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Ecuador - Visa Changes
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just_a_mirage



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Posts: 169
Location: ecuador

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:23 pm    Post subject: Ecuador - Visa Changes Reply with quote

Please be aware that the government in Ecuador has changed laws regarding tourist visas in Ecuador. It used to be that you could enter the country on a 90 day tourist visa, and then request a 90 day extension or prerroga. However, migration will no longer grant the extensions, unless you are Columbian, Venezuelen or (I think) Spanish. Border runs are not allowed, so if you go to Peru or Columbia, if your original visa is expired, you canīt get back in. There are a few ways that you can pay for an extension, but this is very expensive, and in some cases you have to get a lawyer. Because of the new constitution in the country, quite a few immigration laws have changed.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9606
Location: Guadalajara

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's going wreak havoc on casual EFL teaching in Ecuador.
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ajarnlilly



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Managua Nicaragua

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:36 am    Post subject: Casual and long term in Ecuador Reply with quote

Yes, it already has. It will also put a chill on long term teaching there, as the law says you must have your work or cultural exchange visa before you arrive and you cannot change a tourist visa to any other kind. If you get the expensive new visa, it may be for as little as 30 days, and the law says any change of visa from this one must be initiated at least 30 days before the current visa expires. Catch-22 all around.

Do be warned that the Universidad Tecnica del Norte in Ibarra is telling native speakers they will be provided with the docs for getting a work visa, then giving them the run around and not providing the legal docs needed. The director is also telling people he will sign a "waiver" that will allow them to work on a tourist visa while the "work visa" is being processed. No such "waiver" exists. People are working under these misrepresentations and not getting paid, nor are they getting the necessary docs. And they are risking being caught for working illegally and being deported. Of course, they have no legal recourse for getting the promised wages under these circumstances, either.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like that university is trying to get people to teach for free.
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john_n_carolina



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 700
Location: n. carolina

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...i should've warned you Ajarn, about UTN. it was closed for 6 months while i was there.

the students actually overtook the university and occupied it for 2 weeks until the police were able to get in. shots were fired, and they had weapons.

every day, i used to ride my bike out to the lake and run 10k at around 1PM. i had to go directly through the path of them burning their tires in the front.

and they never bothered me once Smile they knew i was at P.U.C.E, as i knew some of their girls out there burning tires.

P.U.C.E was good to me. lots of fond memories; but their class sizes were too big, sometimes 30 students.
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ajarnlilly



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Managua Nicaragua

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: UTN Reply with quote

Yeah, it would have been nice to know, for me and a whole lot of others.

And when was this, john? What were the students upset about?

And who was director of the language center then, if you know? It is now Ruben Congo.The Rector is one Dr. Posso. These are the two that are batting the requests for work docs back and forth like tennis balls.

Is PUCE La Catolica? Or?
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john_n_carolina



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 700
Location: n. carolina

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:12 am    Post subject: Re: UTN Reply with quote

ajarnlilly wrote:
Yeah, it would have been nice to know, for me and a whole lot of others.

And when was this, john? What were the students upset about?

Is PUCE La Catolica? Or?


...Ajarn, this was in 2001. if i remember, first the professors walked out for poor salaries. then, when there were no classes for months, the students overtook the university which was a pretty dramatic event.

i never met the director at UTN. mine at P.U.C.E was very nice, respectful, and let me kind of design my own classes. i decided to teach a class on World Religions there. Also, i taught Windows/Java in 100% English, using English books. after that, i primarily worked with the upper maestria students doing post-bac linguistics. yes, P.U.C.E. is La Catolica

i miss Ibarra quite a bit, but one has to come to a realization that it's almost unlivable. between crime and low salaries, it's not worth it. several great bars there and cheap places to eat lunch.

this visa change in Ecuador is interesting...i might have to look into some options of maybe returning. it'll be a bit harder now that i have a 2 year old and another on the way Smile
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Justin Trullinger



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Posts: 3110
Location: Seoul, South Korea and Myanmar for a bit

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Augh.

Yeah- It was always a grey area about upgrading a tourist visa, but it used to happen. (Opinions varied about legality, but it happened with regularity and relative ease.)

There are reasons, I suppose, for the new requirements, as previously a lot of completely illegal stuff was going on with impunity. Now, though, doing it legally has gotten so much harder.

I want to say, though- it's a two edged sword. THe visa situation of outward bound Ecuadorians has worsened recently as well, and many of them are saying that the difficulties that foreigners are having in Ecuador are only fair, given the difficulties Ecuadorians have in going to other countries. I've seen plenty in my place of work that makes this an understandable point of view.

Wow- Lily; Really sorry to hear about the runaround you got. Keep telling the tale, and save others.


Best,
Justin
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ajarnlilly



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Managua Nicaragua

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:27 am    Post subject: AVOID UNIV TECNICA DEL NORTE IN IBARRA Reply with quote

Well, my Ecuador visa would have expired tomorrow, but I left yesterday and am now back in Nicaragua and very happy to be here where I know the rules and the rules are fair and doable.

My friends at UTN, who have worked since Oct 4, STILL have not been paid and STILL have not received the documents they, and I, were promised in order to get a work visa.

Ruben Congo, head of the language center there is now saying he won't hire anymore native speakers who don't have resident visas. And he is still saying that the U will graduate every student as bilingual in 5 years. Right, using the same Ecuadorean teachers who taught these students high school English so well that they can't speak or understand it.

I checked with some other schools and language institutes and find that they all think they can get enough teachers who have resident visas or are in Ecuador with a spouse who's visa allows them to stay longer term. And none of them knew of the changes in visa law for tourists, which says tourists may stay only 90 days in any one year.

