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Visas in Ecuador..LONG, warning!
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 898

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:39 am    Post subject: Re: I am snarky here, deal with it :).. Reply with quote

lagringalindissima wrote:
Final comment.. working for a "stipend" so that "you don't have to file taxes" isn't legal in Ecuador. And I am done commenting on this thread now, I promise Smile!!


Yes it is, they relaxed the laws on it a few years ago. At least that's what I've been told twice by Ecuadorian immigration, and once by a foreign consulate.

If anyone else has concerns about the issue, I'd recommend they speak to immigration about it themselves.
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lagringalindissima



Joined: 20 Jun 2014
Posts: 58
Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:58 am    Post subject: Reality check.. Reply with quote

One thing I liked about Ecuador is they ARE doing some sane things with taxes, such as taxing rural farms so the government can get tax revenue. The definition of working legally is "having the legal right to work and filing taxes as the law requires". Ecuador would not just decide that as English teachers who are native speakers we are so important that we can work and not pay taxes (as an incentive to get us there). Do teachers work illegally on visas that aren't for work? YES!! Is it true that in reality the government tolerates that? YES!! Do people do that not because "I don't like giving MY MONEY to the government in taxes" but because we can't get work visas legally? YES!! Is it true that if the government really cared about us paying taxes they'd set up a visa for teachers? Probably yes! But is it actually legal to work and not pay taxes? I'm not a legal expert, but I doubt it very much. Proof to my point? Why do I have to have proof of what the government calls "funds to support yourself in Ecuador" to get the visa if I can be paid a living wage while living there?

The "volunteer on a stipend" vs. "employee getting a wage" difference is real! On I Love Lucy they said Lucy was "going to have a baby" because the word "pregnant" was banned from T, but we all know they were 100% the same. But a volunteer isn't expecting to make money; they can get a stipend, but that's just to defray the cost of volunteering. Thus a volunteer getting money and being paid a salary aren't actually legally not the same thing.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 898

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This doesn't add up. Nobody could have lived/worked in Ecuador for any reasonable period and be this ignorant about the most basic paperwork. So either you are just trolling, and fair play to you, I totally fell for it, or you are playing dumb for your own reasons.

However, should anyone else happen across this thread in the future who hasn't yet been to Ecuador, I will try to explain.

If you are paid by factura you have to submit a tax return every month (or for some people every 6 months, depending on which stream you are randomly allocated to by SRI). If you don't, you get fined $30. You still get taxed, you just have to do the monthly paperwork as well.

If you don't have to use facturas, tax is deducted at source and there is no requirement to make monthly declarations.

It's still possible to be paid by factura on a cultural exchange visa, but it's not essential. It's also possible to paid a stipend, which is treated the same as a salaried payment by SRI, and so doesn't require facturas. If you are on a work visa, you have to be paid by factura. You cannot be issued a salaried contract on either visa since the system changed.

This is a simplification, but the point is, filing or not filing is about HOW you pay tax, and not about IF you pay tax.

The volunteer and cultural exchange visas are entirely different animals. Don't confuse the regulations of one with the other. Yes, when the visa rules changed the government could have created a new visa just for language teachers, but they didn't. They chose to relax the rules on an existing visa type and use that instead. Their immigration system, their choice.
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lagringalindissima



Joined: 20 Jun 2014
Posts: 58
Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:34 am    Post subject: hi Reply with quote

I just want to make sure I am clear on a point here. Call me a liar if you want to, but about 7 months ago I was offered a job in Ecuador where I worked full time and in exchange got a guaranteed salary; they told me how many hours I'd work, what the hours were and my hourly wage; we also agreed I would stay for one year. Heck, they were even nice enough to outline a few extras, like that we could do some weekend tutoring for extra cash and I was permitted to work at other schools during the day (we worked evenings). This all seemed like what you'd expect when you got hired--anywhere-- and the school employed about 25 locals plus a few foreigners who (as far as I know anyway) all had basically the same contract I did. But now that contract is illegal, right? If this is true even for actual work visas, then even scientists who get work visas to come study the biodiversity there can't have legal contracts. Is that accurate? If you can't have a work contract, then how exactly is that working legally? Or is it that you can have a work contract, but it must be strictly "5 dollars per hour"..no salaried employees allowed?
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a variety of different visas available which allow you to work legally. The precise details of the contract will vary by any number of things.

