Exchange and Visiting Teacher Programs
OSPI partners with the Spanish Center at OSPI and the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington to support visiting teachers from Spain and China to teach in K-12 public and private schools in the state. All visiting teachers through these programs receive J-1 visa support services through the Institute of International Education (IIE) and qualify for the Nonimmigrant Permit to Teach, issued by the OSPI Professional Certification Office. The state does not provide funding to districts for hosting visiting teachers, but OSPI does provide professional development support to teachers and districts that host them.
OSPI supports two programs for visiting teachers from China.
The Chinese Guest Teacher and Trainee Program, sponsored by the College Board, is designed to help US schools develop Chinese language and culture study programs and to promote international exchange between the United States and China. Learn more at
Begining in 2013, the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington is expecting to place some visiting teachers from China in schools that have established a sister school relationship with a school in China, such as being designated a Confucius Classroom. In this program, the district will be responsible for the teacher selection process, but with support from the Confucius Institute. For more information about this new program, contact Tang Changping (Donna), Confucius Institute Chinese Director, at
- Kingdom of Spain
OSPI works in collaboration with the Kingdom of Spain, through its designated
representatives of the Office of Education of the Embassy of Spain, for the
purpose of placing visiting teachers from Spain in Washington schools. For more
information, please download the brochure, visit our Spanish page, or contact
OSPI also supports exchange or visiting teachers through these programs by
providing the Nonimmigrant Permit to Teach:
We regret that OSPI is not in a position to support other exchange and
visiting teacher programs at this time or provide visa support for individual
teachers interested in teaching in Washington State.
For more information, view the
federal regulation which governs teacher exchange or contact the OSPI International Education Program Supervisor, Michele Anciaux Aoki,
Nonimmigrant Permit to Teach Information
One of the important ways that OSPI supports exchange and visiting teachers from these approved programs is by issuing them the Nonimmigrant Permit to Teach, which qualifies them to teach in K-12 public schools in the state. It is imperative that all exchange or visiting teachers in the state of Washington receive the Nonimmigrant Permit to Teach and file this permit with the school district office prior to beginning their teaching assignment in a public K-12 school. (Visiting teachers in independent or private schools are not required to obtain the Nonimmigrant Permit to Teach.)
Steps to follow:
- The visiting teacher must print, fill out, and sign the application form for Nonimmigrant Permit to Teach, including Section A of the Notice of Exchange or Visiting Teacher form, and then forward the documents to the district office. (Use the
- Next, the district must review the application and
complete and sign Section B of the Notice of Exchange or
Visiting teacher form.
- The district must ensure the applicant has been properly
that the date when the Fingerprint cards were sent is noted on the
- The district must then send the application packet, including payment of
$33, directly to OSPI’s Professional Certification office for processing.
requirements document for guidance and address information.)
OSPI Professional Certification Office
- Once the application has been received and reviewed and
the fingerprints have been accepted, OSPI’s Professional
Certification office will issue the Nonimmigrant Permit to
Teach and mail or e-mail it directly to the district office.
- The visiting teacher may begin serving as the “teacher of record”
once the district receives the Nonimmigrant Permit to Teach.
- The Nonimmigrant Permit to Teach must be renewed annually.
- Please allow a minimum of 4 weeks to process the
Nonimmigrant Permit to Teach applications.
Additional Contact Information
- Fingerprinting: For specific information or questions related to fingerprinting, please contact the
Fingerprinting office and reference the Nonimmigrant Permit to Teach prior to addressing your question.
- Certification: For specific information or questions related to certification, please contact the
Certification office and reference the Nonimmigrant Permit to Teach prior to addressing your question.