I am a fully certified American ESL teacher living in CZ. I came here in the fall of 2008 on a working visa through the school where I am currently employed.
The original plan was to get into the EU via this opportunity and then try to find work where I really want to be (Madrid, Spain) where I have friends and loved ones. My ESL college told me that I would have an easier time moving between countries once I got here, but I am finding that isn't the case. Between the economic crisis and the general difficulty in obtaining EU papers for an American national, it seems the doors to Western Europe are closed to me for the time being.
At the moment, I am wondering about a couple of things. First: my working visa expires on 30 June 2010 and while I could try to get an extension on the visa I have, I don't want to stay at the school where I am. The first issue I have is this: is 6/30 is the last day I have the right to be in the EU? I was thinking that maybe it might be the last day of the working visa and that the next day, 7/1 would be the first day of a tourist visa (wishful thinking?).
Second: I am seriously thinking about going to Madrid "sin papeles". I have read conflicting information on other websites about other ESL teachers doing the same thing -- everything from it's not that big a deal (esp. if you are an American or Aussie) to you'd better watch your back no matter who you are. Is there any information/advice anyone here can give me about taking such a route? I still have time to work this out and do have friends/loved ones who can help. But I also know what they can do for me is probably limited.
Thanks so much,