Either you still have absolutely no understanding of this, or you are still playing dumb to troll a response. Either way I am tired of this game.

If anyone else has genuine questions about visas in Ecuador, or needs help navigating the process, please feel free to start a new thread on it.
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lagringalindissima



Joined: 20 Jun 2014
Posts: 58
Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:05 pm    Post subject: new visa laws Reply with quote

eduador.org/nuevosite/Visa_12_VIIIe.php
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lagringalindissima



Joined: 20 Jun 2014
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Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:59 pm    Post subject: A bit off topic..the Awesome series Reply with quote

I am just curious if anyone out there uses this series. (I think it may be out of print now.) What got me curious is that I saw a clip from one of the writers of Awesome (Paul Seligson) and he really pushed the idea that in beginner monolingual classes the teachers need to use the student's native language; in fact he said the ESL world needs to understand that translation is key to helping beginners learn. He also stressed that beginners can't "think in English" very easily-- and furthermore that asking them to (in low level classes) makes the class torture. So that's his view..but in practice those who use this series feel differently. A textbook publisher for Awesome flat out told my school principal that I shouldn't have even been hired because I was/am already bilingual.

I found the book hard to use for complete beginners (book 1), harder to use for high intermediate students (I used a book that is in the same series but higher than the Awesome books..I think it was called Expressions, but I forget) and almost impossible to use for high beginners (level 4). I ended up "cheating" hugely with the books.. I'd take a theme that was in the content of the book but ignore the actual content of the book but make my own units; the bulk of what my students actually learned was not in the book. My intermediate class was high school seniors and--yes, do be forewarned this is normal if you teach in south America Smile-- my students were constantly doing extra curricular activities (community clean up day, senior summits where they skipped all classes on a Friday to attend a conference on values, etc.) so we discussed and wrote about all of their fun Smile. I am just curious as to how others use the book and if others think it's well written. (A teacher who replaced me told me she had used and loved this book and my students loved me but loved her, too.. so some teachers apparently do use the book's content successfully.)
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lagringalindissima



Joined: 20 Jun 2014
Posts: 58
Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:48 am    Post subject: Just an idea I am throwing out here :).. Reply with quote

Teaching English in another country IS in fact a good way to learn a new language.

1) If you live an a foreign county, you will pick up a lot of the language. This might not be true if you are a single female living in the Middle East-- or if you teach graduate level classes for people who are already English teachers in Japan-- but it is true in Latin America. Yes your job will likely have you working with either native English speakers or English teachers who are fluent and prefer to use English with you, and yes people who work in places like restaurants can usually help you in English.. but you'll need Spanish, too! It is hard to get out of English speaking mode, especially if you aren't already at a decently high level. But if you do, you'll learn a lot--and you'll find that your quality of life is greatly enhanced, too.
Once you know enough that you can understand people and vice versa is does get a lot easier.

2 Hispanics greatly appreciate it if you can use Spanish to help them learn English. If you can understand questions in Spanish and use Spanish to explain things--even if you can't do that very well when you start-- students will react well..AND you can improve your Spanish..in an English class. Imagine that Smile. Do schools say "English only"?. Yes. Does that mean you will really be punished for using it? Of course that does depend on the school where you teach, but generally not.

I know the drill well Smile: American run schools or other schools that adopt an "American" philosophy INSIST that students learn best when they hear only the target language-- and that if you have the nerve to tell a student who asks how to say travel that it's "viajar" you will decrease the learning that goes on in your classroom. Really? How many of us walked into day one of school Spanish I and heard "Buenos dias! Me llamo Senorita Sanchez. Primero quiero darlos las reglas de mi clase.. miren el papel? Aqui esta en espanol y por aca esta en ingles.. pueden leerlo en ingles o espanol como quieran, pero solo voy a hablar en espanol.. mas tarde voy a introducirme mas y Uds. me van a hablar, vale?".

