Home Forums Common Questions What are the age restrictions to teach English in China? Can you retire and teach overseas?

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    Officially there are no restrictions, but there are some points to consider.

    Some Chinese companies put age the max. age restriction of 39 years of age, “as the visa is more difficult to get if you are older”. This is case-by-case, and not official, but if you are older you can definitely apply but realize that it will be more difficult to get a position.

    Does it matter if you are 40? 41? 42?  I don’t think so as there is no official restriction. There are also 22 year olds that look old, out of shape or otherwise would not seem to fit teaching younger children (for example). If you have trouble getting up the stairs, traveling or not flexible in your thinking, routine and living, then maybe you should forget the idea regardless.

    Is the visa really more difficult to get?  I am not sure. Usually if a visa is rejected for no apparent reason and the applicant is older, then maybe.

    If you are older and you apply will your application and visa automatically be rejected? No

    The same can be said for some young teachers applying to teach. Teachers with no experience or just getting out of university sometimes need to get creative when they are stating their experience as the Chinese often do not see pre-university experience as experience, and no experience can be a reason for getting your visa rejected.

    Another point to consider for older applicants is that if you visit a kindergarten in China you will not see Chinese classroom teachers that are older than 30 for the most part.  Usually they will leave when they get married or they will become office staff if they are older, so it will be harder for Chinese schools to choose a teacher that is older as they are used to teachers (especially in kindergartens) that are older.

    I think if a school really wants a teacher, regardless of the age of the teacher, they can help to get a visa approved (if age is the only factor), but this depends on the location, the relationship the school has with the visa office and the history they have had. It often gets complicated where sometimes the reasons make no sense at all, and other times visas are processed that seemed not possible.

    In the end if you are older and worried about going through the visa process and possibly getting rejected, then you may want to choose a different country with lower visa restrictions or places where you know someone older that is already teaching there.

    Or push through, when I speak to older people in other countries they often also feel it is harder to get a job anywhere, so maybe if you older you need to try a little harder ignore what seems unfair and use your knowledge experience and pave your own path.

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