Colombia/Colegio Bilingüe PIO XII
QUESTION: I was recently hired by a company there in Columbia. They want me to pay $285 dollars for preparing and sending work visa papers. Is this normal for schools to charge this amount? The list of things they prepare are below:
1. To obtain a Colombian working visa you will need:
- Notarized contract for each.
- Notarized letter of responsibility
- Notarized letter of acceptance
- Certificate of taxes
- Certificate of chamber of commerce
- Visa form
- Resume of contract
- Letter from our Legal Representative.
What do you think?
ANSWER: Dear Mr. Ed:
I am not in the visa business and do not know the requirements for a work visa. You should visit the websites of Colombian consulates for the requirements for a work visa.
You should check if it is a real school and the correct contact person for that school. Schools normally do not require much paperwork to hire someone. The problem is that you want a work visa. Some people get hired once they are in Colombia. Instead of sending the money and coming to the school to work, you could come as a tourist, see the school, negotiate the salary, and then do the papers for the work visa once you are in Colombia. That way you can choose the school you want to work at, see which ones are better, their location, etc. That means you will be able to decide which would be better for you than the one who wants you to pay money for something that could be a scam. You do not indicate the name of the school and their location. I only know schools in Medellín.
Notarizations cost probably $7.50-$10 each. I do not see how could they do a Tax Certificate since you do not yet do taxes in Colombia. I do not think you need that. You will file taxes once you work here and should not need a Certificate of taxes beforehand, but I do not know. I do not think you need a Chamber of Commerce certificate either. That is for people who want to start a business or that kind of stuff, not for teachers, as far as I know, unless they are going to hire you as an independent contractor, not as an employee. They can send you a copy of the contract, but that is simply a copy of the contract, but someone would need to type your name and identifying information in it. I do not know if the Colombian consulate needs a letter from the school's legal representative, but I suppose they would, but it is simply a typed letter signed by the legal representative of the school. The only real expense is the one charged by the Colombian consulate when isusing the visa. I do not think you should be paying the $285. I think that you could contact schools and see which ones would be interested in hiring you, check how much they will pay you, how many hours per day, etc. You should check if this school you are telling me is a well known school. I do not think that those schools charge that much for the paperwork you indicated. I could be wrong, but I do not think so. You should contact Colombian consulates for advise and for information about what you are telling me.
Email: CesarCalifornia (hotmail.com)
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
I greatly appreciate your response. The name of the school is: Colegio Bilingue Pio XII in Mosquera Cundinamarca, have you heard of it? There website is: http://www.colegiobilinguepioxii.com/
. What do you think? Everything is telling me that we shouldn´t be paying that amount for their end of processing the visa.
Dear Mr. Ed:
I called the phone number that appears in the website, but the number does not exist. I checked the web for the name and got a page in Facebook that ask if you have also lost money with them:
I saw that the school exists. I think I read that there was a complaint that it charges high tuitions to exchange students. I read in the Facebook page that were several complains about the person who manages it in regards to payments to employees. I read in another page that parents had gathered 11 millon pesos for a school trip, but that the lady who handled that money was assaulted and lost it. The Facebook page says that a teacher had not been paid and filed complaints with the autorities. I cannot acertain to any of those allegations, but those were the comments that appeared at the Facebook page. I also found the following page in which a teacher complained that some things had not been paid (her medical insurance) and she had to litigate, then that was paid. Therefore the school exists but either has financial problems or poor management or mismanagement. I cannot accertain if that is true. I can only show what I read in those pages. I do not know if the person asking for the $285 actually works for that school. I could not talk to them because their phone number was disconnected or does not exist.