Here is a checklist for international teachers participating in the J-1 Teacher program. This checklist is used to meet the requirements with Colorado Learning and our J-1 Visa partners in processing your application and getting you a job here in the USA. Seems like quite a list, don’t worry Colorado Learning will guide you through the entire process. Colorado Learning is a renowned expert in the J1 process and placing international candidates in high paying jobs in the USA, we strive to make your dreams come true.
Colorado Learning (CL):
Colorado Learning Agreement- contract to engage us as your exclusive Recruiting Agent
Submit Support Material for Teacher Profile to Colorado Learning, such as, Resume, Cover Letter, References, Teaching License, diplomas, Picture etc.
Interview with Colorado Learning, screening, resume and all support material review.
Entered in database and prepare to be sent to potential employers. Colorado Learning will guide you through the full interview and hiring process with the goal to obtain the best job for you.
Candidates need to produce and gather this information for the Visa sponsor.
Host School Agreement to participate in cultural activity as required by the J1 Exchange program
2 Letters of Recommendation (1 from colleague, 1 from Supervisor),
Copy of CV/Resume,
Copy of Teaching Certificate
Criminal Background check from home country
Copy of Passport – not expired
Copy of any previous visas
Letter from school in home country stating dates of employment and responsibilities confirming employment.
Letter from school in home country stating their willingness to participate in the cultural exchange activity proposed by J-1 teacher- this is mandatory. If the candidate does not have a school willing to participate, they cannot get a J1.
Offer/Job Letter from Host School (CL works towards getting the Job Offer and this Offer Letter, the offer letter is produced upon securing you the job)
LIST OF REQUIREMENTS FOR FOREIGN TEACHERS TO QUALIFY FOR J-1 VISA
Verify that all information is correct, and that education and experience are listed. The candidate is currently working in his/her home country. If they are currently working in another country, then they can potentially qualify if they have a residence permit in that other country. A work permit in another country is not the same as a residence permit.
Verify that the name (and dependents, if any) are submitted correctly and as listed on the passport.
- verify that DOB entered matches the passport DOB
- verify that passports have not expired
- valid for over 3 years.
Background check report
A criminal background check is required. The document must indicate that the candidate has no criminal record. The criminal background report must be issued by a government entity. The background check report must be from a national (not local) source and must show no criminal record. Depending on the country, this government entity can be the Department of Justice, Ministry of Interior, National Police Commission, all of which are acceptable.
Employment letter of reference
The purpose of the employment letter(s) of reference is to verify that the candidate has at least 2 years’ work experience. If the candidate has more than 2 years’ experience, we only need proof of 2 years experience. The employment letter of reference can be in form of a standardized “Verification of teaching/ experience” form issued by the school. It can also be in the form of a more traditional reference letter. In either case, it should be printed on school stationary and signed by a school official (school administrator, head of school, etc).
Letter of reference from a colleague
As required a reference letter is required from one colleague of each foreign teacher, attesting to that teacher’s good reputation, character and teaching skills. Please see that the Letter of reference from the colleague to ensure that it attests to the teacher’s good reputation, character and teaching skills. There is no requirement in the regulations that this letter should be printed on school stationary. There is also no requirement that the letter include an email or phone number.
Letter of reference from a supervisor
As required a letter of reference is also required from one current or former supervisor of each foreign teacher, attesting to that teacher’s good reputation, character and teaching skills. The uploaded Letter of reference from the supervisor to ensure that it attests to the teacher’s good reputation, character and teaching skills. There is no requirement in the regulations that this letter should be printed on school stationary. There is also no requirement that the letter include an email or phone number.
Current school (home school) cultural activity letter
As required ), the teacher MUST have a letter from the head of a school in another country, preferably that teacher’s home country, which states that school’s willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the cross-cultural activity component. The foreign school with which the exchange teacher plans to work must be at the same academic level as the foreign teacher’s proposed host school. The official signing the letter must list both email and telephone contact information. Please review the uploaded Current school cultural activity letter that was submitted as part of the application and make sure if meets the requirements outlined here.
