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How Zimbabwean Teachers Move to UK using QTS

A step-by-step guide for teachers on how to apply to work in the UK

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Zimbabwean teachers qualify to teach in the United Kingdom. However, there are conmen who are masquerading as agents. To avoid this, educators intending to move to the UK need to follow legitimate procedures and work with the legitimate officials.

To teach in England you will need:

  1. the correct visa or status
  2. teaching skills and experience you can demonstrate to an employer
  3. to pass criminal and professional safeguarding checks (these will be organised by your employer)

The correct visa or status could be one of the following:

  1. a pre-existing right to work in the UK, such as settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  2. a job offer allowing you to apply for a skilled worker visa
  3. eligibility for another type of visa

Applying for qualified teacher status (QTS)

Qualified teacher status (QTS) is the professional status teachers in England gain at the end of their teacher training.

Teachers who qualified outside the UK can work in English schools for up to 4 years without QTS. However, obtaining QTS will make it easier for you to find work and develop your career as a teacher.

This is because:

  1. in many English state-maintained schools, QTS is a legal requirement when the 4-year exemption period is up
  2. in all English schools, QTS is used to assess the quality of candidates for teaching jobs

How to apply

Depending on where you qualified as a teacher, you may be eligible to apply to the Teaching Regulation Agency for QTS.

You could also apply for assessment-only QTS while you earn a salary as a teacher or you could apply to train to teach in England.

Visas and immigration

You can check if you need a UK visa and contact UK Visas and Immigration for help.

Search for a teaching job and apply for a skilled worker visa

The main visa route for non-UK teachers in England is the skilled worker visa.

To apply for a skilled worker visa, you will first need to search for a teaching job in England. You can use the UK government’s Teaching vacancies service to search for available teaching roles.

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Before you apply for a teaching job, contact the school to make sure it is a Home Office licensed sponsor. If the school is a sponsor, it can help you apply for your visa. Schools can also become sponsors to employ you.

You’ll be able to apply for your skilled worker visa if:

  1. you have a job offer from a school that is a licensed Home Office sponsor
  2. you can speak, read, write, and understand English
  3. your salary meets the requirements for a skilled worker visa

Work as a teacher in England without a skilled worker visa

This section explains the other visa and immigration routes you may be able to use to work as a teacher in England.

Graduate visa

If you’re already an international student in the UK, you can apply for a graduate visa on the successful completion of your degree. To apply, you’ll need to have been sponsored by a Home Office licensed student sponsor over the course of your studies.

The graduate visa will allow you to work, or look for work, in the UK for up to 2 years after completing your studies (3 years for PhD students) without a sponsor. This includes working as a teacher.

Youth Mobility Scheme visa

The Youth Mobility Scheme allows young people from certain countries to come to the UK each year to study or work without a sponsoring educational institution or sponsoring employer. This includes working as a teacher.

A Youth Mobility Scheme visa lasts up to 2 years. You may be able to switch from a Youth Mobility Scheme visa to another visa route (for example the skilled worker visa) without having to leave the UK. You’ll need to meet the requirements for the other visa route.

Other visas

Depending on your personal circumstances, you may be able to work in the UK on alternative visas – for example, a Family visa, a UK Ancestry visa or, if you’re from Hong Kong, a British National (Overseas) visa.

Help for secondary school teachers

If you’re interested in teaching children aged 11 to 18 at a secondary school in England and you have English QTS, sign up to the Get an adviser service. You’ll get personalised support from a trained Department for Education (DfE) adviser to help you apply for jobs in England.


For help with the information on this page, email

DfE does not directly administer teacher training courses or appoint teachers, so we cannot help with individual applications to training providers or schools


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