I am not saying "get on a plane NOW.." Smile or that teaching is the only way to learn Spanish. In fact if you know very little I'd suggest learning more either prior to traveling or via studying Spanish in Latin America. You also need to consider safety (i.e. Honduras isn't a good bet right now!), the visa situation, and if you are comfortable living in a very different culture. Plus let's be real.. you will almost certainty spend more than you make in Latin America, even if you live frugally. But if you want to learn Spanish, don't over look the fact that working in Latin America can be a vital way to meet that goal.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
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Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe if the USA did do immersion you'd get students who could actually speak the language. The same can be said for students in other countries. And living abroad doesn't necessarily mean you will learn a lot of the local language.

I can tell you I never, ever used Spanish in my English classes in Peru. Ever! I had students drop their jaws when they saw me speaking Spanish at their graduation. Writing on the board in Spanish I did once or twice but never speak.

And for immersion in Spanish I never got that in MS or HS but it was certainly that way at uni. Level one or not. No English was spoken. My high school teacher always threatened to speak only in Spanish. He never did even though he was a native speaker. I wish he had

And you're not definitely going to spend more than you make. We were able to buy an apartment outright with cash as well as two SUVs.

Different people, different things.
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lagringalindissima



Joined: 20 Jun 2014
Posts: 58
Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:53 am    Post subject: Please don't "just get on a plane" Reply with quote

I have read that the best way to get a job in Latin America is to "be here and knock on doors"..but that is a bad idea (unless, of course you have a specific reason for coming..i.e. your boyfriend lives in Lima).

Reality check for salaries:
If you don't have a masters and experience, a standard salary in Ecuador and Peru is about 400-450 a month; other places (Chile, Costa Rica, etc.) will pay somewhat more, but the cost of living is higher too. If you come without a job and have to pay living expenses until your first paycheck, you are 100% guaranteed to lose money--and a lot of it. Even with a masters and experience, salaries are very low. I have both and I'm bilingual. I got 600 a month at a job because I worked overtime (and it was luck that a teacher quit and I could fit one of her classes into my schedule); another job offered me 600 but said "we have never paid anyone that much".

"But the cost of living is very low..":
Yes, but staying in a hotel for multiple days, taking taxis to language schools (and to rooms you could rent and to the grocery store) and finding places to eat will still add up--and you won't make back anywhere near enough to break even when you figure in the cost of airfare and your visa.

"But there are jobs everywhere..it's just that they don't advertise abroad or hire from abroad..":
1) Yes there are many language schools, but not all will need staff when you approach them. Also keep in mind some schools might not be viable job options! Would you want to work at a school that's a 45 minute bus ride from where you are staying and needs you 7-10 am and 5-10 pm daily? What if a job wants to send you to families t tutor kids "anywhere in the city" and works by posting jobs and having you come in/call in daily to get the jobs?

2) Honest schools say "we are fully staffed now..you can try back in a month.." if that's the truth. But the fact is that many schools do lie about everything-- and this is triply true if a native speaker shows up and asks for work. Schools will tell you they need a full time teacher if all they need is an on call sub; they'll "hire you" but not call you back after one shift. They'll assure you they can get you a visa even if they don't know the process--or even if they can legally get visas-- and they might not pay you. Yes.. all of this can happen even if you accept a job from your country, too. But the odds of being mistreated are greater if you just approach any school in the area (and if you accept a job without researching it).

Latin America is very dangerous right now. Arriving in a city you don't know (with valuables) and trying to find a safe place to live is not a good idea. You will also have a very hard time getting around and finding schools if you don't know Spanish.

Other issues with working in Latin America:
1) In smaller "mom and pop" schools, you are usually paid by the hour; if students don't come you don't get paid--in some schools that's the rule even if you were there waiting for the students. If enrollment is low hours might be low. Remember: if you as a native speaker approached them, they might have put you on payroll even if they didn't need a teacher!

2) English levels are very low..the few people who speak English well (but still want classes) are usually wealthier than the average citizens; they will go to the best language schools. If you come with no job, the odds of getting into a top tier school are pretty low. It is very hard to teach there without knowing Spanish. If you do know Spanish it can be even harder! Schools tell you not to use it but students beg for it--and if you are teaching kids or teenagers classroom management is almost impossible without using it.

