Teaching ESL in Mexico

Teaching ESL in Mexico

Teaching English in Mexico will not offer as much money or as many benefits as an ESL job in China or Korea. Those teaching English in Mexico can expect to earn $5,000 to $20,000 MXN per month.

Living and Teaching in Mexico
Mexico: At a Glance
Mexico: Living in Mexico
Mexico: Teaching ESL in Mexico
Mexico: Financial Snapshot


Peak ESL Hiring Season in Mexico
How to find Jobs Teaching English in Mexico
Additional ESL Resources to Help English in Mexico
Largest Chain Schools in Mexico
Tips for ESL Teachers in Mexico
Teaching Requirements for Canadians in Mexico
Embassy and Consulate Information in Mexico

Peak ESL Hiring Season in Mexico

There is a demand for English teachers in Mexico at all times during the year. The autumn months are especially busy hiring seasons for English teachers looking to teach in Mexican schools. Teaching jobs in Mexico can be found in a wide range of places. There are openings in small private English schools, post secondary institutions, businesses, and other places.

Public and Private Schools

English schools in Mexico are very diverse and they offer a wide range of teaching jobs to TESOL graduates. There are some schools that require English teachers to have a university degree, teaching experience, and a TESOL certificate, while other schools are happy to have teachers only with their TESOL certificate.

The range of pay varies by a large amount, depending on the size of the school, location, and a teacher's experience. The highest paying jobs are with Mexican post-secondary schools. University jobs not only offer higher pay, but they also offer much more job security than private language schools do.

Private Lessons

Teaching English in a Mexican school may not pay well, so some ESL teachers find that teaching private lessons is a great way to help with the bills. If employed at a school, it is important to be honest about any intention of teaching private English lessons. Many schools will be concerned that teachers interested in offering lessons will try to steal students away from the school. It is highly recommended to respect the wishes of a school, and remember that they have the ability to have the visas of their employees cancelled. On average, it is estimated that ESL teachers can make between 150 - 400 MXN an hour for their tutoring.

English teachers with an understanding of the Spanish language will be able to charge more for their services than someone who does not have this competency. Many teachers can generate business by posting advertising in local print and online media, by placing up posters, and through word of mouth.

Business English

Another popular way to find work teaching English in Mexico is by teaching business English for Mexican companies trying to improve their employees knowledge. The most common way to find work teaching business English is by becoming a freelance teacher for one of the companies that offer this service, many teachers find the rate of pay to be better than many jobs at school, but the hours can sometimes be unpredictable and holidays come with no pay.

How to Find Jobs Teaching English in Mexico

ESL teachers should factor in which elements of teaching in Mexico are important to them and determine what type of teaching job is the best fit. By answering the following questions, it may be possible to gain some insight into what kind of teaching job will offer the best experience:

  • Do students need to have a good understanding of English already?
  • Which appeals more: an urban or rural location?
  • What size of classroom would allow for the perfect teaching environment?
  • What age range would the ideal classroom have?
  • Is the use of public transportation a concern?
  • Will there be any family members travelling to Mexico?
  • How important is time off?
  • Does a job with a higher paycheque appeal more than a job that is enjoyable?

Resources that may include ESL teaching jobs are:

Major Mexican Newspapers (written in English):

Graduates of Oxford Seminars receive our Graduate Placement Service with exclusive access to established schools and recruiters around the world.

Largest Chain Schools in Mexico

Since NAFTA was formed, the ability for Mexicans to communicate in English has become an important competency. Many Mexican parents feel that introducing their children to English at an early age will increase their future career options. There are many large chain schools that do their best to educate both children and adults in understanding English.

Harmon Hall

One of the largest chain schools in Mexico is Harmon Hall, with over 100 locations. During its 42-year history, Harmon Hall has gained a reputation for providing their students with English skills that can be transferred to future goals.


Berlitz is known throughout the TESOL market as one of the largest international schools in the world. With 38 schools located in Mexico, Berlitz is a popular destination for many students and ESL teachers.

Wall Street English

When TESOL graduates start doing to their Mexican job search, it's hard for them to ignore Wall Street English, with schools in approximately 20 regions in Mexico.

International House Schools

With locations in Aguascalientes, Cancun, Cuernavaca, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey, Puebla, Queretaro, Riviera Maya, Torreon, and Veracruz, International House has a heavy presence in Mexico. The International House Schools are an excellent place for ESL teachers to look for work teaching English in Mexico.

Additional ESL Resources to Help Teach English in Mexico

Mexico is a country that may not seem far away, but upon arriving, many ESL teachers can often experience varying degrees of culture shock. Before leaving, it is best to take some time and not only research job opportunities, but read about Mexico, its people, and traditions. Plan out trips to places that appear interesting and read what other ESL teachers have experienced while teaching in Mexico.

