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Special regulations for language teachers

Would you like to teach a foreign language in Germany? Read here what visa options are available for this type of employment.

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 can either be employed at a school or work as a freelancer. Find out whether you need a visa to enter or a residence permit to stay in Germany in the section "Who needs a visa"?

Teaching at schools

As part of the visa procedure, the German mission abroad examines whether the approval of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) is required for the issuance 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 German teachers. As a comparative benchmark, the 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 at the school you wish to work at or at the school authority.

As a language teacher you can obtain a residence permit for up to 5 years. A renewed employment in this field is only possible after interrupting your stay in Germany for a duration of three years.

Self-employed activities

If you are planning to be a long-term self-employed language teacher of your own mother tongue, you will require a visa for self-employment, that must later be converted into a residence permit for the practice of self-employed activity. This residence title 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.
  • The BA must give its approval.

The profession of a language teacher is considered an independent occupation. Some of these independent professions may be practised without meeting any specified admission requirements. Detailed information on requirements, tax issues and the legal forms of freelance professionals can be found on the service webpages of Baden-Württemberg. This information applies throughout Germany.

Do you have any questions?

Let us advise you on your opportunities to work and live in Germany. Our experts will support you with questions regarding job search, visa, recognition and learning German. 

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