Site Search:
 
Get TEFL Certified & Start Your Adventure Today!
Teach English Abroad and Get Paid to see the World!
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

FAQ for Colombia

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Colombia
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
naturegirl321



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

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:16 am    Post subject: FAQ for Colombia Reply with quote

I thought it might be good to make a FAW for countries in Latin America. If you know any answers, please share them here.

Money
How much is the average pay per hour for private classes in the capital? In the provinces?
How much is the average pay per hour for institutes in the capital? In the provinces?
What are some things that you should bring with you because they’re expensive or hard to find?
How much is an unfurnished, one bedroom apartment in the capital? In the provinces?
About how much money do you need a month?
Other information:

Visas
How much time is given for tourist visas?
Are they extendable? For how long? How many times can you get an extension?
Can you border hop and be given more time when you re-enter the country? How much time are you given? How much time do you have to spend out of the country before you can re-enter?
Is it possible to find work on a tourist visa?
What documents do you need in order to get a working visa?
What other visas can be used to work legally? How do you get them?
Do most institutes help with visas?
Other information:

Jobs

What are some of the best websites to find teaching jobs?
What are some of the popular cities to teach English in?
Is a TEFL cert necessary?
Is a bachelor’s degree necessary?
Is it necessary to be a native speaker?
Are split shifts common?
What are some good institutes to work at in the capital? In the provinces?
What are some good bilingual schools to work at in the capital? In the provinces?
What are the requirements to work in a bilingual (not international) school?
Is it easy to arrange a job beforehand?
Other information:

Misc.

Other information:
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
pinback



Joined: 18 Oct 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Bogota, Colombia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope some of this information is helpful. Please correct me if anything is factually inaccurate. Obviously this is based on my own experiences or knowledge. Mileage may vary.



Money


How much is the average pay per hour for institutes in the capital? In the provinces? In Bogota I've seen offers of from 10k to 25k per hour




Visas
How much time is given for tourist visas? Typically 30 or 60 days, but possibly 90 days. It's at the discretion of the immigration officer at the airport. You can ask for 90 days, but you probably won't get it.


Are they extendable? For how long? How many times can you get an extension? You can get an extension at a DAS office in major cities. Not sure what the situation is in smaller cities/towns. In Bogota, the DAS office is on Calle 100 # 11B-27 (Edificio Platinum) I believe your extension will be for as long as the original visa. You can stay in country for up to 180 days per calendar year.



Is it possible to find work on a tourist visa? I know teachers who've done it, but you'll probably be working for cash, without a contract and without any benefits.

What documents do you need in order to get a working visa? I think you can check the website for the Colombian embassy for a list, but you will definitely need a contract from your employer. They will also need to give you 2 other documents. One is a document proving they are a legit business. The second is a document called a Certificado de Proporcionalidad and they need this to hire a foreigner. This can take 10 days to a few weeks to get back from the appropriate ministry once your employer files the paperwork and I'm pretty sure they need a contract to do it.

You may also need to have copies of your university degree and copies of a police report from your home country or state. These documents should be apostilled if possible and translated to Spanish.


Note: if you enter the country on a tourist visa and want to change to a work visa you will have to leave the country to do so. Many go to Venezuela (there's a consulate in San Antonio, just across the border from Cucuta) Ecuador, or Panama. Once you have the work visa, you can get it renewed every time you renew your contract and don't have to leave the country. The initial and renewal cost is the same U$ 205.00






Jobs

Is a bachelor’s degree necessary? Supposedly, according to the embassy website you need a degree in order to get a work visa, but a CELTA ot TEFL cert might pass unless the officer at the consulate is being picky.


Is it necessary to be a native speaker? In most cases, yes, unless you've lived a while in an English speaking country.


Are split shifts common? In institutes, yes.


What are the requirements to work in a bilingual (not international) school? I think it varies widely. One of my former employers hired teachers with little or no experience or training. Other schools I've investigated have much higher standards. If you have IB experience, it might help, or if you can teach subjects other than English.

Other information: Some of the better paying jobs are at Universities.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
berraquita



Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:44 pm    Post subject: Answers, hope this helps. Reply with quote

Money

How much is the average pay per hour for institutes in the capital? In the provinces? As a native speaker with a CELTA or other teaching certificate you can expect to make 22.000- 25.000 pesos an hour (roughly $11-13). I charge my private students 40.000 ($20) an hour. It was not hard to get students but, charging that much, you have to really put the word out there (on the internet, posting signs on the street) to find people.

most of the ¨normal¨ institutes pay $15.000 an hour.

