Foreign Teacher in Alaska

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Foreign Teacher in Alaska

Postby kgjerde » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:21 am


I am looking into the possibility of working as a teacher in Alaska, but I am a Norwegian citizen. I was in the process of a possible job in the North Slope School District, but they have had some bad experiences in the past with hiring a foreigner because of all the paperwork, so I was not able to pursue it any further. I was wondering if anybody here does not have a US citizenship, but still were able to get hired? Or if anybody possible knew anyone that does?

All help is very much appreciated!

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Re: Foreign Teacher in Alaska

Postby kazachka » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:52 pm

Do you have a green card? If you have a green card, it's much easier. My other half is a Russian citizen and I basically told him forget about work until he gets a green card. You have to be legally eligible for hire in the US. My principal's wife just got hers last fall and began subbing at our school at semesters. Without a green card, the school district would have to sponsor a work visa for you. That IS a bunch of paperwork to get a work visa and a district willing to sponsor it. Anchorage does it for immersion teachers if necessary. In the early 2000s when I was teaching in Fairbanks, our German teacher's visa was sponsored by the school district. I have, however, known a number of teachers and or classified staff over the years who have worked in the schools once they got their green cards. You will also need a foreign evaluation of your teaching credentials and coursework if you did University outside the USA to get an Alaska teacher certificate. DEED has a list of agencies on their website that do this. This process can take several weeks. I used an agency on the list that's in California when I submitted graduate coursework I'd done in Moscow. Good luck!
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Re: Foreign Teacher in Alaska

Postby Johncn » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:10 am


As Kazachka says, it is possible. However, it is difficult, and requires the employer, not the applicant, to initiate a complicated and time intensive process to begin visa authorization. Districts have not historically been interested in doing so unless they have a real shortage of options in a particular certification area. It is difficult and expensive for them to undertake this process for a foreign national not currently in the state because by the time the paperwork is completed, it is frequently too late for the foreign teacher to obtain the required visa stamps and get to Alaska in time for the school year to start.

This does not mean it isn't possible, but above all it requires finding a willing district to "sponsor" you. Each year there are some teachers who successfully navigate the obstacles and secure jobs. It does require persistence and a fair bit of luck on timing.

The main ATP website has this as one of their top Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here:

And here is the official Alaska Department of Education information about the credential ... n_Info.pdf

Hope this helps,

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