Teach Away FAQ Column: Dependents Special

We’re continuing our new FAQ column this by addressing some of your most common questions about moving abroad with dependents. Read on for questions from Teach Away educators. If you have related questions about moving overseas with family, please feel free to ask them in the comments, where we’ll do our best to give you an answer!

Q: I’m a mother with 2 kids, and I really want the chance to teach abroad. What are the best locations for teachers with kids to apply for?

Generally, the Middle East has the most opportunities for teachers with families. Abu Dhabi public schools, vocational schools, and many private schools throughout the region will sponsor a spouse and child dependents. Most of these organizations will also provide family housing (or a housing allowance), and in many cases they will cover round-trip airfare for dependents as well.

While the Gulf region is the best place to start your search, schools in other regions will sometimes sponsor dependents, too. Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools in Kazakhstan, for example, will sponsor family members and provide an allowance towards your children’s tuition as well.

Q: I’m applying to teach English in Abu Dhabi and I’ve read that it’s possible to bring a spouse and/or dependents. Would it be OK for my parents and sister to join me if I was to be offered the role?

Employment packages with many international schools will often accommodate a teacher’s husband or wife and their children to accompany them, but this does not normally include other relatives such as parents, siblings or grandparents.

If your mother, father and sister also wanted to live in Abu Dhabi, they would each need to arrange their own individual visas, which normally requires securing employment in the country in advance, in order to live there.

Q: I’ve been living with my partner for 10 years and we have a child together, but we aren’t married. Can she still be sponsored by my employer to join me overseas?

If your employer allows dependents to be sponsored, your son or daughter would be able to join you (as long as they are under 18). Unfortunately, programs can only recognize and sponsor a teacher’s partner if you are legally married. If your partner wishes to move abroad to live with you, she would have to look into making her own employment and visa arrangements.

Q: I’m interested in a two year contract teaching in Dubai and I would like to take my daughter with me. However, by the time the new job begins, she will be 17 and will have just finished high school. Will she have to return home when she turns 18?

Sponsorship for dependents is normally valid from the start date of your contract and expires at the end of your contract, regardless of age. In this case, your daughter should be able to live with you in Dubai until the contract ends, when she will be 19, but you should always check with your Placement Coordinator to confirm the specifics for your country and program.

If you were to extend your contract at the end of the two years, your daughter’s age means she would no longer qualify as a dependent and would need to make her own visa arrangements if she were to remain in the country.