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Language schools that sponsor foreigners as ESL teachers

Language schools that sponsor foreigners as ESL teachers

Old Feb 19th 2012, 5:14 am
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Default Language schools that sponsor foreigners as ESL teachers

Hi,

I'm a British national travelling to New York very soon. I'll be coming in under the VWP - I have savings & will be able to prove this with bank statements upon arrival. On the official website for the VWP/ESTA it states that you can explore job opportunities but cannot work without the proper visa etc. I will be looking for legitimate work in the ESL field - I am CELTA certified with a degree and 2 years teaching experience in Bangkok.

Does anyone know of any language schools in New York that sponsor foreigners with the appropriate visa to work as an ESL teacher? I realise that this would mean leaving the country and re-entering if a school were to sponsor me. Most ESL job postings on craigslist for example, sometimes specify "must be able to work legally in the US" - others don't - and clearly have staff of multiple nationalities when you visit their website.

If anyone could offer any direction as to which language schools might be more favourable for someone in my position, I would hugely appreciate any advice!
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Old Feb 19th 2012, 10:30 am
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Default Re: Language schools that sponsor foreigners as ESL teachers

Good luck maybe ask the schools directly there would be lucky if anyone here knew of one
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Old Feb 19th 2012, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: Language schools that sponsor foreigners as ESL teachers

Hi Farang,

I work for an ESL school in Los Angeles, but they didn't sponsor my visa; I already had a visa and EAD through my husband. I know a handful of other foreigners working for ESL schools here, and they're in the same position.

I'm not sure if a typical ESL school would be willing, or even able, to sponsor someone for a visa. There are loads of Americans with the BA + CELTA + a few years' experience combo.

Perhaps look into private/international schools or colleges, where ESL is taught in addition to the regular curriculum? They might be more open to visa sponsorship, if they particularly like you -- but they might also require a Master's degree, and/or publications.

I can only speak for the LA job market, but the ESL situation here is quite tough. There are a lot of ESL schools here, but not many job vacancies, and most places prefer to hire Americans. Foreigners with permission to work come second-in-line, and I'd imagine foreigners without permission to work come a distant third.

When I interviewed for my current job, a) I had to show my visa and work permit very early on, and b) when the manager decided he wanted to hire me, he had to check with corporate that it would be okay to hire a Brit. Students have paid for an American experience, and that includes an American accent in the classroom.

Sorry this sounds so gloomy. Maybe the NYC situation is totally different. Is there any reason you're set on ESL in America? Almost any other country in the world would be easier for a Brit.
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Old Feb 19th 2012, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Language schools that sponsor foreigners as ESL teachers

I think you are wasting your time, not that the US is not severely in need of ESL Teachers.
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Old Feb 19th 2012, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: Language schools that sponsor foreigners as ESL teachers

Good luck, but realistically, it's not going to happen.

There are boat load of people already work authorised to teach English here already.

Why? Well it'll cost the school thousands to get a visa, and they wouldn't be able to apply till April for a Oct start, even if the job was eligible for the H1 visa.
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Old Feb 20th 2012, 1:39 am
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Default Re: Language schools that sponsor foreigners as ESL teachers

The ads may show "multiple nationalities" but you should realize that many of them are actually Americans. Something like 12% of American citizens were born in another country, and I think something like half of the immigrants in the last few decades who have come here have been through family connections. There are almost 40 million foreign born legal residents in the USA, so finding folks for ESL jobs who are authorized to work and happen to be from other countries isn't really that difficult.

You can try, and maybe some have done it, but quite frankly I'd be shocked if you could get sponsorship as an ESL teacher. Basically the company has to go to the government and say "there are no Americans qualified to teach English. You know all those school teachers laid off all over the country? The relatively high number of professionals unemployed? None of them could do this job and we need to bring in a foreigner to fill this crucially important job".

But let us know if you hear some positive feedback. We'd all be interested to know.
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Old Feb 20th 2012, 2:23 am
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Default Re: Language schools that sponsor foreigners as ESL teachers

Thanks for the perspective & personal experiences shared. I am aware that the odds are stacked against me. I'm choosing ESL in America because my girlfriend lives in NY. We don't really want to rush into marriage so I can work there legally / more easily but we haven't ruled it out...

I have only just booked my flight & started pro-actively applying for jobs so I will certainly provide feedback on here with the responses I get. I am mainly approaching private language schools but I will exhaust every option. Failing the ESl route, I'm also applying for the mountbatten scheme, which is a work placement paid internship program starting in August (not teaching related).
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Old Feb 20th 2012, 2:29 am
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Default Re: Language schools that sponsor foreigners as ESL teachers

Originally Posted by farang. View Post
Thanks for the perspective & personal experiences shared. I am aware that the odds are stacked against me. I'm choosing ESL in America because my girlfriend lives in NY. We don't really want to rush into marriage so I can work there legally / more easily but we haven't ruled it out...

I have only just booked my flight & started pro-actively applying for jobs so I will certainly provide feedback on here with the responses I get. I am mainly approaching private language schools but I will exhaust every option. Failing the ESl route, I'm also applying for the mountbatten scheme, which is a work placement paid internship program starting in August (not teaching related).
Waste of time. Get married if you want to stay. I guarantee zero chance on the sponsorship for ESL teaching.
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Old Feb 20th 2012, 2:54 am
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Default Re: Language schools that sponsor foreigners as ESL teachers

Ditto
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Old Feb 20th 2012, 3:34 am
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Default Re: Language schools that sponsor foreigners as ESL teachers

Originally Posted by farang. View Post
Thanks for the perspective & personal experiences shared. I am aware that the odds are stacked against me. I'm choosing ESL in America because my girlfriend lives in NY. We don't really want to rush into marriage so I can work there legally / more easily but we haven't ruled it out...

I have only just booked my flight & started pro-actively applying for jobs so I will certainly provide feedback on here with the responses I get. I am mainly approaching private language schools but I will exhaust every option. Failing the ESl route, I'm also applying for the mountbatten scheme, which is a work placement paid internship program starting in August (not teaching related).
The Mountbatten Scheme might be your best bet, if marriage isn't yet an option. Don't be disheartened if the ESL plan doesn't work out; I think it's a long-to-impossible shot. A lot of schools will automatically disregard you because you don't have employment authorization. Some smaller schools may not fully understand the difficulties of getting you a visa. In so many other countries, getting a visa for ESL is mostly a matter of having a degree and a job offer, but it's a different situation in the States.

Since your long-term plans may involve an American spouse, be careful not to do anything that will compromise your future use of the VWP or make future visa applications tricky. Don't overstay; don't ever lie to a POE officer (answer all questions truthfully, but don't volunteer extra info); don't get conned into starting work without a visa, even just for a 'trial period'.

Finally... if you're in a committed, long-term relationship, then get married!

I know it's not very romantic to feel like you're getting married for visa purposes, but a) it's not very romantic to be stuck on different continents, and b) if marriage is anywhere on the horizon, then eventually you're going to be spending money on one of the various marriage-related visa options, and you might as well save the cash you'll be spending on job/visa-hunting trips in the meantime.

Good luck.

Last edited by MoshiMoshi; Feb 20th 2012 at 3:40 am.
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