In Cartagena I earned $9.000 pesos an hour.

What are some things that you should bring with you because they’re expensive or hard to find? You can find pretty much everything in large cities such as Bogotá and Medellin. I find that goods such as American branded items to be relatively expensive in Colombia (basically the same prices as in the US o Canada), whereas services (getting your house cleaned, haircut etc) to be relatively inexpensive.
One thing you might want to bring, if you like to cook, are spices and salad dressings. Colombian food can be really bland and, having known this, I would have brought a lot more curries and vinagrettes.

How much is an unfurnished, one bedroom apartment in the capital? In the provinces? A furnished apartment is hard to come by in Bogotá. You will have to look on Craigslist and other website listings such as Mundoanuncio.com Your best bet is to contact people from you school (such as IH or British Council) to find some teachers with a free room in their apartment.
One of the horrible things about Bogotá is that, in order to rent an apartment you need to have two to three co-signers and sign a one year contract (if you break this contract you pay a fine that is about 2 month´s rent). A co-signer is pretty impossible to find so most people rent rooms until they get lucky and find an apartment that doesn´t ask for cosigners
The cost of a room can be from $250.000 a month ($125) for a simple room in the Candelaria to $800.000 pesos a month ($400) in the north.

About how much money do you need a month? When I lived in Cartagena (the most expensive city in Colombia) I earned $1.300.000 pesos a month and got along just fine. However there are some unexpected or extra expenses you might encounter such as having to replace a lost cell phone buying furniture etc. To live comfortably in Bogotá, I would recommend $2.000.000 pesos a month´s salary.

Other information:

Visas
How much time is given for tourist visas? Tourists are given 3 months VISA.

Are they extendable? For how long? How many times can you get an extension? By going to the DAS and paying roughly $60.000 pesos, showing two passport photos and your passport and filling in a quick form, you will be given a month´s extension (or salvoconducto VISA). You can do this three times, earning yourself an extra three months. Each month costs $60.000 and you must go to the DAS each time, not letting the previous VISA expire before applying for the next one.

To get the second salvoconducto, you must present yourself in the foreign relations office (near park 93 in Bogotá) and present them with a letter explaining why you would live to stay another month (you are looking for work, studying etc).

The last one, the third extension, is called a VISA de salida, which is a month´s grace period to let you leave the country before all your VISA expire.

If you over stay your VISA you must present yourself at DAS, explaining your reason for the overstay (etc you didn´t have enough money or time to leave blah blah blah). The fine is $250.000 pesos plus the VISA de salida fee ($60.000). Then you must leave the country and re-enter. Do not overstay your last extension (VISA de salida) because I do not know what happens in this case.

I overstayed my second salvoconducto for three months. I went to the DAs, explaining why I overstayed, presented my documents, paid the fine and was given my VISA De salida, then left for Venezuela that weekend.



Is it possible to find work on a tourist visa? There are many institutes that will give you work on a tourist VISA. However, every six months you will be required to leave the country at your own time and expense.

Many people face the ¨work VISA- work¨ paradox where companies ask you for a work VISA before you work, because they don´t want to get you one nor do they want to hire you illegally. Well, news for these companies is that, you cannot get a work VISA before you have a work contract and you cannot work for another company (legally) if you are with a work VISA from ANOTHER company. In other words, the people that ask you for a work permit before you work are no more legitimate than those who hire you on illegally.

If it bothers you to work illegally, I encourage you to keep looking, there are places that will help you out.

One interesting thing my friend did was find the cheapest language institute and pay for 6 months of classes. Then she applied for a student VISA (6 months plus 3 months of extensions) and then she found a job. One other ¨pendejada¨of some companies is that they´re happier if you have a student VISA than a tourist VISA (again this does not make you any more legal or them any more legitimate for requiring this type of VISA, it only means you can stay in the country for a longer time without having ot leave).

What documents do you need in order to get a working visa? To get a work VISA you need your passport, a copy of your CELTA or teaching certificate or degree (if the school does no require teaching certificate), your work contract, passport photos.

There are some documents that the school needs to provide. One of them is the ceritificación de proporcionalidad, which states that 90% of the companies employees are Colombian citizens. I personally believe that this is the document that is a pain to get and therefore the reason why you see so much resistance to getting someone a work VISA.


