At long last borders opened in March, 2022 to some of the biggest TEFL markets in Asia, with governments in Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam all announcing the easing of COVID-19 entry restrictions for those crossing their borders for work.
Easing of Long-Awaited Border Restrictions Finally Announced
In fact, the government of Japan announced on March 1st that for the first time in months new foreign visitors, other than tourists, would once again be allowed to enter the country. This comes after the government opened up the borders very briefly in January and November of last year, before closing back up rapidly amid fears of new variant spreads.
As numerous private language school (eikaiwa) chains have been eagerly awaiting renewed permission to sponsor work visas, the floodgates are finally opening up with regards to the number of teaching positions currently available in Japan. The schools connected to the Oxford Seminars Job Placement Service alone indicate hundreds of available teaching jobs waiting to be filled. That said, there is an estimated backlog of approximately 400,000 individuals with visas already approved waiting to get in, according to a February 28th article by NHK World. It is recommended that current applicants to Japan submit their candidacy at least six months before their desired departure date. Typical salaries range from 225,000 – 300,000 JPY per month for 25 – 40 teaching hours per week.
According to the Japanese government, the quarantine period for new entrants on arrival ranges from three to seven days, and from home to government-approved quarantine facilities. These restrictions will depend on a number of factors including location of origin, vaccination and testing status. More information can be found on Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Borders Set to Reopen from March, 2022
From March 7th, new teachers were once again being approved to enter Taiwan on work visas, reported one private language school (buxiban) owner to the Job Placement Service. Another recruiting contact emailed shortly thereafter to elaborate, stating that:
- The quarantine period was reduced from 14 days to 10 days
- Teachers would need to complete several steps over several months, including obtaining and authenticating national criminal record checks and degree/diploma copies, to obtain a work permit whilst in their home country
- New teachers must apply for a special entry visa (which is granted on a case-by-case basis)
Prior to COVID-19, most English academy directors preferred that teachers arrive on landing visas and sort out the work permit from within Taiwan, but since 2020, new teachers have had to authenticate visa documents and apply for work visas in their home country.
Though this means bringing in foreign instructors now requires a bit of extra work for schools in Taiwan, there are still a number of openings available through placement service contacts monthly. Salaries are usually in the range of 38,400 – 72,000 TWD per month, for 16 to 30 teaching hours per week.
Taiwanese immigration requires that travelers to the republic provide a “COVID-19 RT-PCR negative test
report issued within 2 days prior to departure time (based on ‘specimen collection date’), counting 2 calendar days backwards from scheduled departure”. Additionally, all travelers are required to undergo 10 days of quarantine upon arrival, at a location arranged prior to arrival, and to follow regulations and instructions by the Taiwan Centers of Disease Control. More information can be found on Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency website.
Full Reopening Announced for Foreign Visitors
Vietnam‘s tourism ministry announced a full reopening of the country to foreign visitors and a lifting of nearly all travel restrictions from March 15th – three months earlier than planned – reported Reuters back on February 15th. The announcement includes maintenance of a one-day quarantine requirement for visitors, plus negative COVID-19 tests before departure and on arrival. More information is available on Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security website.
Through JPS connections, private language schools across the country are now recruiting for positions beginning on a nearly monthly basis, while international schools are interviewing for jobs starting in August, 2022.
Typical teaching salaries range from 27.5 – 48.5 million VND per month, for 15 – 30 teaching hours per week.