When you apply for an international teaching position, there’s always a lot of paperwork to do. It’s important to have all the documents you will need to teach overseas saved on your computer and ready to present if and when required. In addition to the standard documents you submit before the interview, there’s still more paperwork to be done. You still need to apply for a working visa. First of all you want to make the process of hiring you, checking your credentials and references, easy. Secondly you will want to ensure the work visa application goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Although school requirements vary, here are the basics of what you will need.
You should have the following documents (and scanned copies of each) ready to submit to schools and recruiters:
Save everything as separate documents rather than as one large file. Label each file clearly and consistently – e.g., ‘Last Name, First Name – Name Of Document’. Save them in PDF format and keep each file smaller than 3mb. Degrees, passport and licences should be scanned in color. Avoid submitting photos or jpegs of your documents. Above all if the school specifies a certain file format and naming system, follow that exactly.
Work Visa application requirements for international teaching jobs differ by country. In most cases you will need most of the documents above, and they will need to be authenticated. You should receive detailed instructions on the process from your school and the local embassy or consulate of the country you will be seeking a working visa for.
China has its own documentation authentication procedures that differ from all other countries in the world. Even if you have already had your degrees authenticated by a lawyer or notarized by a government agency, you will still be required to go through the authentication procedures laid out by your local Chinese embassy or consulate. It can be a long, expensive process.
In China you have to process your visa application from your country of citizenship (the country where your passport was issued). If you’re not currently living in your country of citizenship, you can ask a helpful family member or friend to assist. You can also choose to hire an agency to manage the entire process for you. Your school will clarify whether you can apply from the country you are living in now or if you must be in the country where your passport was issued. There are costs to this process and most International Schools will reimburse these fees.
The paperwork, application process and visa requirements for international teaching can be complicated and time consuming. The process is easier when you are prepared and organized. Remember to always try and make it easy on the person reviewing your details or processing application. You always want to reduce and remove any obstacles to hiring you. When you are able to submit your documents on time and in order, it helps to make the decision to hire you easier . In addition your visa will be approved in a timely manner and before you know it you will be starting your new adventure!
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By Susan Swier and Jeff Baggs
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