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TEACHING IN THE UK
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International teachers and eligibility to teach in the UK
To live and work in the UK, all international teachers must have a valid work visa. If you possess either a UK or EU passport, you can teach in the UK without any restrictions. As well as being eligible to work in the UK, overseas trained teachers (OTTs) will need to have a fully recognised teaching qualification and, in some instances, registration from their country of origin. Nationals of certain countries, such as Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria, may require special permission to work in the United Kingdom, even as temporary workers.
British Overseas citizens, British Overseas Territories citizens, British Nationals (Overseas), British Protected Persons and British Subjects are all forms of British nationality which require permission to live and work in the UK. If you’re not a British citizen or EEA (European Area) citizen or Swiss national you need to apply for a visa in order to be able to work in the UK.
You can work in the UK under the following visas:
- Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa
The Youth Mobility visa (Tier 5) is a reciprocal agreement that allows teachers aged 18-30 to work in the UK who are from Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea and Taiwan. The Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa is valid for two years and is not renewable. See more on this here.
- Ancestry dependant visa
- EEA family permit
If you are in a relationship with or married to an EU citizen, there is the option of becoming a dependent on their visa.
- Spouse visa
This is also known as a UK Marriage Visa and is a type of settlement visa. This visa can then lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and eventually British Citizenship. Requirements include proof that you are in a genuine relationship and that the UK sponsor earns at least £18,600 per year. See more on this here.
- Tier 2 (General) Skilled Worker Visa
The Tier 2 (General) Skilled Worker Visa is the appropriate visa for an overseas teacher who is qualified to teach in a hard-to-fill subject area. The Tier 2 (General) visa is the main UK visa route for skilled workers coming to the UK to take up employment, usually earning a salary of at least £20,800 per annum for new entrants and £30,000 for experienced workers. See more on this here.
- Ancestry Visa
The UK Ancestry visa is available for any overseas teacher who is a Commonwealth citizen and has at least one grandparent who was born in the UK and grants working rights in the UK for 5 years. See more on this here.
Find out more details in our visa guide:
Useful external links
- Check if you need a UK visa
- Browse government information on teacher visas
- Department for Education - Overseas-trained teachers
- Work Permits website – or call Work Permits (UK) on 0114 259 4074.
- UK Border Agency
- Detailed guidance is available from UK Visas and Immigration
- UK NARIC is the National Agency responsible for evaluating international skill equivalence.
- Settle in the UK - GOV.UK website
- Apply online to start the visa application process
Interested in working in the UK? Connect with one of our specialist recruiters to find out more: