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Lane Wallace had a problem with recognition of her Canadian rating. The US is signatory to ICAO and as such it should recognize licences and ratings from other signatories. But the US does not do this. If you, as a US pilot, go to any other ICAO country and present your certificate, it will be recognized and after a medical, a written aviation law exam and probably a flight check, will be issued a full licence from that country including all ratings held on the US certificate. Some countries (like the UK) will charge you for this; most are free.
But a foreigner coming to the US has no choice but to go through the full deal of groundschool, flight test, medical etc just to get the certificate (the US recognizes experience and if a foreign licence is presented, will allow for the flight and written tests without a CFI sign-off. Big deal!). A rating, though, will not be recognized. I, for example, have 11,000 hours on the B744, and licences for that airplane in four countries, but cannot get it added to my US ATP unless I do the full groundschool, sim time, check ride and sign-off (there is no such regulation in the FARs, but that is how it is interpreted) for a cost of $10,000 or more.
Imagine the outcry if a US pilot was treated by some foreign country the same way a foreigner is treated by the US routinely...
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