ESL Job Requirements Made Easy

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

TEFL Job Requirements

One of the questions asked when starting your TEFL career is, What requirements do I need? or What qualifications do I need?

Well the answer to that question is pretty simple, it's a TEFL Certificate.

Countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America and TEFL jobs in those countries are all looking for teachers who are TEFL qualified. Although every country has different requirements for their teachers, one common requirement is a TEFL Certificate.


(For more information on TEFL Certificates please visit our TEFL Courses page by clicking here)


Required Certifications

There is often some overlap in requirements. One of the biggest overlaps is having a TEFL Certificate. However there are a few other overlaps.*

  1. TEFL Certificate

  2. Bachelor's Degree (in any field)


A Bachelor's degree is often needed in most countries in order to teach English in public schools, private schools and some language centres.*

One TEFL course that puts many above the rest is the Cambridge CELTA course. For more information please click here


Passport and Visa requirements

As the demand for English teachers abroad increases every year, some employers around the world are becoming more lenient in which passports they accept as English teachers. Generally, people with passports from; the USA,  the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, are the most widely accepted passports due to the fact that they are considered "Native English" speaking countries.


Over the years, however, passport requirements have changed in various countries. Many companies in today's world will accept non-native speakers as long as their accent and English is proficient enough to teach. For example, the demand for teachers from the Philippines has increased dramatically over the years. This is because more and more employers are realizing that English is spoken not only in the "Native  English" speaking countries.



​One of the most common areas of confusion when it comes to finding a teaching English job abroad, is what visa does one need? This can be confusing due to the different laws in each country. There is some overlap in the process that can help to make things very simple.


The simplest answer would be, a business visa. When you are in your home country, and you get offered a job overseas, the company will send you an invitation letter to work for that company. This business visa is now tied to the company you have been hired by. Upon arrival in the country of work, your visa will then be converted into a work permit (please note that this is the general process followed by many countries).


In some cases you will be required to get a work permit before arriving in the country of work. For example, employers in China often require new candidates to gain a work permit before arrival in China. Once the candidate arrives in China, the work permit is then converted into a residence permit, allowing them to travel freely in and out of China for the given time period.


Some Take Aways

*When working as an english teacher abroad, one must remember that the education laws and standards in another country may be different from your home country. By being aware of the requirements for teachers in various countries, finding TEFL jobs becomes a lot easier.

* International schools will require more specialized degrees and CELTA certificates.

**This may seem complicated, but the employers that hire you, will be able to guide you through the entire process. They have been recruiting for years and many have easy processes to ensure a smooth transition into moving abroad. Many companies will provide visa assistance and most often a full reimbursement of the visa fees.**



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