Mexico is rapidly becoming one of the most popular destinations for teaching English abroad, partly due to the fact that teachers are able to get a long-term work visa without a great deal of hassle. Another reason for its popularity is that the teaching market is open to those without a degree and non-native English speakers. Essentially, if you have a TEFL certificate, you should be able to obtain a work visa for teaching English in Mexico.
What do I need to get a work visa to teach English in Mexico?
There are very few restrictions on who is eligible for a work visa for teaching English in Mexico. There are no age limits and the only nationalities that are not currently able to apply are citizens of North Korea and Iran. There is also no need to have a degree or any previous experience in the classroom. The one thing that is required by all applicants is a TEFL certification from an internationally recognized provider. When making your application, you will also need to supply a formal offer of employment written on official school paper. However, as things can change at any time, you should check the current requirements by visiting the Mexican immigration website.
How does the visa application process work in Mexico?
To get the ball rolling you will first need to secure an official offer of employment from a school in Mexico. You can then fill out an application form which can be found on the Mexico immigration website. Following your application you should receive a confirmation email that includes a request for additional documentation within a week or two. Along with these documents an application fee of around $90 will be required. Paperwork needed (subject to change):
- Copies of passport pages
- Tourist visa that was issued on arrival
- Three passport photos
- Proof of residence (apartment, guest house, hostel etc)
- Copy of your TESOL certificate (apostilled)
What happens after I have made an application for a visa in Mexico?
When submitting your documents you will be issued with an NUT number which you can use to keep track of your application online. Once the visa is approved you will have 15 days to collect it in person from a Mexican consulate outside of the country. When picking up the visa you will be liable to pay a final fee (currently $290). With the visa in your passport you will have a further 30 days to re-enter Mexico to activate it. Your visa will be valid for one year, although they can often be renewed without any problems.
Will there be any help available when applying for a visa in Mexico?
As the process outlined above can sometimes be a little confusing and the requirements are subject to change, many teachers choose to use the services of a third party to make all the arrangements for them. You will find a range of companies offering a visa service at various prices. However, if you are lucky you might find that your employer is willing to sort things out for you without any charge. You should confirm whether your employer offers any assistance with visas during the initial interview process.