What Countries Do Not Allow Homeschooling: Places You Should Avoid

What Countries Do Not Allow Homeschooling

Homeschooling is legal in all fifty states of the USA, but families who travel may find that not every country is so friendly to their home learners. Before you leave the US, you need to know what countries do not allow homeschooling. Some places have minimal options, where it is near-impossible to get permission. Meanwhile, in other places, it’s simply not allowed at all. Before making an extended visit or relocating completely as a homeschool family, you need to know if your child must attend public school. To avoid problems with the government and your kid’s school records, it is vital to check the local laws anywhere you go. Even within the US, there are differences in how you need to go about registering a homeschooler, so it’s no surprise that you’ll run into new requirements in other parts of the world. I’ll walk you through a whole list of places where the standards are very different, so you know in advance. 

What countries do not allow homeschooling? There are dozens of countries that do not allow homeschooling, such as Germany and Sweden. However, it is also notable that most countries have a different and more stringent oversight process for homeschooling families. Even in those places That allow the practice, you will find that the requirements are typically more significant than in the USA. 

Where Is It Illegal to Homeschool

The following list of countries do not allow homeschooling at all. Under their laws, schooling appears mandatory, and it is absolutely required to be public or private institutional school. Unless otherwise noted, your children must attend a local institution for learning. 

Planning a short vacation in these countries is likely not a problem. However, you need to contact your embassy in the area to get information on how long you can stay without enrolling your homeschoolers in the local school district. You can find all the embassies by clicking here


You Cannot Homeschool Here

Any country with the note “Institutional Education Mandatory” had laws in 2018-2019 forbidding homeschool or otherwise indicating that public school registration would be enforced. Due to the rapid changes this year, some information could be out of date. 

  • Albania- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Andorra- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Armenia- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Belarus- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Brazil- There is a push to legalize homeschool here, but it is not yet legal. 
  • Bulgaria- Special needs children, might be permitted to homeschool under strict oversight. 
  • Costa Rica-  Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Croatia- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Cuba- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Cyprus- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Egypt- Registering for school is required by law, but international correspondence schools are allowed.
  • Georgia- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Germany- Not only is traditional school mandatory, but Germany is also well known for persecuting families that attempt to subvert this law. Technically this country has ‘approved’ private education and allows families with undue hardship in reaching schools to home educate, but it’s likely to be a constant struggle.
  • Greece- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Greenland- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Guatemala- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Kazakstan- Door to door checks are performed. However, non-residents may homeschool their children. 
  • Latvia- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Lichtenstein- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Malta- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Montejo- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Montenegro- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Republic of Macedonia- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • North Macedonia- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • San Marino- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Serbia- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • Sierra Leone- Institutional Education Mandatory
  • South Korea- Technically it is illegal to homeschool. Fortunately, this is not generally enforced under murky laws.
  • Sweden- Illegal, but theoretically allowed in special circumstances, with permissions. However, these permissions are not generally granted, even with a wealth of proper documentation. 
  • Turkey- Institutional Education Mandatory

According to NationMaster, the laws for many of these countries clearly and explicitly forbid any home education. However, as laws are subject to change, you should inquire before moving to any of these areas. Likewise, it’s probably best if you register your children in the schools of particularly restrictive nations before arriving to avoid any problems. 

Countries That Allow Homeschool Under Special Circumstances

There are a few countries in the world that allow homeschooling only with special permission. The following list of countries will permit homeschool families in some cases. Please keep in mind that you must follow the regulations, or you will be in violation of the law by choosing to homeschool in these places.

Some of these countries require specific teaching degrees, while others have heavy oversight and testing. Some areas are working on homeschool legalization or testing its effectiveness actively. There are even a couple of places that formally denounce homeschool but allow it to go on without interference anyhow.


