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Obtaining a volunteer visa is one of the sure ways to avoid getting fined or deported for not having the proper paper work to be in a country. For instance in Ecuador if you over stay say with a tourist visa, even for one day then you stand a chance of paying an outright $ 200 in fines, and if you stay longer then you may pay up to $ 2000. So to be on the safe side for a volunteer you need to make sure you apply for the proper volunteer visa, to avoid these problems.
When planning to go for volunteer work in Ecuador, have in mind that each embassy or consulate around the world has its own set of requirements for procuring a visa. Check with the embassy or consulate closest to you for accurate information applicable to your situation. Anyone can come into Ecuador by acquiring a tourist visa, but once you have obtained this visa you cannot apply for any other kind of visa while in the country, you will have to go back to your home country and apply for the volunteer visa there. However, you can apply for a volunteer visa in the country, if you did not enter the country with a tourist visa already in place, you can do this with the help of the organization you are working with.
The proper visa for a volunteer in Ecuador is called the religious and volunteer visa. To apply for this visa it will cost you application fees of $ 30 and Visa fees of 150$. To obtain this visa you will require the following; "Aplicación de Visa", that is a Visa Application completed and signed, a "Certificado de Visación" completed and signed, your Passport, valid for at least six months, Two photos passport size with a white background, a doctor's certificate and HIV test, indicating that the person does not have any communicable diseases, you will need a Police certificate indicating that there is no criminal record on you, a letter from Legal Representatives of the organization requesting that the volunteer/missionary be admitted to Ecuador, a Copy of the Decree issued by the Ecuadorian government authorizing the organization to operate in Ecuador, a Copy of the appointment of the Legal representative of the entity duly registered and authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ecuador, a Copy of the bylaws of the host organization in Ecuador , an Affidavit from the host organization or person, assuming the responsibility for expenses incurred by the volunteer/missionary as result of abandoning the country or deportation, duly legalized, an Affidavit from the foreigner certifying to render services at no charge and finally a Guarantee from the sponsoring entity to support financially the foreigner during his/her stay in Ecuador.
Once you get your visa then you may need to register in the country and obtain a volunteer identity card known as a Censo. If you got your volunteer visa at your home country then you will need to register it at the immigration office at Quito. A censo is mandatory for anyone staying in the country for more than 6 months.
Once you have all the above requirements in place then you will be free to enjoy your volunteer experience in Ecuador, without any hitches
For more free information and low cost volunteer programs in Africa visit http://www.volunteercapitalcentre.org/tanzania.aspx