Millions of people in the United States are immigrants. Approximately 45 million people out of the overall 330 million people have immigrant status or have attained full residency and citizenship.
That is a lot of people, and it shows that America is a place that can usually provide a great living standard for anyone. Among the top categories of immigrants that are accepted with minimal hassle, are teachers. This profession is hotly needed in the US and it’s why so many teachers from around the world often consider heading to the states as an alternative to their current lifestyles and career paths. So how could you get to the US to work as an educator?
Many teachers would like to go to the US to teach because there are so many opportunities. As it’s a big country with a large population, it may seem obvious that there is always going to be a need for teachers. Not to mention, teachers often get promoted in high schools, colleges, etc. A career in teaching in America often has more progression and opportunity than some European counterparts.
The teacher visa
Firstly, you need to know what specific things apply to you and your profession. For teachers, it’s the J-1 visa which is multi-layered. It is great for the usual teacher, i.e. someone who will teach the curriculum to both junior school and high school students. Under the J-1 visa however, you can also be accepted as a cultural teacher, in an exchange program. This could be a teacher who has something different, can teach a language, or perhaps music or history of a foreign culture, etc.
How to apply
You apply to be a teacher using the DS-2019 form. This is the main form you will use to make the majority of your application. The visa will last for about 3 years, thus your teaching job must be temporary and not permanent. More often than not, you can extend your visa if the school you are working for, applies for you to stay longer. This opens up the path for you to apply for us citizenship. You can do so after 5 years of living and working in the country. Working with an immigration attorney opens up the road to a seamless transition, taking the pressure off doing the complicated paperwork yourself.
In America, the education system can vary from state to state. Education has been handed down to the regional, state and sometimes city-level administrators. So whatever school or area you’re applying in, learning the curriculum is part of the challenge. Not to mention, if you have an accent, you will need to try and tone it down and speak in an Americanised manner. However, the good thing is that the American school system is generally quite simple, with incremental steps in the changing of teaching and learning, which any teacher can pick up within a month or so.
If you’re a teacher who wants to rise to a new challenge, moving to America to teach students there could just be what you’ve been waiting for. Start with learning about the DS-2019 form and the J-1 visa type.