Non-Native English Speakers: Eligibility for TEFL Courses & Teaching English Abroad

Non-native English speakers, you are eligible to take a TEFL course from ITA if:

  1. You have sufficient funds to pay for a class (including housing and transportation costs associated with international courses). We do not provide scholarships.
  2. You can obtain a tourist/entry visa for the country where you plan to take your four-week TEFL course. We can provide proof of payment of class and acceptance but we do not issue or sponsor student visas.  You will not need to obtain a student visa to take a four-week onsite course - a tourist visa will suffice.
  3. You have proficient English skills. All non-native speakers will be required to prove English proficiency. All applicants must speak with an admissions advisor and submit proof of their proficiency by providing either an English proficiency exam score or university transcripts/proof of degree for a bachelor's degree completed in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa.  Any applicant that is denied must wait one year before re-applying to the course. 

NOTE: Enrollment requirements for non-native speakers will vary by TEFL course, so please contact International TEFL Academy to discuss your options and requirements for the TEFL class in which you seek to enroll.

Many students find our Online TEFL course fits their needs for time and financial commitment. Most of our non-native English speakers students choose to take this course.

Read More: ITA's Award-winning Online TEFL Course

If Your Citizenship Is Not From One of These Countries:

USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand.

You are a valued potential student but we will not immediately have a personal advisor contact you for the reasons listed below. Please read the information and we are very interested to hear directly from you if you wish to enroll in one of our TEFL courses.

Employment Options For Teaching English Around The World:

International TEFL Academy is happy to accept students from around the world to take our TEFL courses, however many English teachers from non-native English speaking countries are extremely limited in the countries where they are likely to obtain employment.  We only want to enroll students who fully understand their job market options and hold the correct expectations. 

We prefer not to enroll a student with unrealistic expectations of what they are likely to achieve with a TEFL certification.  We always err on the side of caution with all of our students, this is why all of our graduates can find professional English teaching jobs as they know when and where they are eligible to work prior to enrolling in a TEFL class.

The Term "Native English Speakers"

The world job market classifies “Native English Speakers” as those holding citizenship from the following countries:  USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.  Asian job markets in particular, including Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and China are very strict on this issue.   Schools in other countries have their own interpretation of “Fluent” or “Native like” or near “Fluent English speaking” and offer more variance on hiring practices.

We understand your country may use English as a primary language (citizens of Caribbean Islands, India, Singapore, Philippines, etc) but your citizenship and possibly your accent will likely limit your employment options, particularly in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. 

Note:  We are only the messenger, our job is to tell you what you need to know so you are not wasting your time and money.

Mikael Worku

"I love Chile and all it has to offer. I ended up here after seeing & living in many parts of the world. I love the Latin culture mixed with a very westernized ambiance."

A native of Finland, Mikael Worku is an ITA graduate who taught English in Chile.

Thomas Paeme

"I browsed the Internet and some online TEFL forums to find a good and renowned TEFL company. It didn't take long before noticing that ITA was the best pick."

A native of Belgium, Thomas is an ITA graduate who taught English in Cambodia & Japan.

Ekaterina Nastina

"I was afraid that being a non-native speaker, I would find it extremely difficult to compete with other teachers, but I ended up explaining grammar to some American teachers in the school :)"

A native of Russia, Ekaterina is an ITA graduate who taught English in Mexico.

Where Can Non-Native English Speakers Teach English?

Teaching English in your home country is most popular along with a selection of others below.

European Union Citizens

Where Can You Teach English?

Though labor laws vary from country to country, most EU citizens can work legally in most other EU nations, provided they possess excellent English skills. Some other regions of the world where Europeans may be able to gain employment teaching English include:

🌏 Europe: Eastern Europe, former Soviet republics, Turkey (with a four-year degree);

🌏 Asia: Thailand, Cambodia;

🌏 Central America: Mexico, Costa Rica, etc;

🌏 South America: Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru, etc.


Other Europeans

Where Can You Teach English?

For Europeans from countries that are not members of the European Union (EU):

🌏 Europe: Turkey (with a four-year degree);

🌏 Asia: Thailand, Cambodia;

🌏 Central America: Mexico, Costa Rica, etc;

🌏 South America: Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru, etc.



Central & South American Citizenship

Where Can You Teach English?

Working in Latin America, Cambodia, Thailand, and Turkey.

Native English speakers from Jamaica and other English-speaking nations in the West Indies can sometimes gain employment teaching in countries like Japan and China, but should expect to confront more challenges than a citizen of the U.S., Canada, or the U.K.


African Citizenship

Where Can You Teach English?

If you are a citizen of an African nation (except for South Africa), you can teach English in the following countries:

Cambodia, Thailand, Central & South America.



Asian Citizenship

Where Can You Teach English?

If you are a citizen of an Asian nation, you can teach English in the following countries:

Central and South American nations.


Countries with Very Strict Hiring & Work Visa Standards:

To teach in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Arab states in the Persian Gulf region (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc.), one must typically have citizenship from a recognized native English-speaking country (US, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) .

Once a wide-open job market, China is quickly raising its standards to the extent that non-native speakers are finding it difficult to procure employment.

Japan Hiring Exception: Those from non-native English speaking countries with a four-year degree and 12 years of documented education in an ALL English speaking school may be eligible for employment.

Fill out the form below to get in touch.

If you do not receive a personal email from us and are interested in our TEFL courses, contact us by calling us directly at 773-634-9900 or reply to the email address that was sent to you after filling out the form. 

It is best to call our office Monday - Friday, 10am - 6:30pm Central Time in the USA as our headquarters is in Chicago.