Gap Year Visa
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Jul 16, 2012 10:29 AM Last Post By: staggra1
Jul 9, 2012 11:22 AM
Gap Year VisaHello Everyone
So I'm taking a gap year next year to volunteer in Ecuador. I will be staying for a minimum of 6 months but likely longer, and I have a few questions about visas and immigration policy. I'm a U.S. citizen so I will have an initial 90 day stay without a visa required
1.) I have read that you will not be fined for overstaying your visa, only barred from returning to the country for 90 days. So is it a good idea as some have suggested to simply overstay my 90 day initial stay? I am concerned about getting deported, however some people have told me that as long as I do not plan to return to the country anytime soon I can just stay for my entire trip without getting a visa, this just doesn't seem right to me.
2.) Is it worth trying to get a 90 day traveler's visa extension, or is there another type of visa that would make more sense to get. I have just heard that it is extremely difficult and frusterating to get any other type of visa, especially since I will not be staying right in quito (I will be about 30 minutes outside of Quito).
Jul 9, 2012 3:52 PM
1Official policy is that you don't get fined anymore(2010).According to the constitution you could never be illegal in Ecuador.Your status would be irregular".However theory and practice in Ecuador are 2 different things.I suggest you don't overstay your visa.Read this story.
Best to stay 6 months on the visa 12-1X.You can get that at your local embassy.If you want to stay longer,the volunteer visa,would be the visa to go for.
don Jose,At Home in Ecuador
Edited by: emd_two on Mar 4, 2013 9:14 PM
Jul 10, 2012 7:09 AM
2There's absolutely no guarantee that the current policy will still be in place next year (or next month or tomorrow), so don't bank on that. Also, if the policy changes while you are already in-country and overstaying you could potentially have big problems.
If you are going to volunteer, get a volunteer visa. The process is no more complex than getting a 12-IX. You can apply for it in the USA, which will be a lot easier for you than negotiating the process in Ecuador (and it will be a gentler introduction to dealing with Ecuadorian bureaucracy).
Jul 10, 2012 7:22 AM
Jul 16, 2012 10:29 AM
I think you will find that you need to have your volunteer position fixed up to apply for that visa. Other than that I´d follow all the advice given.
I´ll have to re-read the constitution about the "illegal status" bit but remember this a country where you have to carry an ID all the time. Civil liberties are not exactly enshrined.
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