Mexico is an increasingly popular destination for teaching English abroad as it has a huge job market and it is possible for most foreign teachers to obtain a work visa. Another reason for its popularity is that foreign teachers do not need to possess a four-year degree or be a native English speaker to secure a good quality position. As long as you have completed a TEFL certification course with a reputable provider you are eligible to apply for a work visa. With this official stamp in your passport you will be free to enjoy all the fantastic culture, stunning beaches, and bustling nightlife that Mexico has to offer.
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There are very few restrictions on who can apply for a work visa for teaching English in Mexico. Passport holders from all countries except North Korea and Iran are eligible and there are no age restrictions. No teaching experience or college degree is necessary but you will require a TEFL certificate. The only other requirement is a formal offer of employment from a local employer on official school paper. Please note that regulations can change at any time so we recommend you check with your nearest Mexican Embassy for the current requirements prior to departure.
First you need to find a job that suits your plans and obtain an official offer of employment from the school. You can then fill out an application form which can be found on the Mexico immigration website. Within one or two weeks you should receive confirmation and a request for further documentation. The requested documents need to be submitted along with the application fee (currently $90). Required paperwork (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 TEFL certificate (apostilled)
Once you have submitted all the necessary documents you will receive a NUT number which allows you to track your application online. As soon as you receive clearance for the visa you are required to collect it from a consulate outside of the country within 15 days. At this stage there is also a final fee to pay (currently $290). You then have 30 days to re-enter Mexico to activate the visa. The work visa should be valid for 12 months and can generally be easily renewed each year.
As the application process can be confusing and is often subject to change, many people use a third party to help them through it. There are plenty of legal establishments that will complete the process for a fee or better still your future employer will often be used to dealing with work visa applications. In some cases the school will also cover the cost of the whole application so you should confirm this during the job interview.