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ESL and visa hassles

 
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leretif9



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:15 pm    Post subject: ESL and visa hassles Reply with quote

What I am getting from reading other internet sources is that right now in Colombia, individuals from the US get an automatic 90-days, and can extend this by 30 days -- and that's it.

Perhaps I am missing something here. If, hypothetically speaking, an individual wants to make a living teaching ESL in Bogota for at least a year, what are some options for making this happen in relation to the visa question?

Thanks.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 625
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frequent border runs, like very three months or so. Check to see if you can leave for a day or two and then come back in on another 90-day visa. Of course, this likely means that any work you find would technically be illegal. Given the wide range of options in Latin America, is that really what you want to do?
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 476

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is relatively easy and straightforward to get a work visa in Colombia (or was a little over a year ago--the last I knew.) You need the paperwork from the employer, a copy of your degree, and not much else, as I recall. I'm not sure you even need proof of the degree; it may simply be a question asked when you apply. And as far as I know, you no longer have to leave the country to apply--I think this was one of the changes made in the process.

Anyway, take a look. There are also a number of threads here at the cafe about working on a tourist visa in Colombia.

http://www.cancilleria.gov.co

...
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leretif9



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback, and thanks especially for that link.

"Given the wide range of options in Latin America, is that really what you want to do?"

In your opinion, what is this "wide range of options (elsewhere) in Latin America?" Where else in Latin America do you think it would be easier, or better, to be a first time ESL teacher, with no ESL certs. and a BA in English?
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 625
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leretif9 wrote:
In your opinion, what is this "wide range of options (elsewhere) in Latin America?" Where else in Latin America do you think it would be easier, or better, to be a first time ESL teacher, with no ESL certs. and a BA in English?


Even as a first time teacher, you shouldn't have trouble finding places where you can work LEGALLY. Fortunately, it sounds like AGoodStory has given you the information you need to do just that in Colombia. If that doesn't work out, however, other countries that seem to be good options for LEGAL work--based on other conversations in these forums--would be Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, or the Dominican Republic. You might try sending a PM to MotherF (Mexico), naturegirl321 (Peru), or HLJHLJ (Ecuador) for specific information on those countries. For the Dominican Republic, check out the forums at DR1.com. Most, if not all of these countries, should be able to give you a residency permit that will allow you to legally work there.

Another route into Latin America that I would recommend for first-timers would be to apply for the Peace Corps or seek out a volunteer or internship position with an NGO, which would give you an opportunity to build up your resume, develop a local network, and position yourself for better jobs in Latin America once you're ready to strike out on your own.

Oh, yes, and the fact that you have an English degree (even without a cert) is a plus. Be sure to emphasize that in your application materials. It's much better than a generic BA in, say, criminal justice or art history.
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leretif9



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again, thanks for that feedback.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 625
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leretif9 wrote:
Once again, thanks for that feedback.


Good luck! Please keep us posted on where you end up and how it goes.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 625
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should you decide to further explore the volunteer or internship route, here's a thread from a few weeks ago where we discussed several of the options that are currently available.

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=108694
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G22



Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can get a 90 day tourist visa when you enter the country, but you have to specifically ask for it when you speak to DAS at the airport. Getting a work visa isn't that difficult, but you need to make sure your employer gives you all the right papers and makes sure their documents are up to date. I had to go back 3 times when I got my work visa because my employer left out certain documents and didn't have up to date records. This is a problem because you have to wait 1-4 hours each time you go to the ministry of exterior relations.

You also want to make sure you don't overstay your tourist visa, because you will be fined for doing so and you will have to go to migracion colombia and you can spend an entire day in that place.
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leretif9



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long into a period of employment should a person wait before broaching the subject with an employer?
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