What documents will I need to teach English abroad?

As an ESL teacher you are likely to apply for multiple jobs and in most cases head overseas, both of which require a variety of documentation. Some things cannot be sorted out until you are actually in your country of choice, however, it is essential that you organize all the documents you can in advance so you have them to hand whenever they are needed during a job interview or when applying for a visa.

What basic documents are needed for teaching English abroad?

In most cases, anyone traveling outside of their home country will need a passport that is valid for a minimum of six months or even a year. To avoid any problems while you are overseas the best advice is to make sure you have at least two years left on your passport before you head off. In some countries you also need to apply for an entry visa before leaving home, while some will be issued upon arrival at your destination airport. To make sure you know the specific visa situation in the country you are heading to, simply take a look at the government's immigration website or confirm it with your employer during the interview process.

What documents will I need when applying for English teaching jobs?

Job applications could ask for a variety of different documents, but there are several things that are routinely required. Your original TESOL certificate will often be asked for, although a copy is sometimes adequate. It is a good idea to have multiple copies of your CV/resume and cover letter that you can give to potential employers and in some cases these might need to be translated into the local language. Another thing that potential employers often ask for is a photograph to be attached to your application. The most common request is for one passport style headshot and another showing your whole body. When choosing photographs to send you should ensure they show you looking well groomed and professional or your application might well end up in the waste bin rather than on the employer?s desk.

What additional documents might be required for teaching English abroad?

A criminal background check is an increasingly common request from employers in many countries, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. Some form of background check might also be necessary when applying for a work permit or entry visa. The process for obtaining a criminal background check varies from one country to the next, so simply do an online search to find out the best way to get one in your home country.

Many popular teaching destinations require specific educational qualifications in order to work as an ESL teacher. If this applies in your destination you should take your degree or diploma with you. You might also need to provide official transcripts of your qualifications which need to be in a sealed envelope and are obtained from your college or university for a small charge. Filling out a medical form or even specific tests are also common when applying for visas or work permits. For example, a test for TB is needed in Japan and an HIV test is necessary in Saudi Arabia. You should also be prepared to complete a basic medical examination and even a drug test during the hiring process.

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