Five Documents You Will Need Before You Move Overseas
Sep 28, 2011 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) 2466 Views
So, you’ve found your ideal international teaching job and you are ready to make the leap...good for you! Now it’s time to get everything in order and properly prepared for your big move. Here are five important documents that you will need to obtain before you leave.
First, you should check to make sure that your passport is up-to-date. Passports expire every 5 years, so you will need to make sure that yours, and your family members’, are still valid. And, if you don’t have a passport, you will need to get one. You will need to leave plenty of time for the application process as well, as it can take many weeks to process. You should also look into ensuring that your passport will be valid throughout the length of your contract, as you don’t want to be stuck in a foreign country with an invalid passport.
You will also need to apply for a working visa so that you can teach legally in your host country. You will not be able to work legally on a tourist visa, so you will need a working visa of some kind. Your new employer should advise you about visa requirements. Make sure that you follow their directions exactly because there could be serious consequences for you if you mix it up. There are many different types of work visas, so it is imperative that you get the right one. For most countries, it is also necessary that you have it in your hands when you enter the country or you may be refused entry which could jeopardize your teaching contract.
Obtaining a police clearance certificate is as important to international teachers as their passports. This is because without a police clearance certificate many countries will not allow you to teach children. The certificate records any convictions found on your criminal record and you will be required to show that your record is clear. When you are ready to return home again, you will need to acquire another police clearance from your host country. If you don’t, you could risk your ability to teach once again in your home country.
You should also update your will before you leave. As dreadful as it sounds, it’s necessary. You should carry copies of it with you when you travel as well. If something were to happen to you in a foreign country, you will need to have all your final wishes in order so that there will be no confusion between the two countries. You don’t want your loved ones to have to deal with horrible international red tape in order to carry out your wishes.
Lastly, you should look into getting an international driver’s license so that you will be able to drive in your host country. Most countries will not allow you to drive a car without one. This is an additional document that you must obtain that acts like a translation for what your national driver’s license permits. It is especially important if you plan on working in a rural area where car transport will be necessary.
Having these five documents in order and on hand for your travels to your new host country will make your introduction to a new culture, as well as your entire experience, more enjoyable. Proper planning and being prepared will help to ensure you start off on the right foot and have a great international teaching experience.