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 Exchange Teacher Certificate (described below),
issued by the OSPI Professional Certification Office. The state does not provide
funding to districts for hosting visiting teachers.
Nonimmigrant Exchange Teacher Certificate Information
One of the important ways that OSPI supports exchange and visiting teachers from these approved programs is by issuing them the Nonimmigrant
Exchange Teacher Certificate, 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
Exchange Teacher Certificate and file this document with the school district office prior to beginning their teaching assignment in a public K-12 school. The Nonimmigrant Exchange Teacher Certificate is valid for one year and may be renewed once. See
WAC 181-79A-270. (Visiting teachers in independent or private schools are not required to obtain the Nonimmigrant
Exchange Teacher Certificate.)
Steps to follow:
- The visiting teacher must print, fill out, and sign the
application form for Nonimmigrant Exchange Teacher Certificate, including Section A of the Notice of Exchange or Visiting Teacher form, and then forward the documents to the district office. (Use the
- 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
$39, 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 Exchange Teacher Certificate, which
the district can view online and download and print.
Additional Contact Information
- Fingerprinting: For specific information or questions related to fingerprinting, please contact the
Fingerprinting office and reference the
Nonimmigrant Exchange Teacher Certificate prior to addressing your question.
- Certification: For specific information or questions related to certification, please contact Certification and reference the
Nonimmigrant Exchange Teacher Certificate.