Working in the United States
Working in the United States, including teaching, touches upon education because of the frequent requirements to have an educational background of the type and level appropriate for the job you seek. There are additional resources that may be useful in the process of looking for work, coming to the United States, and obtaining recognition of your qualifications.
You should begin the process of planning to work in the United States at least a year ahead of when you want to arrive.
You may work in the United States if you qualify for either a temporary (non-immigrant) visa or a permanent visa (immigrant status) and if you are cleared to enter and stay in the United States. The number of work visas issued per year is limited by U.S. federal law, and worker exchange programs are limited by the available spaces.
The U.S. Consulate or Consulates in your country have the sole authority to grant or deny visas as well as to determine the type of visa you will receive.
U.S. Embassies and Consulates provides direct links to the websites of all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. They can provide resources, information and advice on working in the United States as well as information on the labor market and the visa process.
Countries with Limited or No Visa Services provides information and guidance for persons wishing to come to the United States from countries where U.S. visa services are restricted, suspended, or where there is no U.S. diplomatic presence.
Exchange Programs provides information about exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. government, including programs for scholars, researchers, teachers and other professionals.
Special Information for International Teachers
Teachers who want to work in the United States are treated as professional workers and must meet the requirements of the state education agency for certified public school educators or the requirements of a private school or district.
Refer to Professional Recognition for information about meeting U.S. teacher licensure requirements and to the rest of this section for work visa information.
Teachers may also come to the United States on temporary assignments that do not necessarily require obtaining a U.S. teaching license.
Fulbright Teacher Exchange is a program within the well-known Fulbright Fellowship Program that provides opportunities for exchanges among U.S. and non-U.S. school teachers and administrators.
Individual U.S. states also occasionally have agreements with exchange services and foreign embassies to accept foreign teachers, especially in foreign language and cultural subject areas, for temporary assignments. Check with individual state departments of education.
Worldwide List of Fulbright Bi-National and Fulbright Commissions provides contact information and links to all overseas Fulbright offices.
Secretary of Education's March 24, 2003 Letter to Chief State School Officers Regarding the "Highly Qualified" Teacher Requirement of ESEA sets forth U.S. Department of Education policy on implementing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with respect to international teacher exchanges and clarifies that foreign teachers do not need U.S. certification to participate in U.S. teachers exchanges under most circumstances. The letter provides guidance on how states can use such teachers without endangering their accountability under NCLB Highly-Qualified Teacher requirements.
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Education.
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