Take a look at the websites listed below for teaching resources that may be useful.

Tips for ESL Teachers in Mexico

  • While previously teachers could enter Mexico as toursits and then apply for the appropriate visa, teachers must now begin their visa application process prior to departing for Mexico.
  • Spanish is one of the most widely taught languages in North America. Try to find some time to take some Spanish lessons. This will make life in Mexico much easier and will improve teaching prospects.
  • It is most likely that English teachers wishing to teach in Mexico will be responsible for paying for their own plane ticket.
  • Be open-minded: Mexico is world-renowned for its culture, history, and food. Don’t be afraid to go out and experience what Mexico has to offer.
  • Moving to Mexico to teach English means that teachers must find someone they trust to manage their finances while they are gone. Some choose friends/family that they know and trust, while others opt to speak to a professional financial advisor. Many services can be suspended until a teacher returns from Mexico.
  • Always check with the Mexican consulate or embassy you'll be applying to for the most current, detailed information on visa applications.

Teaching Requirements for Canadians in Mexico

A Mexican working visa allows Canadians the ability to work and live in Mexico and have all of the same rights that native Mexicans have (including to right to pay taxes). Be aware, however, that those who are not citizens of Mexico do not have the right to vote. The  Mexican visa process has undergone several major changes in recent years. Whereas previously teachers could enter Mexico on a 180-day tourist visa, and then apply for a work visa, teachers must now begin the visa application process from their home country. There several types of Mexican visas available, depending on the purpose of your visit and intended length of stay. For teachers who will be working for - and be paid by - an employer in Mexico, they will need to apply for a Visitor Authorized to Conduct Lucrative Activities Visa (previously known as 'FM3' visa). This visa is intended for those planning to work in Mexico, for a domestic employer, for a period of up to 365 days. This visa is typically granted for one year, and can be renewed annually. After four consecutive renewals, or 5 consecutive years holding a 'Temporary Resident Visa', those intending to stay on permanently in Mexico are eligible to apply for a 'Permanent Resident Visa' (previously known as 'FM2' visa).

The Permanent Resident Visa allows teachers to have immigrant status after a five-year probation period, following which teachers can apply for Mexican citizenship. Mexican officials are seeing a large portion of Permanent Resident Visa applications coming from older expats hoping to retire south of the border.

Getting a Mexican Visa

Visa requirements and application procedures change frequently, and can even vary from one embassy or consular office to another. It is important to determine which Mexican embassy or consular office has jurisdiction over the area you are living in when you apply for your visa. Be sure to check their website and - if needed - contact them directly by phone or email, to ensure you have the most current, detailed information on visa application requirements and procedures at the time of your application. Mexican visas can no longer be applied for in Mexico.

The long-recognized FM-3 and FM-2 visa designations are now officially replaced with new work and residence categories.

Temporary Resident Visa: Lucrative Activity (Paid from Mexican company payroll) - Formerly F3

Temporary Resident Visa: Non-Lucrative (Paid from home company payroll) - Formerly F3

  • Valid up to four years.
  • Tied to the sponsoring Mexican company.
  • In general, after four years of Temporary Residence status, if an employee is willing to be paid from Mexican payroll, he or she is eligible to convert status to Permanent Resident.
  • Any foreign national receiving direct payment of professional fees or salary from a Mexican host company to perform any activity for any period of time must apply and receive a pre-approved "Lucrativo" visa. The Mexican host company must apply for the pre-approval with the appropriate INM office

The old FM-3 Business/Technical Visitor Visa (Negocios or Tecnico) are abolished. The following catergories now apply to ESL teachers and are divided by type of visitor activity:

Visitante con permiso para realizar actividades remuneradas (Visitor Authorized to Conduct Lucrative Activities)

  • For a period of stay for up to 365 days, renewable annually, if paid from Mexican company payroll.
  • For any activity if paid from Mexican company payroll.
  • Requires prior work permit approval from the INM (see National Migration Institute website for work permit form applicaiton procedures and requirements: https://www.gob.mx/tramites).
  • For all nationals, a Lucrative Visitor Visa must be issued by a Mexican consular post prior to entry to Mexico.

Foreign nationals requiring an entry visa must obtain an entry visa ("Visa Consular") from their nearest Mexican consular post, with duration of stay denoted on the visa.

