Can Indian English teachers get jobs overseas?

We are often asked by applicants about job opportunities for people with Indian passports. There is a lot of conflicting and inaccurate information but we hope that this information helps to clarify things. First of all, it is important to remember that all countries have rules about entry visas. In India, for example, no employment visas are issued for English teachers from outside India although some people may be able to work legally on volunteer or other types of visas.

When Indian English teachers wish to work overseas, they are often surprised to find out that other countries also have stringent rules about the issuing of work visas. There are many message boards where English teachers express their anger and frustration about this issue, particularly those who have been told that a particular qualification such as the Trinity CertTESOL is valid worldwide. Whilst this is true, it does not mean that all countries will offer visas to Indian passport holders.

The Trinity CertTESOL and the Cambridge CELTA are the premier qualifications for entry into English Language teaching jobs (read more here). Look on specialist jobs websites such as and you will see that almost all employers prefer these qualifications so taking the Trinity CertTESOL is often necessary to obtain a job but there are also other considerations. Unfortunately, many job advertisements specify that the jobs are for particular passport holders only, usually from what are perceived to be “native speaker” countries.

We have been running the Trinity CertTESOL with trainees from a wide variety of countries, some of which are now working overseas. They have jobs in the Gulf countries (Dubai, Oman and Saudi Arabia), Indonesia, Russia, Chile (this is a volunteer position) and Colombia (also a volunteer position). We also know that Indian English teachers have jobs in other countries such as the Maldives, Brunei, Qatar and Malaysia.

It is also important to remember that, when applying for a job overseas, some employers may require specific degrees, in English for example, and there may also be a requirement for several years experience that has to be gained before you are eligible to apply. Many employers are also concerned about the speech model offered to their students and they ask for what are often called” neutral accents”. The idea of a neutral accent is increasingly controversial. We (and many other employers) believe that everyone has an accent but some might request this due to a perception that a standard British or American accent are the most desirable models for their students.

So can Non-Native Speaker English Teachers get jobs overseas?

The answer is ‘Yes’ but you have to fit the profile required for the job. If you take the Trinity CertTESOL course in India and you are an Indian citizen, there are many job opportunities in corporate training, private coaching institutes and international schools in India itself. These jobs are relatively well-paid (35,000 INR per month is a common starting salary) and they often offer a salary plus free food and accommodation. This allows new teachers to build up their skills so that they can meet the job experience requirements of overseas employers.

If you take the Trinity CertTESOL with us, you can expect a lot of help and advice related to finding work and we will also help you to identify good opportunities in India and elsewhere so that you can gain the skills and experience you need for a good career either in India or overseas.

If you would like to find out about one of our graduates, Mayank Kaushik, who is working in Colombia, visit our blog. For further information about the Trinity CertTESOL course, work or visas contact us.