Not only doctors and engineers but also the so-called “special occupational groups” have access to the German labour market. Skilled qualified professionals that require a specific qualification profile or have an existing public interest. Language teachers are part of that specific occupational group.
As a citizen of the EU, the European Economic Area or Switzerland you neither require an entry visa nor a residence permit in order to work as a language teacher in Germany.
As citizen of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and the USA you may enter Germany without a visa and obtain a residence permit after entering the country.
If you are a language teacher for your own mother tongue and come from a foreign country, under certain conditions you are granted access to the German labour market. You will initially require an entry visa that you must later convert into a residence permit that allows you to take up gainful employment (this includes self-employed and non-self-employed activities) in Germany. As a language teacher you can obtain a residence permit of up to 5 years. A renewed employment in this field in Germany is only possible after an interruption of the stay of three years.
As part of the visa procedure, the German mission abroad examines whether the approval of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) is required for the issue of a visa for teachers to teach in their mother tongue in schools. This includes not only foreign teachers who teach languages, but also teachers who teach other subjects in their mother tongue. Foreign teachers must not be employed under less favourable working conditions than comparable German teachers. As a comparative benchmark, the usual local wage conditions for teachers at embassy schools are to be used. Usually, the position to be filled is not a civil servant position, so that recognition is not always necessary. More information can be obtained directly from the school at which you wish to work or at its school authority.
If you are planning to work long-term as a self-employed language teacher of your own mother tongue, you will require a visa for self-employment, that you must later convert into a residence permit for the practice of self-employed activity. The residence permit requires proof of your ability to cover your living expenses through practice of your intended occupation. In this context, suitable proof of income and assets from abroad may also be accepted. In addition, the BA must give its approval. The profession of a language teacher is considered an independent occupation that. Some of these independent professions may be practiced in Germany without meeting any specified preconditions for admission. Detailed information on requirements, tax issues and the legal forms of freelance professionals can be found on Baden-Wuerttemberg’s service-webpages. This information is valid nationwide.
Federal Employment Agency (BA)
Information regarding the access to the German labour market (German, English, Arabic)
Guidelines regarding the employment of foreign employees in Germany (German, English) (PDF)
Information and advice on finding a job (German, English)