ITAR & Training Foreign Students

From the Inbox: Land Navigation / Orienteering
August 27, 2015
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August 27, 2015

I have had numerous inquiries over time from foreign students inquiring about training at MVT. These inquiries come from places such as Canada, the UK, Australia, and as such appear to me to be legitimate inquiries from ‘Coalition’ countries whose personnel I would be happy to train.

The website states:

“Due to DoS ITAR regulations, tactical training is only available to US Citizens/Legal Residents.”

This is true. However, there is a way round it, but it costs money. I have just been on the phone to State and found out the following:

  • ‘Tourist’ ranges, where someone just goes to pew pew a hired firearm, are legal because there is no training involved.
  • Tactical and Firearms TRAINING classes are covered under ITAR, and are thus restricted to US Citizens / Legal Residents.


(and it’s all about the money, as usual)

  • MVT registers with DoS and pays an annual fee of $2250.
  • Applies for a case by case license at a cost of $250 per license, per individual/group.
  • The license is for each group or individual that comes on a training class. Thus: groups are better.
  • The annual registration  takes about 45 days and there needs to be up to 4 weeks lead time for each license to be approved.


I am asking for interest. If there are sufficient individuals / groups then I may be persuaded to pay the registration fee.


Understand that there will be costs associated with this above and beyond the usual class fees.

MVT will need to:

  • Recover registration / license fees.
  • Supply loaner firearms.
  • Consider additional front end training days for those unfamiliar with firearms (i.e. Basic Rifle).
  • Purchase ammunition for students.
  • Possibly supply load bearing equipment.

So it may take the form of a package deal. Students will also have flights and car rental to consider, as well as accommodation. So, expensive, but it depends how much you want to do tactical training, which you can’t get back home?

If you are one of those potential students reading this blog, please send me an email (Contact Form) with interest. I will assess interest and make a business decision as to whether it is worth getting the registration. Remember, it’s a licence per individual or group. so it makes more sense to come with buddies, or even as a team.

If you are a foreign student and wish to come for training, it remains at the discretion of MVT if we will train you. I want to know something about you, and that must pass  muster when you actually show up.




  1. OldeEnglishCider says:

    about bloody time

  2. Dashui says:

    sounds like what one of my friends (5SFG) told me. He is a MA instructor and gets e-mail from all over the world wanting to come train, however they need him to sponsor their visa. They just wanna get over here and overstay their visa, so be aware!

  3. Jane says:

    Interesting. I wonder what specifically is subject to ITARS. Is it all firearms training, or just “tactical training”? What does this “tactical training” consist of? For example, are defensive handgun tactics in a citizen concealed carry situation included under the ITARS umbrella?

    I am wondering because I have attended multiple classes at other schools that had foreign students attending.

    • Max Velocity says:

      According to the voice on the phone, anything involving firearms / tactics that involves instructing / training foreigners.

      Shooting without any instruction is ok.

      Some schools are doing it anyway and flying under the radar. Some may have found it pays to register /license.

  4. Christopher in Canada says:

    Sweet. Thanks for looking into this, Max! Hopefully there is enough interest.

    ATTENTION ALL FOREIGNERS: Be sure to reply!!

  5. shooter says:

    I think this is GREAT, but do be careful – the powers-that-be were recently talking about making something as trivial as internet posts related to gunsmithing subject to ITAR… So yeah, I can definitely see some landmines regarding training.

    Jump through the hoops and make the bureaucrats happy, and all will (probably) be well… kinda like buying NFA stuff, like suppressors, SBR’s etc. If “they” want you, “they” will get you, even if “they” have to make something up, so f**k it – be free!!!

  6. WTL says:

    How does Blackwater/Academi do it? I was there for a class and there were hundreds of foreign nationals training there under the supervision of private contractors.

  7. First Sergeant says:

    Most people have no idea about how restrictive ITARS is. This link will show you one item that can not even be shipped to an APO address.

    As Max has said, some are paying all of the fees, some are not.

    This is just a guess, but the ones at Academi are probably under some type of contract with the USG.

    If a student for any firearms related class has a green card, then no issues.

  8. Ed G says:

    Years ago I worked Security Assistance (SA) for 6 years in the Pentagon – a DOS program executed by the DOD. When we have a SA program the in-country team can cut an International Travel Oder sending a foreign slug to any training required. If we have a contract with a Civilian company then no problem just a little extra paperwork. Most 3rd world military personnel were stupid.

  9. HagueStork says:

    Good to know there is a possibility to train for us foreigners.

    Is the Netherlands considered one of the “Coalition” countries, by any chance?

    If so, I’d be interested in training, but not on short notice. I’ll start saving.

  10. Diz says:

    Like Jane I have been through several classes with foreign nationals (usually Commonwealth countries) but I have no idea on their status or whether the trainers went through all the paperwork. I suspect not. This was around the 2004-2008 timeframe so I suppose things have changed since then.

    If you vette guys from “coalition” countries, I would be happy to supply weapons and equipment for at least one guy.

    I think it’s a disgrace that the so-called “western democracies” are down to one country left to train in. Isn’t it ironic that some former com-bloc countries have more access to weapons and training.

    Also interesting in that .gov doesn’t seem to mind in principle about this, as long as they get their cut. Or you are an Islamic training camp up in Michigan or wherever. Can’t offend the Mooslims of course.