Access to the German labor market is not only open to doctors or engineers, but also to so-called “special professional groups”. These are specialists for whom a special qualification profile or a public interest exists. Language teachers also belong to this professional group.

Do you need a residence permit?

As a citizen of the EU, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you do not need an entry visa or one residence permit in order to be allowed to work as a language teacher in Germany.

As a citizen of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or the United States of America, you can enter Germany without a visa and obtain the necessary residence permit after entry.

If you are a language teacher for your own mother tongue and come from another country, you have access to the German job market under certain conditions. First of all, you need an entry visa, which you can convert into a corresponding one later residence permit, i.e. a residence permit to take up gainful employment (this includes self-employed and non-self-employed activities). As a language teacher, you can receive a residence permit for up to 5 years. A renewed employment in Germany as a language teacher from abroad for mother tongue lessons is only possible after an interruption of the stay of three years.

You want to teach in a school

As part of the visa procedure, the German diplomatic missions abroad check whether the Federal Employment Agency has given its approval(BA) is required for the issuance of the visa for teachers for teaching mother tongue lessons in schools. This includes not only teachers from abroad who teach language, but also teachers who teach other subjects in their mother tongue. Teachers from abroad must not be employed under less favorable working conditions than comparable domestic teachers. The standard local wage conditions for teachers at embassy schools are to be used as a benchmark. As a rule, the position to be filled is not a civil servant relationship, so that recognition is not always mandatory. You can obtain more information directly from the school you would like to work at or from the relevant school authority.

You want to teach independently

If you are planning to work independently and long-term as a language teacher for native-speaking lessons, you will usually need a self-employment visa,which you will later have to convert into a residence permit for freelance work. For this residence permit you must usually be able to prove the following:

  • You can earn a living from your intended activity. In addition, suitable evidence of income and assets from abroad can also be accepted
  • The approval of the Federal agency for work is available

Language teachers belong to the group within the liberal professions that in Germany do not have any given Admission requirements can be exercised. They can be exercised without pre-set admission requirements. You can find detailed information on requirements, tax aspects and the legal forms of freelancers on the service pages of the state of Baden-Württemberg. This information applies nationwide.

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