I also encountered many schools that have non-native English teachers teaching "English".

Good luck, Ecuador. You've cut off your nose to spite your face. You've cut your tourism income in half and now banished many good teachers who wanted to contribute.
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ajarnlilly



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Managua Nicaragua

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:47 am    Post subject: crime and craziness in Ibarra Reply with quote

And in response to John's comment about crime in Ibarra, I would also like to mention that I was mugged by 4 women with knives and my passport, credit cards/ATM card and other documents stolen, in the Amazonas Market in broad daylight. They thought they were getting my wallet, but it was my electronic dictionary in a leather case, where I was also carrying my docs. They got no money, but it cost me over $200 to get a new passport, etc.

And my psychotic landlord tried to extort money from me for a non-existent phone bill by telling me he was going to call his policeman friends when I got angry that he was trying to get more money from me without showing any proof or reason for it. He was totally irrational, claiming I had 2 telephone lines and pointing to wires coming from a pole to the building!

I had had an Ecuadorean friend find out the amount I owed on the phone bill and I paid it before leaving. I had a receipt for it but the landlord even tried to physically block me from leaving, claiming I must pay him more for his fantasy phone bill.

I have traveled, lived and/or worked in 13 countries and I have never experienced anything as bad as my experiences in Ecuador.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry that this happened to you. I know what it's like to deal with immigrations.

One thing that I will have to say, though is. Don't carry valuables with you. Don't carry your passport, EVER, unless you're crossing the border. Some guy came in the US embassy asking for a notarised copy of his passport, they refused saying it's better to make a simple copy. So do that, simple copy, little money.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Qucik question, is the 90 day rule strictly enforced?
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ajarnlilly



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Managua Nicaragua

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, at the moment anyway, the 90 day limitation is being strictly enforced. A friend came in under the old law and tried to extend in order to spend a few weeks in Banos. Refused and told to leave on time. She had already stored excess bags with friends in the north, and now she can't even come in to get her stuff. And her return ticket is out of Quito, so she will have to change that as well. She had planned to travel Peru and Argentina and return to Ecuador for a month before returning to the States. No longer possible. Of course, Ecuador being what it is, those with savvy, luck and big bucks may still be able to "cross palms with silver" and get around the law. I wasn't willing or able to do that.

FYI: the "exit tax" for leaving at the airport has been raised to $40 and some cents.

Another friend was late because his lawyer had his passport, trying to get another visa, and it cost him a $200 fine and they subtracted the time already in country from the so-called 6 month visa he was getting, resulting in only 60 days available on this so-called 6 month tourist visa.

He ended up paying more than $1000 for visa and legal fees for the priviledge of staying in Ecuador for less than 5 months. He was also defrauded by the Universidad Tecnica del Norte, as I was.

And the last poke in the eye for me: my Nicaraguan cell phone was stolen from my luggage at the Quito airport. It won't work there....

I am now the new caretaker for Quaker House in Managua and so happy to be back among Friends and friends, both Nica and extranjero. I'll be taking a break from teaching English and then look for a part time job here in Managua, compatible with caretaking, starting next year.

Feliz Navidad!
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john_n_carolina



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 700
Location: n. carolina

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lily -- i can understand what you're talking about with all the new changes and also exponential increase in crime, poverty, gangs, and joblessness. Ecuador '08 is not the Ecuador '98 that i had come to know. it seemed to happen right around the time of the sucre changeover. i think the inflation and also uncertainty of using someone else's currency and had a profound effect on the downturn in EC society. especially the Indigenous who are extremely skeptical of anything....even food that comes in a box.

then, some people try and downplay the level of crime in Ec. it's not a joke. sure, petty theft is the majority of the crime. however, i noticed over the years there in EC that the majority of people who said, "Ah..crime ...i don't worry..or, it's safe here...etc etc"...wait, till they get hit over the head - or drugged on the bus -- or held up at 1PM in a park for $20 -- then, let's see what they say??

a prime example of this was a teacher-friend of mine. back in '02 she got engaged to a charming, great Quiteno. within 6 months they had planned to move back to London and start a new life. well, 2 weeks before they left she was robbed and raped at gunpoint. she was so emotionally destroyed that she broke off the engagement for fear that her future husband would bring back memories of the event. also, she didn't want to remember anything about EC that might come up daily through her husband etc.

i can go on story after story and ones just as bad. i won't include anymore.

don't get me wrong...there are great parts of EC where one can live peacefully for years not knowing about anything political, or for that matter anything that is happening in the world. but, those areas are shrinking. especially, the Northern half and the Coast.

p.s. in Jan '08 If you can believe this -- in Cuenca, a transvestite tried to rob me with a broken bottle while i was jogging in the morning Smile i just laughed at him/her and increased speed. the police were right behind me and saw the whole event. on a positive note, they booked him/her and took him away.
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just_a_mirage



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Posts: 169
Location: ecuador

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Crime is definately an issue here. Iīve been robbed outside my house and on the bus. But I have also been robbed at gunpoint in my hometown in the U.S., and have been the victim of a home invasion there. Crime is everywhere. I have lived in Guayaquil for several years, and have had many, many more people try to help me than hurt me here. But in all honesty, until I get to know someone really well, I have to say I always find myself questioning their motives. My ex landlady called me months after I moved from her house to tell me the pipes in my old apartment were leaking and I had to pay for it. I laughed and hung up on her, and havent heard from her since, but "the Gringo Factor" definately comes into play in the way some people treat you.
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