Do you want to teach English in the Middle East? It might be a great career move as it is a great way to see the world, submerge yourself in another culture, and bag an attractive salary package. But in most cases, merely holding a TEFL certificate will not meet the requirements for this adventure. So, what other documents do you need to teach English in the Middle East? This post looks at the document requirements and how you can get your admin ducks in a row.
How to legally teach English in the Middle East
Anyone considering teaching English in the Middle East must meet a few basic requirements to be considered a valid applicant. Here is a look at the four primary requirements:
#1 – Citizenship from a recognized English-speaking country
Many schools require TEFL teachers to be native English speakers from one of the following countries:
- The United States
- The United Kingdom
- South Africa
- New Zealand
If you are not a native English speaker or hail from one of these countries, you can still secure work in the UAE if you hold a graduate degree and have teaching experience.
#2 – Bachelor’s Degree
English teachers in the Middle East are expected to hold, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree and their TEFL certification. Many schools in the Middle East also require teachers to hold specific degrees in education or a master’s degree. It is also possible to secure employment in lesser-known cities like Sharjah or Al Ain if you have an undergraduate degree.
#3 – Clean criminal background
South Africans applying for English teaching jobs in the UAE must provide authorities with clean Police Clearance Records. Read this article to find out how you can obtain your South African Police Clearance Certificate and have it authenticated and attested for official use in Taiwan.
#4 – Accredited TEFL Certification
One of the fundamental requirements to teach English in the Middle East is a TEFL certificate. Many online agencies offer top-tier courses to help you teach English as a foreign language anywhere in the world. It is essential to gain this certification before applying for teaching jobs.
Why do you need to have your TEFL certificates and other documents attested?
When working in the UAE, South Africans (or any nationality for that matter) have a number of documents that are requested of them to prove and verify their identity, qualifications, clear criminal record, and so on. These documents are usually issued by a South African institution, meaning that another country may not “trust” their validity immediately.
If you plan to teach English in the Middle East, you will need various personal, professional, and academic documents to apply for a job, as mentioned above. While some documentation can only be done once you reach your destination country, there are a few essential documents you will need to have ready before you depart from your home country.
Although there will always be variations, here’s a brief rundown of the type of documents you will usually or possibly need to teach English abroad:
- A passport (valid for the correct time period)
- A work visa/s (valid for the correct time period)
- An International CV or Résumé (which might need to be translated into the local language of the country where you plan to teach)
- Your TEFL/TESOL/CELTA/DELTA Certification (which might have to be notarised, and authenticated)
- A SAPS Police Clearance Certificate (which might have to be authenticated and attested)
- Verified academic qualification certificates such as degrees or diplomas
- Authenticated health certificates.
- Reference letters from various institutions
We can assist with a “TEFL Apostille Pack” for those wanting to teach English in the Middle East!
The term “TEFL Apostille Pack” is a term we use to describe a bundled service we offer to those who have the “standard 3 documents” for TEFL teachers.
The Taiwanese authorities will usually need the following:
- An original, attested SAPS Police Clearance certificate (we can obtain this for you)
- An original, attested TEFL certificate (either from South Africa or abroad)
- An attested degree from a university – we can assist if it is from a South African educational institution.
The above may not cover all the documents you will need to apply for an English teaching job in the UAE. It is simply the most common grouping of documents – a police clearance, TEFL certificate, and degree. Apostil.co.za can prepare all these documents for you in a concise space for a fair cost. See our pricing and get in touch.