Getting Work Visa and Cedula in Bogota, Colombia

On my second day in Bogota, my company asked me to get my work visa. They provided me with all the documents I will need. 

I left my hotel to go to Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores around 6:30AM to be there when they first opened. I arrived before 7AM and they did not let us in until 7:30AM. Good thing, I was on the first batch. 

We were sent to the 3rd floor, the first window is to get your number then go to the next window to pay the processing fee. 

After just 5 minutes of waiting, my number was called. I faced the interviewer with a big smile. The only questions I remember him asking were my educational background and if I have been to South Africa which I told him not yet, but it’s next on my list. He seemed very nice. After he put my information on the computer and checked my documents, he asked me to go back to the waiting room. After about 30 minutes of waiting, my number was called again. I went back to the same guy, he told me my visa has been approved and he gave me a piece of paper to pay for my visa. I went back to him with the receipt, he stamped my visa to my passport in front of me. 

I was on a cloud 9. I wanted to hug him but of course I did not. I just told him how happy I was which was very obvious anyway. 

It took about 1 1/2 hours to get my visa. I then walked about 15 minutes to get to Migracion for my Cedula. 

I first went to Information area where you have to show the filled out form required, a copy of your passport, visa and a photo. Then, I was sent to second floor where I had to wait literally 1 1/2 hours before my name gets called. Then the lady put my information on the computer, gave me a piece of paper to pay the amount of 162,000 COP in the nearby Banco de Occidente. I went back to the same lady with the receipt, then my photo and finger prints were captured. That’s it! My cedula will be available for pick up after 4 business days. 

The visa and cedula cost no more than USD 350 and getting them only took 4 hours. 😴 😊

My Dream Travel to South America

After I backpacked in Asia for a total of 10 months, I wanted to travel South America next. I was volunteering to teach English in Thailand when I finished my online TEFL course. I immediately searched for job postings and I found one located in Peru. On April 17th, I hit the submit button to apply for a job as an Instructor in a language center. I got an email from the company on April 22nd inviting me for a Skype interview on April 29th. I was so happy and so excited. After the interview, I did not feel good about my performance. It was my first official interview for a teaching job and I thought I messed up. I went back to the Philippines on May 5th and as soon as I arrived home, I got an email from the company inviting me for a second interview that night. After the interview, I was told that I will get an online training schedule next week but I did not hear from them again until May 19th. I had the online training from May 25th to May 29th. While on training, I was discouraged because I found everything to be difficult. To my surprised, I passed the training. Next step? Fly to Colombia! OMG!

On June 9th, the HR sent a copy of my flight ticket from Singapore to Colombia for June 23rd. I was like, is this really going to happen?

I flew to Singapore on June 22nd. I stayed a night because I will have a long flight to Colombia. Here comes the 23rd, my flight was not until 10:45PM. I was going on a tourist visa even though I will be working. I was in Changi Airport by 5PM because I wanted to have time in case I get some problem with the immigration. I have a copy of my job contract and all other documents sent by the company for getting my visa. With the helpful and friendly British Airways staff, I got my boarding pass with no problem at all.

I was still not confident about the whole thing though because I was still unsure about the immigration in Colombia. I was not worried though because I know everything will go according to God’s plan. So for me, whatever happens, I know it’s for good.

After more than 30 hours of flight time, I landed in Bogotá, Colombia on June 24th. I got through  the immigration with no problem.

I got my bag and a taxi sent by my company was waiting outside holding my name.

It was only 8 degrees celcius when I landed which I found very nice. I am in South America! This is really for me. ☺️

Around 6PM, I arrived in the hotel which my company provided. Perfect, just perfect after the long flight.

South America is one of my dream continents to visit. By the end of March 2015, I told myself that South America is my next destination. I got to set my foot in South America on June 24, 2015. I did not expect it to happen that quick. I’m now about 11,000 miles away from home and in one of my dream destination. 😉

Dreams do come true if you pursue them. ☺️