Permanent Resident - Formerly  F2

Articles 124 and 125 of the new law are to institute a new points-based system for conferring Permanent Residence status for holders of FM-2 status and for new applications. The general concepts are understood to be as follows:

  • Status will be valid indefinitely.
  • Can apply based on family-based status (e.g., marriage to a Mexican national) or, after four consecutive years of maintaining valid Temporary Residence status, a foreign national may apply on a points-based system for unrestricted work authorization. (Please note that any changes to a Permanent Residence holder's place of employment in Mexico must be reported by the residence holder to the INM.)
  • For employment-based applicants, example criteria for assessing points are as follows: the applicant's education level, the applicant's prior professional experience in specialized occupation or high-demand skills (e.g., science and technology), persons coming as investors or individuals with international recognition in their field or industry.

Documentation needed from the English teacher for visa application (check your regional embassy or consulate's website before applying)

  • Photocopy of the authorization from the National Migration Institute (see National Migration Institute website for authorization form applicaiton procedures and requirements: https://www.gob.mx/tramites).
  • Visa application form printed on one page, double sided, properly completed and signed.
  • Passport or valid travel and identity document, original and a photocopy of the page containing the photograph and personal data.
  • Original and a photocopy of the migratory document accrediting your legal stay in Canada (only for applicants who are not Canadian citizens).
  • One photograph measuring 3.9 cm x 3.1 cm, face uncovered, no eyeglasses, frontal view, in colour and with white background.
  • Payment of fees in cash for the issuance of the visa. When the period of stay is less than 180 days, the applicant must also pay the migratory fees.

Requirements for EU Citizens to Teach English in Mexico

Mexico has opened its doors to people from all around the world. Compared to other nations around the world, acquiring a Mexican working visa is a fairly easy process. The rules are the same for citizens of Canada as they are for people coming from a European Union (EU) nation. Please review the visa application process outlined above, and contact the Mexican embassy or consular office you'll be applying to, for detailed information on how to get a visa.

Embassy Information for Mexico

Canadian Embassy Offices in Mexico

Canadian Embassy in Mexico City
Embassy of Canada
Schiller 529, Col. Bosque de Chapultepec (Polanco)
Del. Miguel Hidalgo
11580 Mexico City, D.F.
Phone: 52 55 5724 7900
Fax: 52 55 5724 7943
Web Site: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/mexico-mexique/index.aspx?lang=eng
Email: mex@international.gc.ca
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

American Embassy Offices in Mexico

American Embassy in Mexico City
Embassy of the United States in Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Colonia Cuauhtemoc
06500 Mexico, D.F.
Phone: 52 55 5080 2000
Fax: 52 55 5080 2005
Web Site: https://mx.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/embassy/
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Australian Embassy Offices in Mexico

Australian Embassy Mexico City
Rubén Darío 55, Col. Bosque de Chapultepec,
11580 Mexico D.F.
Phone: 52 55 1101 2200
Fax: 52 55 1101 2201
Web Site: http://mexico.embassy.gov.au/
Email: consularpassports.mexico@dfat.gov.au

British Embassy Offices in Mexico

British Embassy in Mexico City
British Embassy
Río Lerma, No. 71
Col. Cuauhtémoc, CP. 06500
Mexico City, Mexico
Phone: 52 55 1670 3200
Web Site: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-mexico-city
Email: ukinmexico@fco.gov.uk
Hours of Operation: Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Friday: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

Irish Embassy Offices in Mexico

Irish Embassy in Mexico City
Cda. Blvd. Avila Camacho, 76-3
Col. Lomas de Chapultepec
11000 Mexico D.F., Mexico
Phone: 52 55 5520 5803
Fax: 52 55 5520 5892
Web Site: https://www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/mexico/# 
Hours of Operation: By Appointment Only, Monday - Friday: 9:30 am - 1:30 pm

New Zealand Embassy Offices in Mexico

New Zealand Embassy in Mexico City
Corporativo Polanco, 8 Avenida Jaime Balmes
Polanco I Sección 11510
Mexico City, Miguel Hidalgo
Distrito Federal, Mexico
Phone: 52 55 5283 9460
52 55 5283 9480
Email: nzmexico@mfat.govt.nz
Web Site: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/tw/countries-and-regions/americas/mexico/new-zealand-embassy/
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday: 9:30 am - 2:00 pm; 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Embassy Information Outside Mexico

Mexican Embassy Offices in Canada

Embassy of Mexico in Ottawa
45 O'Connor
Suite 1000
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1A4
Phone: 1 613 233 8988
Fax: 1 613 235 9123
Website: https://embamex.sre.gob.mx/canada/index.php/en/
Email: infocan@sre.gob.mx
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Mexican Embassy Offices in the United States

Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C.
1911 Pennsylvania AV
Washington DC, 20006
Phone: 1 202 728 1600
Web Site: https://embamex.sre.gob.mx/eua/index.php/en/
Email: mexembusa@sre.gob.mx
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

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