Where to Legalize Your TEFL Certificate?

Where to Legalize Your TEFL Certificate?

TEFL Requirement for Teaching in China

If you plan on teaching English abroad, you will already be familiar with the concept of teaching certificates such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). In order for you to work legally in the People’s Republic of China your future employer will need to apply for a work permit on your behalf. Unless you already have substantial teaching experience, your school will ask you to submit a legalized teaching certificate as part of the application process. 

Where to Legalize your TEFL?

Before rushing into the legalization process, please make sure you have the answer to one important question: In which country does my TEFL/TESOL certificate have to be legalized? In general, the answer to this question is: your teaching certificate will have to be legalized in the country where the certificate-issuing institution is located. If the organisation or institution that issued your certificate is located in the UK or US for instance, your certificate will need to be legalized in the UK and the US respectively.  Please note that many providers offer both online and offline courses in various locations. You should not automatically assume that your certificate will need to be legalized in the country where you attended one of their courses.  

So, how to go about determining the right country for legalization? 

1) In case you already completed a course, take a look at your certificate. Does it contain a physical address of the certificate-issuing institution or mention a specific country on the certificate itself?

2) Check the official homepage of the institution from which you received your certificate: where is the institution located? Where is the company behind the institution legally registered? Many TEFL granting institutions also provide information regarding legalization matters on their homepage. 

If you choose to legalize your TEFL with ShortcutZ-China, we will do the legwork for you. We will make sure to determine the right country for legalization and—if necessary—check with the organisation and relevant government bodies directly. We will minimise your risk of having your documents rejected at any stage of the legalization process before even sending you a quotation.  

Tipps to Save You Time and Money

With a vast number of TEFL courses to choose from, there are a number of factors to take into consideration when choosing your ideal provider: reputation, accreditation, course content, convenience, as well as cost. If you plan on working in China, however, there is another important factor that deserves your attention: where will the certificate be legalized? 

For a work permit in China, you will have to legalize a set of documents, including your highest university degree, a criminal background check, as well as your teaching certificate. As a rule of thumb, make sure the legalization for these three documents can be completed in one and the same country. For instance, if you have a degree from an American university and a US criminal background check, try to select a TEFL course by a provider located in the US. This will make it substantially easier and cheaper for you to legalize your documents later on.


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