TEFL Visa Part 3

In my previous two blogs I described the process of applying for the FM3 visa. Organize your documents, look at the website, find out where the immigration office in your state is (probably the capital), get as much info as you can, and then dress nice and go to the office with all your paperwork and more.

By more I mean that you have to be prepared for anything. Ask questions during your job search and follow the advice you receive – maybe more documents than what I’ve listed, maybe less. Probably your new employer has some knowledge of the process, but also the information they have may change too. Ask if there are other foreign teachers and try to talk to them. Copy everything, especially payment receipts.

The second part of being prepared is awareness of the smooth dealings of heavy bureaucracy. Always be calm and polite. Never, EVER, get angry or impatient. The person you will be speaking with has all the power and can do your paperwork right away or put it at the bottom of the pile. You might be asked for totally different things the second, third, or fourth time you go. Your letter might not be right and you will be sent away. They may ask for something you don’t have. Don’t expect them to speak English just because it is an immigration office. If you can’t speak Spanish, learn some basics and then ask, in Spanish, if anyone speaks English.

When you do meet helpful people and they give you instructions or information, try to get them to print it or write it down. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be polite. No matter how frustrated you feel, DON´T GET MAD! This goes for run-ins with the police, immigration, or any other official folks in Mexico too, especially your employer and coworkers.

If you want or need to have two jobs, there shouldn’t be a problem with your employers as long as you tell them beforehand. You probably won’t get full time at either job, and two jobs might be necessary. However, you probably shouldn’t try to work at two private schools, as they may be competitors. It’s probably better to work at a private school and a university. While private jobs ask for a standard TESOL certificate, taking a more advanced TESL certification program such as TESL Canada standard 2 is highly recommended.

Don’t forget, all the time you spend waiting will be time for you to be a tourist and enjoy the country!

Related Articles:

TEFL Mexico: Applying for the FM3 Visa – Part I

Getting the FM3 Visa – Part II

TESOL Mexico: Learn Spanish!