Alright, so you've set your eyes on the beautiful Spanish coast and decided to spend the rest of your life frolicking in the beaches and working as a TEFL teacher to earn your living. But hold your horses just a minute though.
While taking a vacation in Spain is a stroll in the park, living and finding employment in the country is a whole different ballgame if you're not from the EU. In fact finding ways to relocate to the country might just be one of the most difficult tasks you might encounter in your professional life and that's saying something. But fret not, for it is not impossible and we'll expand on ways to make the whole venture a little bit easier and a little less complicated.
The all important visa
First things first, you can't enter the country without a visa and this my friend ought to be your primary task that needs to be tackled. By the way, you can't work with a tourist visa, it's illegal.
With that said, there are two types of visas which allow you to work in Spain
• work visa
Work visa though is like a genie and with the economy still in the doldrums, you're likely to snag jasmine and a magic carpet before getting a work visa. The governmental regulations are way too much for you to acquire a work visa just based on your TEFL career path. The Alternative is you ought to secure a long term job in Spain for your work visa to be approved which puts you in a paradox.
Employers are highly unlikely to go through the hoops to prove your skills are so unparalleled, that nobody from the EU can match it. So you're left with the only viable option being Student visa.
A student visa allows you to pursue a course in Spain while at the same time enabling you to work 20 hours per week. Most TEFL programs are conducted for only 25-30 hours of work a week, so this would be perfect for your job profile.
There is a catch though; the course you've enrolled into needs to be longer than 6 months in duration.
What this means is, you could just pursue your masters or any other degree, which is ridiculously cheap in comparison to the USA, and secure a long term student visa along with a professional degree.
Alternatively you could pursue an extended TEFL/TESOL certification course as well.
TEFL+ Professional Development course is perfect for all your objectives of following a TEFL career path allowing you to hone your skills and develop a deeper understanding and knowledge on the field while getting paid for your internship/training programs.
Love Birds Option
There's one other legal alternative where you are fortunate to find a Spanish partner and get into a serious relationship. This lets you apply for the Pareja de Hecho, or Defacto Couple program. Be aware that you ought to live with each other and cases of fraud are thoroughly investigated. So you can't just move in with an acquaintance. The
visa is valid for only 5 years as well and there's a huge amount of paperwork involved.
Under the radar
There is also the illegal option of overstaying your visa and working in the black, which we don't advocate. It's dangerous and your employment opportunities will be severely limited. Keep in mind you can't leave Spain and would be deported/banned from the country/jailed. So consider the risk/reward and proceed with this option.
With all said and done, long term student visa is probably your best option and pursuing a TEFL certificate in Spain would set you up for a safe and lucrative future.