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Special regulations for language teachers

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

If you are a teacher of your native language and come from a foreign country, you may under certain conditions be granted access to the German labour market. You can either be employed by a school or work as a freelancer. To find out if you need a visa to enter or a residence permit to stay in Germany, see the "Do I need a visa?" section.

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Language teachers are not only foreign teachers who teach languages, but also teachers who teach other subjects in their mother tongue.

You want to teach at a school

If you are to be employed to teach your native language in schools, the Federal Employment Agency (BA) must approve the issuance of the visa.

Foreign teachers may not be employed under less favourable working conditions than their German counterparts. The local pay conditions for teachers at embassy schools are to be used as a benchmark.

You may also need to have your qualification recognised by the education authority in the relevant federal state. For more information, contact the school where you would like to work or the relevant education authority.

As an employed language teacher, you can obtain a residence permit for up to five years. Further employment as a language teacher in Germany for the purpose of teaching your native language is only possible after a three-year break.

You want to teach freelance

If you plan to be a long-term self-employed language teacher of your native language, you will usually need a visa for self-employment. Once you are in Germany, this visa subsequently needs to be converted into a residence permit for the purpose of exercising a freelance activity. To obtain this residence title, you will need to provide the following:

  • evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses; and
  • if you are aged over 45, adequate provision for old age.

Language teachers are among those in the liberal professions who are allowed to work in Germany without a licence to practise their profession. Detailed information on the requirements, fiscal aspects and legal forms for freelancers can be found on the Service portal of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. This information applies to the whole of 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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