Should U.S. ham tests be given abroad?
Posted September 25, 2016 by
A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a reader who wanted my opinion about a thread on the HamRadioHelpGroup mailing list. The e-mail that started the discussion was a message from an American living in Italy who wanted to take the Technician Class exam. In her e-mail, she told of her troubles finding a test session, and then when she did find one, what she perceived as “irregularities” in the testing process. Reading the thread was a little disconcerting, and I blogged about this issue (http://www.kb6nu.com/u-s-amateur-radio-license-exams-given-outside-u-s/).
I understand why foreign national go to the trouble of taking the U.S. license exam. Some of them even buy my study guides. About a year ago, for example, I swapped some e-mail with a guy from Malaysia about why he purchased my study guide and why he wanted a U.S. license. He said that it was because a neighboring country offered reciprocal operating privileges to U.S. licensees, but not Malaysian licensees! He mentioned that he tested for the license in Thailand.
Basically, my Malaysian friend was using the U.S. licensing process to circumvent the Malaysian licensing process. Australians seem to do this, too. Apparently, according to one of the VKs who commented on the thread, getting a U.S. Tech license is easier than testing for an Australian Foundation license. So, some Australians get a U.S. Tech license first, then get the Australian government to issue them a VK Foundation license based on the reciprocal operating agreement between the U.S. and Australia.