is accepted if the flight was carried out on Multi-Pilot Certified type. Flying Single Pilot Type in a multi crew environment does not count.


Licence issue does not have to be in the country where you complete the theory exams. The ATPL theory certificate is accepted between all the member states and it is valid for 3 years after completion for the purpose of the skill test. 

Some countries require you to have a home address or work for a company based there if you want to get your licence issued. Others do not have such a requirement, for details feel free to contact us or check with the desired CAA.

The skill test can be completed in any country as far as the SIM is EASA approved and the TRE conducting the skill test is approved by your desired CAA. To get approval for the TRE is not too complicated and they usually are familiar with the process, nevertheless you can find the updated procedures here. Scroll down on the page and download the Examiner Differences Document and find the applicable procedure for the desired CAA.

There is no “good or better” EASA licence. Having a valid PART.FCL licence gives you the privilege to operate aircraft registered in any of the member states, provided you have the necessary ratings of course. This is respected by all the member states without question.

Example form for ATPL(A) skill test from Slovenia here. (Requirements are exactly the same in each member state) 

If you have a UK Licence that was issued under PART.FCL standars ISSUED BEFORE January 1, 2021 that is still honored when it comes to your ATPL Theory examinations. Meaning that if you decide to convert now and you completed your theory exams under EASA rules and you have obtained a CPL AND IR or an ATPL. Your theory examinations are valid for 7 years. The 7 years validity is counted from the last IR expiry date in the licence which was entered before January 1, 2021

More details on licence conversion: ICAO To EASA Conversion 

Useful links: 

EASA Approved type and class ratings
EASA Approved Simulators
EASA Medical Assessors by country scroll down and select List of Medical Assessors of NAAs once you opened the document on the right side there are links with all the AME / AeMC's organized by country.