If you are an EU citizen, you won’t face any visa complications in coming over and getting your teaching English career started here. If you are from outside the EU then the process is a lot more complicated, but with a ‘can do’ attitude you can also make it happen for you too.
For non-EU citizens, we recommend coming over and arriving on your 3-month tourist visa. This will be sufficient time to acclimatize and get yourself acquainted with this new culture and also provide you with more than enough time to locate a teaching English position.
Please note here that the vast majority of teaching English positions in Germany are advertised locally and schools don’t usually recruit from abroad. This means that you will need to be on the ground when conducting your job search.
Once you have located work, you will need to apply for your permanent residence visa and work permit and the following are required for this purpose: a guaranteed contract from your place of employment, proof of residency and address, proof of opening a bank account, filing for a tax number, your passport and a passport photo. Please note that you will also need proof of eligible health insurance.
A college degree isn’t mandatory for receiving your employment contract, but an internationally recognized TEFL certificate is. Germany is also a much stricter country when it comes to having some knowledge of the local language and having at least a basic working knowledge of German will (as we mentioned above) place you higher up the ladder in the eyes of any potential employer.
The place where you process your documentation is at the immigration office (‘ausländerbehörde’) and it is here that you will probably first be introduced to the legend that is German bureaucracy. If you are registering in a major city, you shouldn’t have too many issues and your paperwork should be processed smoothly, but if you are registered in a small town then the process can be a bit of a nightmare at times.
And lastly, it is also possible to apply instead for a freelance teaching visa and this is processed in the same way as the employment visa with the exception that you won’t be required to provide a copy of an employment contract. There are restrictions on who can successfully apply for a freelance visa, so you should check beforehand to see whether you are eligible for this type of visa. If you re successful in applying for this visa, you are pretty much in control of your own teaching and miss out the school middleman completely.
At tefl online pro we help all of our graduates with visa-related info, so if you are a graduate of our international TEFL certification program and need more information on getting your German permanent residence visa and work permit then you know that you are very welcome to reach out to us and we will help you through the process.