Q: I rented an airplane outside of the flight school. Is this considered a Homeland Security Violation and criminal act?

I am a F-1 student in Florida working as a flight instructor in a flight school. The school canceled my i-20 saying i did a Homeland Security Violation for following reason.

It says on the contract that I cannot fly an airplane other than school’s plane but I rented an airplane to build hours faster to go to an airline. I am not aware but school mentioned that it is considered Homeland Security Violation after 9/11.

** School contract: Students on a VISA are only allowed to fly in aircraft owned by the school. If it is reported that the student is flying aircraft or simulators, the student’s VISA will immediately canceled, and deportation per Homeland Security.

I wonder if this violation is just a school internal violation related to immigration law or if it is considered a criminal act or offense, something serious. If you could help me locate a regulation or an act regarding this or teach me how to, I would really appreciate it.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: This is a complex situation involving immigration law, flight school policies, and potential Homeland Security regulations. Based on the information provided, it's unclear whether renting an airplane outside of the flight school would be considered a direct violation of Homeland Security regulations or a criminal act. However, it does appear to be a violation of the specific flight school's policies for students on visas.

Here are a few considerations and suggestions:

1. Review your flight school's policies and your signed contract carefully to understand the specific terms you agreed to regarding flying only school-owned aircraft as a student on a visa.

2. Contact the International Student Office or the Designated School Official (DSO) at your school for guidance on the potential consequences of violating the school's policy and any implications for your visa status.

3. Consult with an immigration attorney who specializes in student visas and can provide personalized advice based on the specifics of your case. They can help you understand the potential legal ramifications and your options moving forward.

4. Research the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for any rules pertaining to flight training for foreign students. You can start with Title 49: Transportation, which includes regulations related to aviation.

5. Review the TSA's Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) to understand the background check and training requirements for foreign students seeking flight training in the U.S.

While I couldn't find a specific regulation stating that renting an airplane outside of the flight school is a direct Homeland Security violation or criminal act, it's crucial to take your school's policies and warnings seriously. Violating the terms of your agreement with the school could potentially jeopardize your visa status and ability to continue flight training in the U.S.

Jonathan Blecher and Terrence H Thorgaard agree with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.