Working in Europe as a non-EU citizen


If you’re from the UK and you’ve always wanted to live and work in Europe, having Brexit burst your bubble must be quite a bitter pill to swallow.

Meanwhile, for those outside of Europe looking to come and work in Spain, the challenges have always been there. But there’s definitely still good reason to keep the dream alive. Because, despite all the many challenges along the way, there are still plenty of people moving to Spain to live and work. And you could join them!

So, if you’re thinking of a short term ‘earn and learn’ adventure, or you want to start a new life working and living in Spain, here’s the best way to go about it.

Taking the TEFL route

While it’s true that the EU jobs market favours candidates from the EU, there’s a route that holds an advantage for non-EU native English speakers. TEFL, or ‘teaching English as a foreign language’, is one area where native English speakers still hold plenty of sway – particularly those from the UK. So, despite Brexit, if you’re an English language teacher, you’re still in demand.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you have experience teaching English to foreign students. All you need is the desire to inspire others and a curiosity to learn. Find a good language school and the rest is taken care of.    

Finding your school and getting a visa

When it comes to actually making the move and navigating the visa system, by far the easiest route to go is to apply to study at a TEFL school. Sign up to certain courses and you’ll qualify for a long term student visa, which enables you to work up to 20 hours per week as a paid student intern.

So, if you are a new teacher, you can complete TEFL Iberia’s Trinity CertTESOL course, plus 6-12 months of the Developing Teacher course. Before you begin your course, the school will give you detailed guidance on how to gather all the necessary paperwork to obtain your visa. Once you’ve got your visa, you can work as you learn, while discovering a new culture, meeting new people and generally having the time of your life! 

Getting the right support

Getting support to secure a visa is one thing, but what about the rest? 

Paperwork aside, moving to another country is… well, scary! It’s exciting for sure, but there are plenty of nerves, which is totally understandable. So, getting a good support system should be a priority.

Unfortunately, there’s not much help from local governments. If you’re moving from the UK, post-Brexit support is limited, while the infamous Spanish bureaucratic system is enough to make anyone break out in a cold-sweat. 

However, go the TEFL route and you’ve nothing to fear. Language schools like TEFL Iberia give you 360 support, accompanying you every step of the way as you adapt to an exciting new culture and find your feet in your new surroundings. From getting a TIE – a local ID card that allows you to work in the country – to finding the right accommodation and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.    

And finally… Making the move!

Once you’ve made the decision, done your research and chosen your path, go for it! Teaching English is not only the easiest way to unlock an exciting new adventure in a different culture, but it’s the opportunity to develop as a person.

New found confidence, creativity and communication skills are just the start. So, are you ready for a life-changing adventure?  

If you want to know more about how to go about teaching English in Spain, contact TEFL Iberia at

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