What is Border Hopping When Teaching English Abroad?

Visas for teaching English abroad can be extremely confusing. There are numerous different types of visas English teachers use when moving abroad to teach, especially when looking to stay abroad long-term.

One of those most common questions pertaining to visas being, what type do I need?  It’s can be an overwhelming topic, especially since every country and employer operates differently.  Many International TEFL Academy Alumni are teaching on work visas, student visas, or a cultural exchange visa.

But in parts of the world where paperwork isn’t a strong suit, most commonly in Latin America, tourist visas are the norm therefore teachers border hop so they can stay for an extended period of time.  The standard visa procedure in these regions is teaching on a tourist visa while “border hopping,” which basically means that you are crossing over a border to another country to get a new visa.  Because the term is vague at best, let's break down the who, what, when where and hows of border hopping when teaching English abroad.

What is a visa and do I need a visa to teach English abroad?

A visa is simply a document (often in the form of a stamp in a passport) issued by a government that authorizes a foreign citizen to enter that government’s country for residency, tourism, education and/or work.  In most cases, you will receive a visa when you teach English abroad, but not always. There are many different types of visas and each government will have its own policies regarding visas and the ability of foreign citizens to enter that country for any of the aforementioned reasons.  It is always important to understand what type of visa you will need to travel to any foreign country.