What Documents do I Need to Teach English Abroad?

Teaching English as a foreign language abroad can be a confusing route to take because each country has its own requirements and documents that you need to have if you want to teach English



You’ll need a valid passport that’s in date with enough pages available as required by the immigration of the country you’re visiting. Some countries require more pages than just one and at least one year left on your passport so make sure your passport meets all of the requirements before you travel.


Many countries require entry with a visa to teach English as a foreign language. If you’re found to be working without the correct visa, you could face serious charges from immigration and be deported. Here are some useful websites to gather what information you need on the documents that you require to make sure you have the right visa for what you need.

TEFL Certificate

Having an accredited TEFL Certificate proves that you are qualitied to teach English as a foreign language and are employable. No language school or any type of school for that matter will employ you if you have not yet completed your TEFL Course. You may need to get your certificate notarized and legalized.

University Degree or College Certificate

There are some countries where you’re TEFL Certificate will not be enough to teach English abroad. You will also have had to complete a university degree. With the countries where just a TEFL Certificate will do, if you have completed college then you should show off your qualifications. It might mean the difference between you getting that job instead of the other applicant looking to teach English.

Criminal Background Check

Many countries want you to have a criminal background check before they will allow you to work teaching English as a foreign language. To find out how to go about getting a check, just google “how to get a criminal background check from” and then put your home country.

Medical Forms

Given all of the different requirements countries currently have as a result of the pandemic, this requires a high amount of research so that you’re permitted into your choice of destination. China is a country that required you to have a medical check-up within 30 days of entering their country before COVID-19 became a factor. Now you are likely to have to provide a negative PCR test and maybe even insurance that covers COVID-19, along with whatever else may be required.

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