Take CTP week long course (TSA approval required)
Write conversion exam
Get FAA medical
Get FCC radio license (online)
Make appointment at FAA office where you will present all your documents and info. Temp ATPL will be issued, then the permanent one arrives in the mail.
I haven’t done the CTP yet. Reluctant to pay for it I guess
That being said here's a step by step to getting your FAA ATP.
1. Apply for Verification of Authenticity of Foreign License
A. The verification process allows the FAA to communicate with TC to verify you hold a valid Canadian license.
Go to http://www.faa.gov/licenses%5Fcertifica ... ification/
From that website click on the hyperlink named “Verification of Authenticity of Foreign License, Rating, & Medical Certification” complete the form & fax to Oklahoma City as per their instructions. This verification process can take 45 – 90 days. For your planning keep in mind this verification letter itself is only valid for 6 months.
B. As for selecting the “FSDO location where you intend to make application” on the above faxed form, use http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/fsdo/ to find a close FSDO.
I took the CTP course in Dallas and wrote the exam there as well, so I chose to use the Dallas FSDO. It's very hard to change the selected FSDO afterwards, so plan appropriately otherwise you may need to apply for a new verification form.
Whichever FSDO you select, you’ll be visiting this location IN PERSON when all documentation & test results are completed & in-hand. It is important you contact this exact office & give them a heads up of who are, what you are doing. Get an in-office contact & speak directly to the person you plan on doing the final paperwork with. If you aren't an American citizen, you will need to get authorization to visit, so contact them directly to initiate the clearance. I was told to allow 4-5 weeks for clearance, but I think it took about 3.
2. FAA Radio License:
A. Do this concurrently with the Verification. It is simply an Internet exercise (no tests) only titles, addresses & a payment.
I think the website is http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/index.htm?job=home The website is a bit of a pain to navigate and figure out which licence to get. You should receive you license in the mail with in 2 to 3 weeks.
3. FAA ATP CTP Course (Approx $5000 USD)
I did the course in Dallas, 4 days of classroom and 3 sims. There's no way to get around this course... it's designed for a 1500hr pilot who has no jet or multi crew experience. It has to be done by everyone getting an FAA ATP.
Conversion Exam (60 questions (I think it used to be 40)):
A. Preparation – Sheppard Air is the way to go http://www.sheppardair.com/trainingaids.htm ($75) There is also a course given by Gleim, which covers the same material. I prefer Sheppard as it’s just a database of about 1500 Questions. They’re still honing it for TC-to-FAA conversions, but if you find even 1 question on your exam that isn’t in their database, you’ll get your money back, so it’s a no lose option.
B. Exam Invigilation. ($150) The FAA outsources the exams and you have to go to an authorized centre to write it. I'm writing the exam in Dallas, but they do have locations in Canada as well, not sure about Europe. See http://faa.psiexams.com/faa.html for their info. Schedule an appointment at the location you choose & bring your CTP Completion #, you can't write the exam without proof of finishing the course. Also bring good Gov’t ID (Passport and DL). No need to bring any calculators, whiz wheels, or anything like that... They’ll give you a stamped and verified copy of your exam result on the spot. Don’t lose it!
4. FAA Medical:
A. I did the medical before attending the CTP course because I'm writing the exam and going directly to the FSDO otherwise you can wait until later to get the FAA medical
http://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/ to locate the nearest approved doctor.
5. FSDO Visit:
Finally, when all documentation is in hand:
FAA Radio License
ATP Exam Results
Verification letter for TC license
TC License (ATPL)
If you bring your logbook you may be able to transfer other ratings
Don't forget the Visit Clearance Request
After I wrote the exam I went to the FAA FSDO in Dallas where I took the course. The FSDO rep will review all the paperwork and forms and if everything is correct they will issue a Temporary ATP and send your application to Oklahoma for final approval, who will then mail the actual certificate to you (I believe the FSDO is the only one who can review your application since it's TC to FAA - I've heard that DPE can issue a Temp ATP, but only for US Citizens). Depending on the type of aircraft you are flying, you will require FAA sim training prior to actually using your licence. In my case, I had type ratings on my TC licence which transferred to my new FAA licence, but I needed to complete a re-current sim prior to flying the aircraft using my FAA privileges.
All my type ratings transferred over and are on my FAA ATP. In my situation, I was transferring to another aircraft for which my TC rating had lapsed (3 years since last flight). Under the FAA rules, all I required was a re-current sim whereas in Canada I needed to complete the full Initial course again.
If you read FAA Advisory Circular 61-135A, para 11, it states that prior to exercising the privileges of the FAA ATP you must meet the requirements of 61.56, 61.57 or 61.58. The 61.58 is a normal recurrent sim session under FAA which I completed to regain my currency. If I wanted to reactivate my 737 type rating I would need to do a recurrent on that as well. My understanding is that under FAA (unlike TC) the ratings never expire and all you need to do is get current again. I’m operating under FAA Part 91, which is very liberal with rules to maintain currency. I’m sure it’s more stringent for airline ops.
Also, It can take a while to get a FSDO appointment and you will have to submit a request to visit if you aren't a US citizen.Again, I was doing all this in Dallas and had to plan everything in advance so I scheduled my appointment for day after writing the exam.
My case was a bit different as I already had an FAA CPL but after I did my FAA ATP ride the DPE gave me a temp ATP certificate right away and I'm not a US citizen. This was in 2013 though; before the CTP stuff came in. Not sure if that changes anything or not.