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How to Get Visas For Teaching English Overseas?

27th February 2021

Are visas essential for teaching English in a foreign country?

Well, it is significant that you are well-prepared about the travel documents required by the country where you are planning to work in. When you start your career with TEFL course online, do a bit of online research before you plan to leave. Visa is one of the most common apprehensions for people who are interested in teaching English abroad. Lots of people tend to become overwhelmed by the visa procedure but work visas don’t necessarily have to be overwhelming!

In this write-up, we will breakdown the visa process for teaching abroad and hopefully, this will give you a suitable initial place for your pre-departure exploration.

A visa is basically a document dispensed by a government that sanctions an external citizen to enter that government’s country for residency, tourism, education and/or work.

Types of Visas

  • Work Visa
  • Working Holiday Visa (WHV)
  • Spousal Visa
  • Student or Tourist Visa

Basic Documents For Teaching English In a foreign Country

There are certain papers that you will usually need while applying for a teaching English overseas job. Whether you are in your home country or your destination country, these universal documents are necessary for teaching English job.

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Your original TEFL/TESOL certificate
  • A copy of your updated CV/resume and a cover letter
  • It is always a good idea to have some teaching experience

Well, it is gradually becoming common for companies to request a criminal background check when applying for teaching English jobs in Asia and the Middle East in specific. Numerous countries also need background checks as well for a work permit or entry visa. Employers may also need some form of physical inspection or a drug test preceding to completing the hiring development.

So, let’s have a look at the various kinds of visa requirements for teaching English overseas.

Visas in Asian Region

Asia has one of the highest demands for TEFL/TESOL certified teachers in the world. The job market is booming and the hotspots are China, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. The visa progressions in Asia are usually pretty upfront. Chinese Z-Visa, Taiwanese work visa, and the South Korean E-2 visa –the visa process is almost similar for all of them. A complete four-year college degree is typically essential for work visas in China, Taiwan and South Korea. You will also need an authentic copy of your diploma and perhaps a transcription in addition to your passport and passport photos. The visa is typically for one year and can be renewed.

In Cambodia, foreign teachers typically need a “business visa” and can be obtained upon arrival in Cambodia. The candidate will need a passport which must be effective for six months. The business visas can be prolonged open-endedly without having to leave the country.

For Thailand and Vietnam, they have a very parallel process. Aspirants can enter with a tourist visa and then can apply for a work permit with his/her school once they get a job. In order to get a visa for Thailand or Vietnam, you will need a four-year university degree, a genuine copy of your diploma with transcript on hand and your passport with some extra passport photos. A background check might be compulsory for Vietnam.

Visas in European Region

Well, countries like Spain, Italy and France are extremely popular with ESL/EFL teachers. Western Europe is a great place to teach overseas. It is slightly difficult for non-EU citizens to attain work visas in Western Europe. It involves sponsorship from a hiring school, then travel back to one’s home country to protect the visa. Another common practice is acquiring a student visa, that encompasses your authorized stay in the EU up to a year. Though it is not the same as work authorization.

If we talk about the Central / Eastern Europe, working in a country like the Czech Republic, Poland, or Russia since in over-all, obtaining a work permit in some Eastern European countries is much easier. The visa process is pretty to parallel to Asia in Russia. Also, teaching English jobs in Turkey are ample and any reputable school will help you to get and pay for your residency visa. You will be able to enter Turkey on a tourist visa, and apply for a work visa later, once you've found a job.

Visas in Latin America

Latin America a popular destination for TEFL enthusiastic young and old teachers. The visa regulations are also stress-free and the demand for English teachers is huge. Do you know you can stay in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Mexico for up to 90 days without a visa? To work as a TEFL/TESOL teacher in Latin America, you’ll require a valid passport with TEFL certification, and letter of employment.

Countries like Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, a tourist visa can be simply arranged upon arrival. The work visas in Latin America last for one year but can be easily renewed.

Visas in the Middle East

Middle East is economically growing stronger with each year and the demand for the trained ESL/EFL teachers is also growing. To teach English in the Middle East, most teachers will need near-native English aptitude, TEFL certification and/or a university degree. Some countries may need teachers to have a Master’s degree as well. Once you have secured a teaching job, it will be easier to obtain a work visa or dwelling authorization. Though the whole visa process may take between 1-3 months.

We have tried to cover all the popular teach abroad destinations throughout the world for teaching abroad. Do your research, upgrade your credentials with TEFL course online, talk to other teachers overseas, and get working to make it work! You can also contact the consulate of the country you’d like to visit. Happy TEFLing!


Written By : Bindita Sinha


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