Employment Guidelines

Before You Apply

  • Visiting Teacher positions are temporary positions. For the J-1 Visiting Teacher program, all positions must be considered temporary, which means they cannot lead to tenure.
  • Teaching positions, including duties, responsibilities, hours of employment, and compensation, are just like those of other US teachers in the school district or host school where you will teach.

Program Duration 

  • You can stay in the US 1, 2 or 3 years. If the school requests an additional 2 years, the Department of State may approve the extension.
  • Dependents (partner, spouse, children) may accompany you. They will arrive on the J-2 Visa.

Other Guidelines

  • J-1 regulations now allow pre-kindergarten teachers in “language immersion” programs. If language immersion is offered as a regular course of study by accredited primary schools, a pre-kindergarten level visiting teacher must be assigned to teach full-time in an accredited host school. This can include several schools within the same host school district, including at several academic levels, with prior permission from the Department of State.
  • If you are placed in a private school where there is no host school district, you must teach a full-time schedule of at least 32 hours in a school or schools located no more than 25 miles from the main host school. In such a situation, reasonable and effective modes of transportation must exist to such additional sites of activity.
  • The host school or school district must organize cultural exchange opportunities for international teachers.
  • The host school must assist GeoVisions to identify safe and affordable housing close to the teaching site.
  • You must complete a cultural activity component annually, which includes two requirements:
    • You must complete, within the United States and during each year of program participation, an activity that gives an overview of a cultural aspect of your home country. This project can include your classroom, larger host school, host school district population, or the community at large.
    • In addition, there must be an activity that involves US student dialogue with schools or students in another country. This is preferably your home country.

iTEP Conversation Test

  • You must show English language proficiency by taking the iTEP English Conversation test. This on demand test lasts 30-minutes and tests your English conversation ability.  The cost of the test is $69. You may pay for the test and receive instructions on how to download the test at Academic Language Solutions.

Required Cultural Activity

  • You must have a letter from the head of a school in another country, preferably your home country.
  • The letter must state that school’s willingness to work with you on a cross-cultural activity component. The foreign school with which you plan to work must be at the same academic level as the school where you are teaching in the US. When submitted as part of your application package, the letter must be signed by the head of the school or another individual in an appropriate position of authority to speak for the school within the foreign country’s school system. The official signing the letter must list both email and telephone contact information. The letter may be submitted in English or in the original language of the home country with an English translation. Note the name, title/organization and contact information of the translator on the translation.
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Visiting Teachers Must Receive

Before you sign any contract with the host school, you must receive the information below. This can be in your contract, or in a separate document.

  • The name, location, and brief description of the school where you will teach.
  • The terms and conditions of your salary and benefits (with deductions from gross salary).
  • Any provisions affecting your ability to be accompanied to the US by a spouse or dependents (including any related assistance and allowances). 
  • A summary of the significant components of the program. This includes a statement of the teaching requirements and related professional obligations, as well as the required cross-cultural activity component. 
  • Specific information on the fees and costs for which you will be responsible while teaching in that school district. 
  • Anticipated housing options and costs. 
  • Specific local transportation options between your residence and the host school and transportation cost estimates. 
  • Insurance costs for accident or illness coverage, repatriation of remains and medical evacuation. 
  • Estimated personal expense money prior to receiving your first paycheck for initial costs you may incur upon arrival in the US.
  • Certification or licensure procedures and costs at the host school. 
  • Administrative fees; and any placement fees.