Overseas graduates

This is for graduates from outside the UK who want information on training to teach in England. Find out how coronavirus (COVID-19) may affect teacher training in England.

Teaching in England offers a wealth of opportunities and rewards that helps you to build a stimulating and successful career. There’s also plenty of support in place to help trainees on their journey into teaching, particularly in maths and physics, so becoming a teacher may be easier than you think. 

If you want to train to teach in England, we’re here to help. Your first step should be completing our registration form so you can receive one-on-one support from our dedicated advisers. Once you’ve done that, start exploring the different teacher training routes available to get an idea of which one might suit you.


No matter where you’re from, you’ll need to meet some basic eligibility requirements in terms of qualifications.

If all or part of your qualifications are from outside the UK, you should contact the schools or universities you would like to train with. They will decide if your qualifications meet the minimum requirements. You may be asked to demonstrate that your overseas qualification is recognised through the UK National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC). We can help you with this. Contact us on 0800 389 2500 and we can provide you with:

  • guidance on your equivalent qualifications
  • a free UK NARIC statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application, if required by your provider (the statement usually costs £49.50 plus VAT)

You can also refer to providers or Student Finance England to check if you’re eligible for a bursary and student finance.

Immigration arrangements

If you’re from outside the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you may need to apply for a visa before starting your teacher training course. The type of visa will depend on whether you choose a salaried or non-salaried route. For example if you choose School Direct (salaried), where you are employed by the school, you may need to apply for a work visa (also known as a Tier 2 visa), rather than a general student (or Tier 4) visa. If you apply under Tier 4, you will need to be studying with a valid Tier 4 sponsor.

The graduate route will be launched in the summer of 2021 and will be available to international students who, at the time of application:

  • hold a valid Tier 4 visa
  • have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance

Successful applicants on this route will be able to stay and work in the UK at any skill level, including as a trainee teacher, for a maximum period of 2 years. Graduates will also be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job.

Citizens from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and their families may need to apply for visas depending on when they arrive in the UK.

For those of you arriving in the UK before 1 January 2021, there will be no change to the immigration arrangements or right to work. However you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you want to continue living in the UK, and must apply by 30 June 2021.

For those of you arriving after 31 December 2020, you will need to apply through the points-based immigration system that comes into effect from 1 January 2021.

Financial support

To provide certainty to prospective students, we have confirmed that nationals from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland starting courses in the academic year 2020 to 2021 or before can continue to receive financial support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course, providing they meet the eligibility requirements. These nationals will also continue to be eligible for a tax-free bursary or scholarship where applicable. For more information, visit Funding my training.

Qualified teachers

If you’re already a qualified teacher from overseas, please visit our Overseas qualified teachers page.