Do most institutes help with visas? British Council will get you a work VISA. Internaitonal house will get you a work VISA, pay for your trip to Venezuela, the VISA, hotels and basically everything except food. This is a great bonus because the work VISA costs about $250 US, the trip about $300.000 pesos for transportation and $50.000 for hotels. It also helps to go with the institute because they have been there before, know people at the COlombian consulate in Venezuela and therefore make the whole process run a lot more smoothly.

One of the principal reasons I have for working at IH was for the VISa, I´m not going to lie.

Other information:

Jobs

Are split shifts common? I have never heard of anyone working at a school (except BC or a highschool) that did not work split shifts.
in Bogotá, virtually all classes are early in the morning, at lunch time and in the afternoons. The institutes that hire native speakers and pay well ($25.000 an hour) usually require you to travel around the city to certain companies and give classes during these hours.

High schools require you to work from 7 am to 3pm. You are not teaching for all of these hours but are required to plan classes, and do administrative work (marking etc) ,. Some prefer these more social hours, the fact that most schools pay for your bus and lunch and the higher, guaranteed pay rates. However you will work harder than in an institute and getting into some of the good schools (Gran Breteña, Nueva Granada, Colegio Britanica) can be dificult (you also have to wait for the hiring periods, which differ frmo school to school, ubt are usually around july and november

Hope this helps. PM me with any questions.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
holdenshope



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:39 pm    Post subject: thank you so much! Reply with quote

really appreciate your input! Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 735
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent information from berraquita. Only one small disagreement: prices for American brands. Expect to pay more than you would in North America for anything that's imported. Imported food and beverages in particular can cost double or triple (or even more). Local restaraunts are good values though: 4.000 - 10.000 for a lunch ($2.00 - $5.00 USD). Clothes in general tend to be more expensive as well.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
windowlicker



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 183
Location: Bogotá, Colombia

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding housing, I would add to berraquita´s post that compartoapto.com is a good place to find an apartment...in my opinion it´s the best place to look for housing in Colombia.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JonnyBravo



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 80
Location: Bogota, Colombia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bump. It would be great if some others were able to add to this.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
MNguy



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 129

PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JonnyBravo wrote:
bump. It would be great if some others were able to add to this.


I'm making a Visa run to Venezuela on Monday. I'll report back. I've been living here for about five months now.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JonnyBravo



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 80
Location: Bogota, Colombia

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you did make it back from Venezuela, it would be great to hear your input MNguy.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
newdayrising



Joined: 17 Dec 2010
Posts: 32
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey I have a question. What exactly is the deal with having to border hop to get a work visa? Can someone explain that process in a bit more detail? It sounds simple enough: enter on a tourist visa and find an employer who's willing to do the paperwork for a work visa. But why do you have to leave the country to do that?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CountBassD



Joined: 08 Feb 2010
Posts: 33
Location: Bogota, Colombia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newdayrising wrote:
Hey I have a question. What exactly is the deal with having to border hop to get a work visa? Can someone explain that process in a bit more detail? It sounds simple enough: enter on a tourist visa and find an employer who's willing to do the paperwork for a work visa. But why do you have to leave the country to do that?


You will probably work for about a month or so on a tourist visa while all your paperwork goes through. What you are waiting for the approval of your visa basically. Once all the paperwork comes back to your employer and you have been approved the visa you leave the country, go to the colombian consulate in that other country (can be any country in the world that has a Colombian consulate) get your visa in your passport and re-enter on a work visa. You then have I think 30 days to get your Colombian ID or else your work visa is voided.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MNguy



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 129

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CountBassD wrote:
newdayrising wrote:
Hey I have a question. What exactly is the deal with having to border hop to get a work visa? Can someone explain that process in a bit more detail? It sounds simple enough: enter on a tourist visa and find an employer who's willing to do the paperwork for a work visa. But why do you have to leave the country to do that?


You will probably work for about a month or so on a tourist visa while all your paperwork goes through. What you are waiting for the approval of your visa basically. Once all the paperwork comes back to your employer and you have been approved the visa you leave the country, go to the colombian consulate in that other country (can be any country in the world that has a Colombian consulate) get your visa in your passport and re-enter on a work visa. You then have I think 30 days to get your Colombian ID or else your work visa is voided.


Well, I ended up on my last tourist extension from DAS before I finally got my work visa. It was a huge pain in the ass because I don't have a lot of Spanish and my employer knew nothing about the paperwork requirements.

You get 15 days from issuance of the work visa to apply for the cedula IIRC, but that was the easiest part of the whole deal, but kind of expensive. 165-170k I think.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Colombia All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2016 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Teaching Jobs in China
Teaching Jobs in China