Teach English in Germany Legally

Of all the countries of the European Union, Germany pays its teachers the highest salary.  Many teachers want to teach English in Germany as a result. That is no problem for EU passport holders. What about non-EU citizens?   Is there a way for them to teach English in Germany legally?  Yes, there is, and here is how.

Tourist Visa

First of all, a lot of foreign nationals get three months automatically as a “tourist visa.”  During that time, there is nothing you have to worry about.  If you want to stay longer and teach English in Germany, here is what you have to do.

Certificate of Registration (Anmeldung)

You have to register your address at your neighborhood registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt).  Upon receipt of the proof of registration (Anmeldung), you may open a bank account or register for German classes.

Foreigners Office (Ausländerbehörde)

If you haven’t been able to get the above Certificate of Registration, you may also go to the Foreigners Office with a letter from their landlord and the lease.  The Foreigners Office will ask for two things:  sufficient health insurance coverage and financial stability.  Obtain some form of a traveler’s insurance from a German insurance company.  In order to prove financial stability, bring a letter from a parent or partner.  The letter has to state that they will financially support you in Germany and include their bank statements and proof of income.   If the documentation is in English, provide a certified translation.

Job-Seeker’s Permit

If you are still looking for a job, you have to apply for Job-Seekers Permit at the Foreigners Office.   In order to obtain this, you have to provide proof of an original BA of an accredited U.S. college and professional training (120-Hour On-Site or Combined TEFL Certificate).    Prepare to give them certified copies of your credentials.

Self-Employed English Tutor Permit to Teach English in Germany

If you can’t find a job, why not work for yourself? Another type of permit is the self-employed or freelance permit. Such permit requires a bit more paperwork. You will need at least two freelance “job offers.”  These can be short, not-legally binding, letters from two people who are interested in hiring you to teach English in Germany.  This shouldn’t be too hard.  Again, you have to prove your education in the field.  It’s not enough to just speak English.

Fictional Certificate (Fiktionsbescheinigung)

If you don’t have all the paperwork you need, and your tourist visa is about to expire – don’t panic.   Take everything you have to the Foreigners Office. If it’s not quite enough, ask for a Fictional Certificate.

As you can see, it’s not so hard to teach English in Germany legally.  So if the visa question kept you from living your dream, you will understand that it is within your reach after reading this blog.

If you ever intend to apply for permanent residency in Germany to remain there long term, speaking German is a big must over there.  We can help you here with intensive German classes taught by a native speaker.  Classes take place on line in a virtual classroom where you can see, hear and speak to your teacher.  Ask us for a free sample class.


Courtesy of International TEFL Training Institute, [email protected]

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