3) Split shifts often mean you have to work at 7 am and do not home until 11 pm.. and in many places it's unsafe to be out alone when it's dark; you'll be dressed either in a school uniform or formally and carrying class materials, too.

4) It is just generally a very unprofessional work environment. Most language schools hire recent college graduates who have no job experience. I worked at a job where I had no textbooks of my own and I never knew what classes I had until 5 minutes before class; I often had to start class with no materials. Another job assigned students to classes as they came in; they told the students the classes "will be with students of your level" but that was a lie. Everyone had their own plan and I had to go from student to student and help them; levels ranged from total beginner to almost native fluent.
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lagringalindissima



Joined: 20 Jun 2014
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Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:54 am    Post subject: Please don't "just get on a plane" Reply with quote

I have read that the best way to get a job in Latin America is to "be here and knock on doors"..but that is a bad idea (unless, of course you have a specific reason for coming..i.e. your boyfriend lives in Lima).

Reality check for salaries:
If you don't have a masters and experience, a standard salary in Ecuador and Peru is about 400-450 a month; other places (Chile, Costa Rica, etc.) will pay somewhat more, but the cost of living is higher too. If you come without a job and have to pay living expenses until your first paycheck, you are 100% guaranteed to lose money--and a lot of it. Even with a masters and experience, salaries are very low. I have both and I'm bilingual. I got 600 a month at a job because I worked overtime (and it was luck that a teacher quit and I could fit one of her classes into my schedule); another job offered me 600 but said "we have never paid anyone that much".

"But the cost of living is very low..":
Yes, but staying in a hotel for multiple days, taking taxis to language schools (and to rooms you could rent and to the grocery store) and finding places to eat will still add up--and you won't make back anywhere near enough to break even when you figure in the cost of airfare and your visa.

"But there are jobs everywhere..it's just that they don't advertise abroad or hire from abroad..":
1) Yes there are many language schools, but not all will need staff when you approach them. Also keep in mind some schools might not be viable job options! Would you want to work at a school that's a 45 minute bus ride from where you are staying and needs you 7-10 am and 5-10 pm daily? What if a job wants to send you to families t tutor kids "anywhere in the city" and works by posting jobs and having you come in/call in daily to get the jobs?

2) Honest schools say "we are fully staffed now..you can try back in a month.." if that's the truth. But the fact is that many schools do lie about everything-- and this is triply true if a native speaker shows up and asks for work. Schools will tell you they need a full time teacher if all they need is an on call sub; they'll "hire you" but not call you back after one shift. They'll assure you they can get you a visa even if they don't know the process--or even if they can legally get visas-- and they might not pay you. Yes.. all of this can happen even if you accept a job from your country, too. But the odds of being mistreated are greater if you just approach any school in the area (and if you accept a job without researching it).

Latin America is very dangerous right now. Arriving in a city you don't know (with valuables) and trying to find a safe place to live is not a good idea. You will also have a very hard time getting around and finding schools if you don't know Spanish.

Other issues with working in Latin America:
1) In smaller "mom and pop" schools, you are usually paid by the hour; if students don't come you don't get paid--in some schools that's the rule even if you were there waiting for the students. If enrollment is low hours might be low. Remember: if you as a native speaker approached them, they might have put you on payroll even if they didn't need a teacher!

2) English levels are very low..the few people who speak English well (but still want classes) are usually wealthier than the average citizens; they will go to the best language schools. If you come with no job, the odds of getting into a top tier school are pretty low. It is very hard to teach there without knowing Spanish. If you do know Spanish it can be even harder! Schools tell you not to use it but students beg for it--and if you are teaching kids or teenagers classroom management is almost impossible without using it.

3) Split shifts often mean you have to work at 7 am and do not home until 11 pm.. and in many places it's unsafe to be out alone when it's dark; you'll be dressed either in a school uniform or formally and carrying class materials, too.

