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Required Documents to Teach English Abroad

September 26th, 2014

The stories of those returning from time spent teaching English abroad are fascinating. It’s an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture. For new graduates, it’s also a great way to escape the tough job market and gain valuable work experience. Before you book your flight and start finding accommodations, take some time to learn what paperwork you’ll need to make sure your journeys there and back are smooth.

Certified True Copies

Customs and Immigration requirements will vary based on the country you have chosen as your new temporary home, but one thing that likely won’t change is the need to have what’s known as “Certified True” or “Notarized” copies of your important documents. These can include your birth certificate, passport, academic transcripts, diplomas and degrees, among other documents. A “Certified True” copy does not confirm that your original document is valid, only that the copy you are providing for customs and immigration purposes is a true copy of the primary document.

Criminal Background Checks and Fingerprinting Services

The days of entire countries serving as penal colonies are over! Virtually every country now requires a criminal background check as part of their immigration process. In most cases, a Criminal Name Index Check (CNIC) will satisfy those requirements. This process checks the applicant’s name against the Canadian Police Information Centre Identification Data Bank. A result of “no match” generally means that no further action is required. In the event there is a match, further investigation, such as fingerprinting, may be required to successfully meet immigration requirements.

If fingerprinting is required, we can help with the RCMP-accredited services of L-1 Enrollment Fingerprinting Services. Whether the company you are planning to teach English in requires Electronic Fingerprinting and Submission or Ink & Roll Fingerprints, the professionally trained team at Red Seal Notary has you covered.

Important Note Regarding Apostille

Some countries will make reference to Apostille in their requirements for official documentation. This is a very specific term that refers to legal certification only for nations that are signatories of a 1961 treaty at the Apostille Convention. As Canada was not part of that treaty, Apostille is not required or recognised by Canadian immigration authorities. However, Apostille may be a required part of the customs and immigration departments of other countries. It’s important to make sure you fully understand the documentation process in the country you are moving to, so choose Red Seal Notary to assist with the right certification.

Be Sure to Leave Enough Time

Moving to another country, even temporarily, isn’t a quick process to be done on a whim. Gathering all the necessary documentation to make your move a smooth one could take weeks or even months. Virtually every process listed above will require at least two valid pieces of identification (driver’s licence, passport, citizenship card, etc.) to be completed. The week before your planned departure is a terrible time to discover your driver’s licence has expired and has to be renewed before you can get your Criminal Background Check and Fingerprinting completed. When negotiating your flights, accommodations and start dates to teach English abroad, make sure to leave at least 4-6 weeks to get your ducks in a row.

Once all of your documentation is in order, you’ll be on your way to a fabulous adventure in a new land. Have a great time!

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