So, you've decided to teach English abroad, you’ve found an ESL employer, and now it’s time to acquire a visa. Processes differ from country to country; however, most will require the same basic documents in order to grant you permission to work as an ESL teacher.
Here's a list of the 12 most common visa documents you'll need to teach English abroad:
Must have at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages
Recently-taken color passport photo against a white or light background.
Easy. Document showcasing your employment history and skills.
College / University Degree
A copy of and original Bachelor’s Degree from a College or University.
TEFL Certificate (if applicable)
Teacher of English as a Foreign Language Certificate. Not all places need it. If they do, you should check with your employer to see if their government will accept your TEFL Certificate. Some places will only accept TEFL Certificates from Government approved organizations.
Letter of Recommendation
Recommendation from a previous employer highlighting your experience with them, as well as your characteristics, qualities, skills, and capabilities. It'll most likely need to include a company letterhead.
Document from your previous employer displaying your start and end date as an employee of their company.
Issued from a government approved hospital. Checks for the absence of sexually transmitted diseases, drug use, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, etc., and should contain an official stamp by the doctor. Form may be downloaded from the consulate website.
Criminal Record Check
Record of your criminal history at the national level. This one can't have anything on it!
Legally binding agreement between you and your employer.
Issued by the authorized employer in your destination country. The invitation should contain information regarding you, your role in the company, and your employer. Invitation Letter requirements vary.
Work Permit for Aliens
Issued by the Labor, Education, or Foreign Expert Department of your intended destination.
*This list is for reference only. Please make sure to discuss with your employer the exact documents you'll need to apply for a visa.
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