4) It is just generally a very unprofessional work environment. Most language schools hire recent college graduates who have no job experience. I worked at a job where I had no textbooks of my own and I never knew what classes I had until 5 minutes before class; I often had to start class with no materials. Another job assigned students to classes as they came in; they told the students the classes "will be with students of your level" but that was a lie. Everyone had their own plan and I had to go from student to student and help them; levels ranged from total beginner to almost native fluent.
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lagringalindissima



Joined: 20 Jun 2014
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Location: Tucson, Arizona

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:59 am    Post subject: What to do instead.. Reply with quote

If you want to come to travel and learn Spanish--and you have some money-- you can:
a) enroll in Spanish classes
b) do a volunteer program

By doing that you'll get a proper/legal visa, you'll know where you are staying when you arrive-- and your living arrangements should be safe-- and you can meet people more easily. A volunteer job not a resume gap and you can help people..and many do cover room and board; some offer a small stipend, too.
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lagringalindissima



Joined: 20 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:07 am    Post subject: Sorry..I mis posted Reply with quote

I meant to start a new thread.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 898

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Please don't "just get on a plane" Reply with quote

Why do you persist in posting incorrect information on things you have virtually no experience of? As usual, this is mostly nonsense. I don't have the time or the inclination to go over it all again, so here are the selected highlights.


lagringalindissima wrote:

Reality check for salaries:
If you don't have a masters and experience, a standard salary in Ecuador and Peru is about 400-450 a month


No. The legal minimum wage in Ecuador is $340/m. A fresh-off-the-boat newbie should easily be able to earn twice that. Of course, that assumes they are approaching things sensibly and heading to the places where there is work, not little backwater towns with few options, or super touristy areas that are already awash with foreigners. The figures posted for universities are equally ridiculous.

lagringalindissima wrote:

1) Yes there are many language schools, but not all will need staff when you approach them. Also keep in mind some schools might not be viable job options! Would you want to work at a school that's a 45 minute bus ride from where you are staying and needs you 7-10 am and 5-10 pm daily?


I'll include this to keep this balanced because there is at least some truth in it. Split shifts are the norm in language schools in most countries. If that's going to be a problem for you, upgrade your qualifications and skills so you can find something better.

lagringalindissima wrote:

Latin America is very dangerous right now. Arriving in a city you don't know (with valuables) and trying to find a safe place to live is not a good idea. You will also have a very hard time getting around and finding schools if you don't know Spanish.


The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Obviously it depends exactly where you are, but personally I don't find most of South America more dangerous than big cities in most countries. Although there is a higher risk of petty crime (pick-pocketing, etc).

Speaking Spanish will certainly be a help, but it's perfectly possible to get by without it when you first arrive; many many people do.


lagringalindissima wrote:

English levels are very low..the few people who speak English well (but still want classes) are usually wealthier than the average citizens; they will go to the best language schools.

If you come with no job, the odds of getting into a top tier school are pretty low. It is very hard to teach there without knowing Spanish. If you do know Spanish it can be even harder! Schools tell you not to use it but students beg for it--and if you are teaching kids or teenagers classroom management is almost impossible without using it.


This is the wrong way around. It's not that only the best language schools get the higher levels, it's that only the very worst schools will employ teachers who can only get by teaching in Spanish. Those schools get the lowest level students, and charge the lowest fees. Therefore, they can't pay a decent wage, and they can't attract good students. That is reflected in the quality of the teachers they employ.

You only have to move a rung or two up the ladder and things improve considerably. Even a fresh-off-the-boat newbie can do better than that. But if their only 'teaching' skill is speaking Spanish, then yes, that probably is the best they can do. Even a low-end to mediocre school won't consider you if you have a reputation for using a lot of Spanish in class, so new arrivals should be careful that they don't ruin their reputation by going down that route.


Last edited by HLJHLJ on Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:45 am    Post subject: Re: Please don't "just get on a plane" Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
Why do you persist in posting incorrect information on things you have virtually no experience of? As usual, this is mostly nonsense.


While you do point out a handful of legitimate red flags that prospective job seekers should watch out for, Gringa, it sounds to me like you're overgeneralizing the situation in Latin America based on your very limited (and, apparently, not so positive) experience in Ecuador. I think there's a much broader range of opportunities (and outcomes) than what your post implies.
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