Ever since 2020, teachers have been flooding my inbox with questions about why their VIPKID application was rejected. And my first question for those aspiring VIPKID teachers is always: “Are you from California by chance?”
Unfortunately, policies have changed with the VIPKID platform that greatly affects teachers from California and several other states. Here’s what you need to know:
Is VIPKID Hiring In California?
The straight answer is no, VIPKID will not hire a teacher that submits an application that states they are from California.
VIPKID’s application process is set up on an automated system. This means that if you don’t meet one of the requirements, they will automatically deny your application.
This is what will happen to California teachers that try to apply to VIPKID. Your application will not even be looked at by VIPKID, they will simply reject it.
So why is this happening? Why can’t VIPKID hire teachers from California?
Back in 2020, California passed a new bill that has stirred up a lot of controversy. This bill is the reason why VIPKID will no longer hire teachers from California.
What Bill Affects California VIPKID Teachers?
The bill that California passed is called the AB5 Bill (California Assembly Bill 5). This bill affects independent contractors or “gig workers” as they like to state.
As VIPKID teachers, we are hired on as independent contractors, which means this law conflicts with working status as an online ESL teacher.
Therefore, as of 2020, they no longer hire teachers from California.
Is There Anyway Around This Law?
Many aspiring online ESL teachers ask if there is any way around this unfortunate law. And my answer is always.. possibly!
I’ve had the chance to speak to many applicants and I’ve heard many different scenarios; here’s what I’ve found:
✅ If you live in California but you plan on moving to a different state, you should reapply using your new address or a family member’s address until you can finalize your own.
✅ If you live abroad but your United States address is in California, reapply using your address from abroad.
✅. If you don’t have a current job in California and you don’t plan on getting another job in California, you might be able to use a domicile address and file taxes in another state**.
** I am not a tax professional and I don’t know if this is something that is 100% legal. I do know that full-time RVers use domicile addresses all the time so they can pay taxes in states with no income tax.
Be SURE to speak to a tax professional about the legalities of this. You can reach my tax professional here: Momen Tax Services. She is also a part-time VIPKID teacher so she is very familiar with the independent contractor laws. Be sure to tell her Laura Peters sent you!
Other Online ESL Companies That Hire Teachers From California
Below are a list of possible online ESL companies that hire teachers from California. Keep in mind, rules for each company change quickly, so I cannot guarantee anything.
However, they are great places to start:
I recommend applying for the Palfish Official Kids Course rather than the Free Talk lessons. They are much more professional and you’ll make more money.
For more information about Palfish, you can read our review here: A Palfish Review From A Veteran Teacher.
This is an online ESL company based in Poland. Keep in mind, you will make significantly less with this company than other companies.
Cambly is another company that will pay you significantly less than expected. I haven’t heard the best things about this company, but do your own research before throwing in the towel.
I know a few teachers that have taught with 51Talk and they have enjoyed it. It seems like a good option for California teachers that cannot teach for VIPKID.
This company is quite a mystery to me. I don’t know much about this company, but you can find out more by visiting their website. They have a very thorough FAQs section.
Does This Affect Current VIPKID Teachers From California?
As of now, VIPKID has continued to renew contracts with current California teachers. They have previously stated that the new laws set in place by the state of California will not affect them.
I don’t know the specifics or how this works, but I do know that my California friends are having their contracts renewed, even in 2021.
Are Any Other States Affected By This?
In addition to California, two more states have followed suit with similar laws.
As of 2021, VIPKID will no longer hire teachers from Washington State and New York. If you are from either of these states, you can expect your application to be automatically denied during the first step of the hiring process.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Fight This Unfortunate Law?
Yes! If you are a current California, Washington, or New York resident, I highly recommend calling your senators or representatives to voice you opinion.
These politicians work for us, so if you are unsatisfied with the laws being passed, let them know.
The easiest way to get in contact with the Congressmen from your state is to call the US Capitol operator and have them transfer you over to the senator of your choice. You can call this number to get in contact with the US Capitol operator: (202) 224-3121.
Is There Still A VIPKID San Francisco Office?
Now you might be wondering.. “If Californians can’t work for VIPKID anymore, do they still have an office in San Francisco?”
Yes, they still have a U.S. based office in San Francisco. I don’t know the details about how they are able to have an office in California or if it is even affected by the AB5 law, but the short answer is yes.
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID And California Teachers
As of 2020, VIPKID can no longer hire teachers from California and as of 2021, they cannot hire teachers from Washington State or New York due to state laws restricting independent contractors.
I hope this has helped clear up your questions regarding employment or rejection from VIPKID.
Applying For VIPKID?
If you have found a way around the AB5 law and you’d like to apply for VIPKID, I highly recommend having a referring teacher help you through the process since it can be very daunting and confusing.
Feel free to use my link here: Teach VIPKID or enter my referral code LAURA0279. If you do use my referral link, be sure to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can get in touch with you and send over my hiring process guides!
Want More On VIPKID?
And if you are applying, be sure to grab my free guide where I show you exactly how to become a highly demanded teacher with the platform.
All I need is your name and email address and I’ll send the guide directly to your inbox!