The document must prove that the candidate has at least a bachelor’s degree. Make sure that their degree matches the subject that they intend to teach at the host school.
Copy of Teaching Certificate – verified copy of teaching certificate in home or other country. If the country does not issue a certificate then proof of employment.
Foreign education evaluation
The candidate must have , at a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. The evaluation must be from a recognized credentials evaluation organization such as NACES, SpanTran, or others. The date on which this evaluation was performed is not relevant.
Teacher school offer letter– OCCURS AT TIME OF JOB OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE – NOT BEFORE – this will be obtained by Colorado Learning when they secure you a job in the US.
No form DS-2019 can be issued without the candidate having received and accepted a written offer of full-time employment. The offer can be in the form of a traditional letter printed on school letterhead and signed by a school official. In many other cases, it will be generated by the school’s software program, and will not be signed a school official. Make sure the uploaded document is accepted by the Teacher and includes the Teacher’s signature.
J-1 Teacher Qualifications
To qualify as a J-1 Teacher, you must:
- Meet the qualifications for teaching at the primary, including pre-kindergarten, or secondary levels in schools in your home country; be working as a teacher in your home country at the time of application; and have at least two years of full-time teaching experience. Must have a valid passport for at least 3 years as this is the initial J1 period.
- Not be working as a teacher in your home country at the time of application, but otherwise meet the qualifications for teaching at the primary (including pre-kindergarten) or secondary levels in schools in your home country.
- Have had at least two years of full-time teaching experience within the past eight years; and
- Within 12 months of your application submission date for the program, have completed an advanced degree (beyond a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree) in education or in an academic subject matter that you intend to teach or that is directly related to your teaching subject field.
- The only way to get a J1 IF not currently teaching is to have completed an Advanced Degree within the last 12 months.
Additional Requirements: Monetary and Teaching:
WE CANNOT ASSIST ANY TEACHERS NOT HAVING THE PROPER FINANCIAL RESOURCES. These resources must be gathered in advance and NOT after the job is secured.
- Possess appropriate monetary funds to pay for the J1 Visa approximately ($2200) and the Colorado Learning Employment Placement Fee. The fee is a percentage of the salary of the job we secure for you.
- Possess monetary funds for securing a rental unit from your home country – first month’s rent and deposit. Varies depending on unit approximately $1200.
- Possess monetary funds for travel related expenses, such as, airline ticket, spending money in US for all essentials for the first month (food, etc.) as candidate gets paid after working for at least 2 weeks to a month.
- Possess the monetary funds to pay for any other visa related expenses in their home country.
IF the candidate does not have the funds at present, then the candidate must arrange with family or friends or other loan opportunities with banks or other sources to gather these funds to prepare for the hiring season in January of the year the candidate want to move to the USA. Colorado Learning will verify before accepting a J1 candidate for any job search that the candidate has the monetary resources to fund the job search.
- Possess, at a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in either education or the academic subject field in which you intend to teach;
- Satisfy the teaching eligibility standards of the U.S. state in which you will teach (e.g., meet minimum educational requirements, pass teacher training coursework at a sufficiently proficient level, have provided an evaluation of foreign teaching preparation coursework, have demonstrated the requisite prior teaching experience, etc.)
- Provide any required criminal background or other checks;
- Are of good reputation and character;
- Agree to come to the United States temporarily as a full-time teacher of record in an accredited primary or secondary school, understanding and agreeing that exchange teachers may teach a variety of subjects and levels at their host school or schools, if qualified, but at the pre-kindergarten level, may teach only in language immersion programs.
- Receive from a qualified U.S. host school a written and signed “teaching job offer” (offer of employment”).
- In order to be eligible for the J-1 teacher visa, the candidate must provide a letter from a school outside of the United States confirming their willingness to participate in the cross-cultural component of the program. The cross-cultural component is a mandatory part of the J-1 teacher program, and we must collect annual reports for each school year. The cultural exchange must take place between the host school and the ”home-school”. It can be either the school where you are currently working, or any school outside of the U.S with the same education level as your host school (primary vs secondary).