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.

The former 12-9 180 day visa is no longer available. You can come with just your passport and get a 90 day tourist visa free. It can be extended 90 days for $125 per person and after that a 6 month extension is available at a cost of about $200

Rocky;
When Did this change take place?.
Please elaborate on sources.
Thank you.
MM

Rockysroad :

The former 12-9 180 day visa is no longer available. You can come with just your passport and get a 90 day tourist visa free. It can be extended 90 days for $125 per person and after that a 6 month extension is available at a cost of about $200

So this adds up to a whole year give or take a day or two!  Cost about $325.  Can you please point us to an official page that details these changes that would let you stay in Ecuador for almost a whole year?  Could you then leave for several days and come back and repeat the whole process, getting almost another whole year, and over and over as desired?

OsageArcher, 

Checking the US Ecuador embassy website in the US, it's worse than ever. The English language version isn't working at all, and the last time I looked at their visa info pages about 6 months ago, it linked to a not there 404 page [under construction]. Ecuador's .gov presence is worse than inadequate.

" Can you please point us to an official page that details these changes"

As far as I can tell there are no such pages. Im thinking if you're going to find that information, you are going to be in Ecuador standing in font of some bureaucrats desk.

Their web presence is a disgrace.

….The only information I got so far, is within the "MINISTERIO DEL INTERIOR" web page, under  Frequent Questions: (Obviously in Spanish)

…...La Ley Orgánica de Movilidad Humana en su Artículo 141 señala que, la persona extranjera que ha sido deportada no podrá ingresar a territorio ecuatoriano en tres años a partir de la publicación de la presente ley, es decir, desde el 06 de febrero del 2017.

[i][i]7.- ¿Cuánto tiempo puede permanecer un/a ciudadano/a extranjero/a en el país?
Un ciudadano extranjero puede permanecer en el país por 90 días contados a partir de su primer ingreso a territorio ecuatoriano, prorrogable por noventa días adicionales previo al pago de la tercera parte del salario básico unificado.
En el caso de los ciudadanos de Suramérica, el plazo de permanencia en el país es de 180 días.
[/i][/i]


8.- ¿Cuánto tiempo puede permanecer un/a ciudadano/a extranjero/a, residente en el Ecuador, fuera del país, sin perder su categoría migratoria?........

Can anybody confirm question/answer #7 still in effect.?

MM

According to this government page visa extension prices have increased to $400.

https://www.consuladovirtual.gob.ec/en/web/guest/visas

lebowski888 :

According to this government page visa extension prices have increased to $400.

https://www.consuladovirtual.gob.ec/en/web/guest/visas

Plus a $50 filing fee.  Sounds like they want to discourage snowbirds.

Thats way too pricey for me to stay more than 3 months. $900 for myself and wife for 3 months extension.. wow  Maybe trying to push people into applying for residency?

Ok, I have a question. I am using a visa service in Cuenca for my resident visa. I have gotten it notarized, apposilted and getting officially translated. I was informed when I fly in (Guayaquil) I need to go to police station in Guayaquil to do the next step. My flight arrives late at night and I will have a lot of luggage. I was going to pay for a driver to meet me at the airport that night and take me to Cuenca. This avoids having to drag the luggage to a hotel that night when I arrive and doing the police thing the next day.  I was going to then take a bus in about 2 weeks from Cuenca to Guayaquil get a cab for my afternoon appointment at the police station in afternoon, then take cab from police to bus station and then to Cuenca. But the visa service cautioned me about taking taxi from police station to bus station.my specific questions, how can I get from the bus station (or a hotel if I spend night) to the police station and then get from police station to the bus that goes to Cuenca. I am very confused

Hello,

Are you sure you can wait two weeks to do this paperwork in Guayaquil ?
As far as I know you have to do it like one or two days after your arrival to Ecuador.

About the bus station, if you are going to the Migratory police station, this one is really close to the bus station. Is just across the street.

Vinny

Thanks, but the police station you must go to is in Guayaquil or in Cuenca?

Guayaquil is your first port of entry in Ecuador, so you have to do the paperwork there.

Ok. My Visa consulate is confusing me greatly.  So I land at night (cop shop not open).  Should I just take my luggage (lots of it. 3 checked bags and packed up wheelchair thing, I can get around using cane), go to airport hotel. Next morning take cab to police place, do whatever they say, cab back to hotel and get driver to take me to Cuenca? I have way too much luggage to be dragging it through bus station. I am ready to say to this service, you tell me getting cab on street by cop shop unsafe but how the hell can I leave the cop shop.  LOL

Ok, I got the whole information about this police document you need for your Visa.
First, I have to apologize because I thought you were talking about the Movimiento Migratorio.
The document you need is Certificado de Antecedentes Penales  (criminal history for Ecuador)
You get this document on a Police Station located on Av. Barcelona y Rodrigo Junin, on the Laboratorio de Medicina Legal y Forense.
Is close to the American embassy.
The issue here is this place is always full of people and the police only attend 50 people a day so, in order to get your Certificado, you have to be there like 2 or 3 am and wait in line until they open at 7 am.  ( I know, is crazy)

So, as soon as you arrive to Guayaquil, go to a hotel, leave the luggage and go there in a SAFE taxi (one from the hotel)  and when you finish call the hotel and get a taxi to go back.

I know it doesn't make no sense but is like this know.

Vinny

Thanks, this explains it well. The visa service said get there at 2, and did NOT mention 2 am. LOL. Is there a safe place to stand in line at 2 am and do they have a bathroom?

Brad,

If I were in your position-- as I live in Guayaquil--  I would consider using Uber to get you from place to place if needed.

Have you been to Guayaquil's bus station before?

It's super busy, like Grand Central

I have been at the bus station many times, I like it. But as it is 2 am when I need to be there, I will just get off the plane, go to the Airport hotel, have them get me a cab and get in line. I am kinna chuckling, the visa service said don't take cab on street by cop shop but I am now finding out I have to be in line at 2 am. I am like umm, excuse me,  not safe to hire a car but ok to hang out on the sidewalk all night LOL

Irony! Good luck with the relocation to Cuenca

Of course, everything is close at that time, so no bathrooms available.  Maybe you can get a taxi that he will wait for you until the police station is open so you can rest in the car from time to time but who knows if the other people is going to respect your turn.

Have you stood in line there?

No, I  have living in Cuenca for a long time. This thing about the Criminal record is new, since the end of last year.


I know people that had to go trough this and they got a taxi with a bilingual driver to help them with this.

I might do that as well, and bring a pee bucket lol. I really appreciate it. I have it figured out now. I was going to come back to Guayaquil for that. Now I will fly in late at night, either leave my luggage at the airport or a hotel, have a driver take me to cop shop and we wait. He can translate, go get all my luggage (to much for the bus) and drive with him to Cuenca. I might mention to my Visa service hey if you would have said 2am I would have not been confused.

Ok, good luck with this paperwork.

Both of you are saying exactly the same thing but you added 2 am. That makes it very easy to understand, thank you so much.

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