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What Is The Visa Process For Teaching English Abroad?

30th May 2022

Are you planning to set up a career in teaching abroad?

If yes, are you informed or aware of the visa requirements for teaching English abroad?

Processing a visa is one of the most common issues you get to hear from people who are looking to build their career in teaching English abroad.

And it is okay for you to be asking this question as it is quite important for you to know how your visa status will impact your tenure in living and working abroad.

However, most governments around the world are not that known for deriving visa-related information. All this involves a lot of hassle and a lot of people including you might be overwhelmed by the process.

In this blog, we will mainly focus on the process of attaining a visa for the purpose of teaching abroad in popular teach abroad destinations throughout the world, and wish to give you a place from where you can begin your pre-departure research.

Let us look at some of the VISA applications procedure prevalent in Asia

Work visas in Asia

Asia has always been a popular destination for EFL teachers for quite some time due to the rising demand and low cost of living. The visa processes in Asia are usually quite straightforward. Therefore, you won’t find much trouble attaining a long-term work permit as long as you fulfill some basic guidelines.

China, Taiwan, and South Korea

Work visas are usually arranged pre-departure in China and South Korea with the sponsorship of an employer, while you can enter Taiwan on a tourist visa and can then apply for a work permit.

As documents in Southeast Asia, you need a completed four-year college degree to attain work visas in China, Taiwan, and South Korea. You will need an authenticated copy of your diploma, and possibly a transcript along with your passport and passport photos. A documentation will also be likely done by your hiring school.

Fee: Approximately $80 USD for South Korea, $150 USD for China or Taiwan.

Valid For: Typically one year and can be renewed.       


Teachers in Cambodia always look for a “business visa”, which one can apply by mail (additional details: Embassy of Cambodia), or avail upon arrival in Cambodia.

(Among documents, you just need your passport that will be valid for six months from your entry date into to Cambodia and it’s advisable to carry a couple of extra passport photos.

Fee: $25

Valid for Business visas can be extended indefinitely without having to leave the country.

Work visas in Europe

Western Europe / EU

Western European countries like Spain, Italy, and France are quite popular with ESL teachers and also tourists and why wouldn’t it be. These countries are full of art, history, nightlife, culture, and food and anyone would love to spend a year or two living in one of these countries.

But the fact is that it is difficult for non-EU citizens to obtain work visas in Western Europe. To gain a work visa in the EU, you have to get a sponsorship from a hiring school, and then travel back to your native country to secure the visa. The process is quite expensive and time taking and most of the schools would rather skip this hassle.

Central / Eastern Europe (non-EU)

On the other hand, obtaining a visa and work permit in a non-EU European country, like the Czech Republic, Poland, or Russia since is comparatively easier.

In Russia, foreigners can make an entry on a 3-month tourist visa and then apply for a work permit after getting employed in Russia, which is valid for one year.

It is quite clear from the outlines above that the visa process varies widely from region to region and country to country but never let the process of attaining a visa overwhelm you.

If you have already grabbed a job or can avail the help of a teaching English abroad program, it can turn the process a lot smoother and less stressful. It may also go the opposite of what you thought but always make sure that whatever your situation is, you must always do your research, talk to other teachers abroad, and try your level best to make it work!

Written By : Sudeshna Guha Thakurta    Share

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