Need recommendations on visa process

My family will be moving to Cuenca for 5 months starting in January for a cultural sabbatical. We've been trying to apply for an extended tourist visa of 180 days but have received conflicting information from the virtual consulate website and from people we've spoken to at the consulate. We have done official Spanish translations and Apostilles of many documents (including our daughter's school documents, criminal background checks, etc.) but have been running into a lot of challenges with the virtual consulate visa process which does not always work properly. We're concerned about further delays as we need to arrive by early January for the start of the school semester.

My question is, can we enter Ecuador without a visa and then request an extension on-site or is process more difficult? Is there a consulate in Cuenca or do we have to go to Quito or Guayaquil?

Any recommendations on facilitating this process would be most welcome.

Dear Jagsatori,

Your USA family may enter Ecuador on 90-day tourist-permit stamps, free upon arrival .. and extend your stay while in metro Cuenca with visa-extensions of similar duration.

Source:  Sara Chaca, immigration attorney based in Cuenca area, writing in Cuenca HighLife, cuencahighife.com .

Google:   ecuadors new immigration law sara chaca cuencahighlife

I assume from your writing and grammar your from the US or Canada. If not things could be different. To some extent there are usually different regulations for different countries.
I am from the US and entered without a visa earlier this year. I was given 90 days on arrival. So your first 3 months are very hassle free with no paperwork needed. You just arrive. They stamp your passport and you have 90 days. You can get another 90 day extension while in country. It has some paperwork requirements and fee. I have yet opted to try that so I can not give you the details of the extension process or the location needed to do this.

jagsatori :

We have done official Spanish translations and Apostilles of many documents (including our daughter's school documents, criminal background checks, etc.)....

Any recommendations on facilitating this process would be most welcome.

Documents originated in English should be translated after arrival in Ecuador, along with the translation of apostilles supplied by the originating agencies.

The Cuenca-area immigration office has gotten a reputation for assisting Expats in English, so you may be able to achieve your goals without hiring a visa facilitator or immigration attorney in Ecuador.

cccmedia

Yes, Sara Chaca is amazing. I suggest you get her help.

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