Red tape for ESL teachers in Costa Rica
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The beautiful country of Costa Rica is a Central American country blessed with stunning landscapes and seascapes, and it is also said to be the most stable country in Latin America.
Given its geographical proximity to the USA, it will come as no surprise that it is a popular destination for both ESL teachers and tourists. Here is a brief guide about how to deal with red-tape if you are applying to teach in Costa Rica. As it concerns ESL teaching in Costa Rica, you need only satisfy two academic requirements: you are the holder of a TEFL certificate, and you are a native speaker.
Obtaining a work visa can involve quite a bit of red tape and is a relatively lengthy process; however, most ESL schools will hire ESL teachers who have entered the country on a tourist visa: this lasts for ninety days, but if you leave the country for seventy-two hours, you can return and renew your tourist visa for a further ninety days. You will find that schools will happily accommodate you: so you can leave the country for three days and then return to continue teaching.
Incidentally, if you are a UK citizen and living in the UK – you won’t need a tourist visa to visit Costa Rica. For more detailed information, you should visit http://costarica.embassyhomepage.com/. For those ESL teachers that feel they would be more secure in their teaching posts if they had a work visa then the following documents would be required: a birth certificate, a marriage certificate (if applicable), passport size photos, and your TEFL certificate.
You would be well advised to provide yourself with several photocopies of each document. You would also be required to provide proof that you are able to support yourself financially and that you have no unsettled financial commitments. Furthermore, you would be required to obtain a certificate of good conduct from the Costa Rican police, and you would also be required to submit to a Costa Rican Ministry of Security check on your background.
These documents along with a statement of employment from your ESL school and a statement from the Costa Rican Social Security verifying that you are free of any financial obligations are then submitted to the Department of Immigration in the capital, San Jose. The resulting work visa is valid for six months from its date of issue, and it can be renewed by resubmitting it to the Department of Immigration; however, the work visa must also be approved by the Department of Work.
Finally, it should be borne in mind that it is common practice for most schools in Latin America to hire only those teachers that are in-country. As it concerns ESL teaching in Costa Rica, you need only satisfy two academic requirements: you are the holder of a TEFL certificate, and you are a native speaker. Obtaining a work visa can involve quite a bit of red tape and is a relatively lengthy process; however, most ESL schools will hire ESL teachers who have entered the country on a tourist visa: this lasts for ninety days, but if you leave the country for seventy-two hours, you can return and renew your tourist visa for a further ninety days. You will find that schools will happily accommodate you: so you can leave the country for three days and then return to continue teaching.
Incidentally, if you are a UK citizen and living in the UK – you won’t need a tourist visa to visit Costa Rica. For more detailed information, you should visit http://costarica.embassyhomepage.com/. For those ESL teachers that feel they would be more secure in their teaching posts if they had a work visa then the following documents would be required: a birth certificate, a marriage certificate (if applicable), passport size photos, and your TEFL certificate. You would be well advised to provide yourself with several photocopies of each document.
You would also be required to provide proof that you are able to support yourself financially and that you have no unsettled financial commitments. Furthermore, you would be required to obtain a certificate of good conduct from the Costa Rican police, and you would also be required to submit to a Costa Rican Ministry of Security check on your background. These documents along with a statement of employment from your ESL school and a statement from the Costa Rican Social Security verifying that you are free of any financial obligations are then submitted to the Department of Immigration in the capital, San Jose.
The resulting work visa is valid for six months from its date of issue, and it can be renewed by resubmitting it to the Department of Immigration; however, the work visa must also be approved by the Department of Work. Finally, it should be borne in mind that it is common practice for most schools in Latin America to hire only those teachers that are in-country.
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Name of course Duration Combined Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 3 TEFL Course 6 months 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours Top-up courses 6 weeks
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Students may test their English level here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/content.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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Registered company number 13725845, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL.
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ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
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In some cases, such as during an investigation or appeal, we may use public data such as social media accounts or review sites in order to ensure accuracy and fairness.
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We use the following for marketing and to identify the products and services you’re interested in.
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- Details of the products and services you’ve bought and how you use them.
We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
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ELEARNING FUTURES LTD retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
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- a request in writing (by post or by email)
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- proof of your identity
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- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
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Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
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- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
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- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
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- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.