Countries Where Limited Homeschool is Allowed

  • Austria- Though homeschool is permitted in Austria, you will need to prove that your home teaching standards are at least equal to the national educational standards. 
  • Belgium- Homeschool is a right here, but there are many restrictions in place. 
  • Belize- only Expats have the right to homeschool. 
  • Canada- Homeschooling is legal but well- regulated in Canada. Depending on the territory, you either have to apply for a permit, or there is regulatory oversight, and you must inquire about that particular area individually. 
  • Chile- You must register with the Ministerio de Educación before beginning homeschool for permission.
  • Columbia- This country allows homeschooling as regulated by the Ministry of Education and the ICFES (Colombian Institute for the Promotion of Higher Education). A  Public Validation Test and a State Test are required for those who wish to enter university. 
  • The Czech Republic- The current laws are considered temporary, and children aged five to twelve are allowed to homeschool under restricted conditions. This is subject to change. 
  • Denmark- Oversight from accredited schools and annual inspections are mandatory for all students. 
  • Finland- Progress examinations are mandatory, but homeschooling is allowed as an alternative to public school. 
  • France- France allows homeschool with annual inspections.
  • Hungary- Homeschooled children, are subject to oversight by a local school and get their diplomas from that school. 
  • Iceland- In Iceland, homeschool is only legal if the parent or guardian has a teaching certificate.
  • Israel- You need special permission from the Ministry of Education, and there is extensive paperwork, among other requirements. 
  • Italy- Parents must prove both fiscal capability and technical competence to get permission. 
  • Japan- Technically homeschool is illegal, but it is often overlooked and permitted anyhow.
  • Kenya- Maybe. Currently, it is under debate, but tentatively you are allowed to homeschool. 
  • The Netherlands- “Some Exceptions” may be allowed, but the specifics are unclear in this country. I recommend treating it as a country that doesn’t allow homeschooling unless you are certain you have all the valid legal permission necessary. 
  • Peru- You must register with the Ministerio de Educación before beginning homeschool for permission. 
  • The People’s Republic of China- For citizens, special approval is required. However, it is legal to homeschool if you are foreign. 
  • Poland- Similar to Hungary, children here are homeschooled with supervision from an overseeing public school. Annual exams are mandatory. 
  • Portugal- Homeschool allowed under the national curriculum only with mandatory exams in Portuguese. 
  • Romania- Children with special needs or special circumstances, may be homeschooled under the supervision of an accredited teacher. 
  • Russia- Technically homeschooling has been legal since 1992, but the laws are often ignored, and it may be treated as illegal with little recourse for the family. 
  • Slovakia- Homeschool is only legal for children who are ill or those between the ages of six and ten. 
  • Spain- Laws here are unclear and contradictory. Freedom of education is part of the constitution, but national educational law states that children must attend a school. I recommend contacting an embassy for details if you plan to homeschool here. 
  • Switzerland- Homeschool is semi-legal in Switzerland. Some areas allow it; others do not. However, oversight ranges from restrictive to excessive. 
  • Thailand- Homeschool here is excessively regulated but allowed, and the standards are getting better. 
  • Ukraine- You can homeschool under burdensome oversight and regulation. 

If you are willing to jump through a few hoops and subject your curriculum to strict oversight, many options open up for homeschool. More places welcome home education than refuse it. Of the hundred and ninety-six countries (Including Taiwan) in the world today, a large and growing number allow homeschooling. 


Unusual Cases

There are a couple of notably unique cases where homeschool is concerned. Mexico allows homeschool, but the laws are unclear. Issues like mandatory attendance are uncertain at best. School may be optional in this country, but I strongly suggest inquiring at the embassy instead of guessing and hoping you’re correct. Similarly, homeschool laws for Panama are very unclear. 

The Holy See (Vatican) has no laws on school at all. However, there are no children in residence in this tiny nation. Other countries lack any formal requirements for school at all. I have not listed the countries that allow easy homeschooling or have no formal educational standards to avoid confusion. When in doubt, always ask the embassy about the local standards where you plan to live or travel. 


Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, homeschooling is a privilege and not a right in any country. If you live somewhere like Alaska, then you’re probably used to a lot of freedom in your curriculum, and homeschool is simple. Going from there to a place where home learning is either not allowed or actively persecuted is shocking, to say the least. 

For families who worry about the quality of education, there is some relief. Depending on where you move, many countries have a substantially better education system than the USA. Sadly, the converse is also true. Places like sub-Saharan Africa have far less access to schools or oversight of any kind, and most children do with less than four years of school, while some get none at all. 

Americans enjoy a state of grace where home education is a parent’s right if they choose, but you cannot assume the same will be true where the laws are different. Always do your research before relocating with your homeschool children. 

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