Paperwork for residency

I have decided to have residency in both Colombia and Ecuador. I have had my residency in Colombia for about 8 years. On my Colombian residency it seems I remember that official documents needed to be within a date range in when they were issued. Like no more than 60 days old from the date issued. Does anyone know if this is true for Ecuador. I know the FBI background check will need to be current, however in thinking of my marriage license. We have our marriage license from our Colombian application apostilled with translation but its about 8 years old. Trying to get documents from the US is such a pain I hate to get any more involved than needed. There is no mention of this on the requirements I have read.

I also seem to recall someone putting a link for a company that would round up documents needed from the US and send them to you. Has anyone any info or link on a company like this? How do you get documents (FBI background check) mailed for the Apostille and then sent to Colombia. We are planning to apply through the Ecuadorian embassy in Bogota.

Any unusual hassles in this process I should know about?

NHLFAN :

I have decided to have residency in both Colombia and Ecuador.... We are planning to apply (for Ecuadorian residency) through the Ecuadorian embassy in Bogota....

Any unusual hassles in this process I should know about?

There is a possible problem .. and it may be why we don't receive posts on these forums from anyone claiming he or she is already doing such a dual Colombia-Ecuador residency

You may want to run the following past one or more attorneys...

How many days* does Colombia require you to be in-country each year to maintain your resident's visa?

How much time does Ecuador require a new resident to be in-country?

If both require more than 183 days out of 365, you may be SOL.

Have you considered this, Fan?

cccmedia

*It likely states the required minimum number of days on your Colombia cédula or residency card.  Please tell us that number as it may assist other Expats and those considering Expatting.

If the days don't "add up," an alternative may be to upgrade to Colombian citizenship and then seek residency in Ecuador.

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If your goal is to spend approximately half your time in each of the two countries, you may be able to do so as an ongoing resident of Colombia and a passport-stamped tourist in Ecuador.   If the stamp is good for 90 days, then you may have the option to renew it for another 90. 

cccmedia

cccmedia :
NHLFAN :

I have decided to have residency in both Colombia and Ecuador.... We are planning to apply (for Ecuadorian residency) through the Ecuadorian embassy in Bogota....

Any unusual hassles in this process I should know about?

There is a possible problem .. and it may be why we don't receive posts on these forums from anyone claiming he or she is already doing such a dual Colombia-Ecuador residency

You may want to run the following past one or more attorneys...

How many days* does Colombia require you to be in-country each year to maintain your resident's visa?

How much time does Ecuador require a new resident to be in-country?

If both require more than 183 days out of 365, you may be SOL.

Have you considered this, Fan?

cccmedia

*It likely states the required minimum number of days on your Colombia cédula or residency card.  Please tell us that number as it may assist other Expats and those considering Expatting.

cccmedia.. I believe your mistaken on Colombian residency. I was still living and working in the US and maintaining my Colombian residency for years only spending 2 to 4 weeks a year in Colombia. In fact I have had my residency for about 8 years and only officially retired the end of 2017.  I believe you can be out of Colombia up to 2 years before you loose residency. 
My thought was spend 180 days a year or less in Colombia and the rest in Ecuador. with the caveat that the first 2 years of temporary residency in Ecuador I would have to spend at least 9 months in Ecuador. I am still reading requirements and finding out what I can, so not completely sure on the temporary residency time requirements for Ecuador.
The added benefit would be that I will have reasonably priced medical in both countries. Colombia EPS and its equivalent in Ecuador. I will be able to eliminate the costly travel insurance other that maybe a few weeks to month when we decide to be outside either country.

It's still unclear why -- anecdotally at least -- nobody else has claimed to be doing this dual-country residency for Ecuador and Colombia.  More on this below.

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You have revealed what you called an "additional" benefit to such dual-residency -- having health coverage in both countries.  Actually, that would be the only true benefit for you, as I understand it, of attaining dual residency. 

Do you have any other reason for seeking or considering dual residency aside from health care?  Your original post on this thread stated you have decided to obtain the second residency, but did not explain why.

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Travel insurance is not necessarily more expensive than paying for both EPS (Colombia) and IESS (Ecuador) health care programs .. although in the case of travel insurance vs. IESS, travel insurance will require a deductible and a pre-existing-conditions clause. 

For my recent trip to Peru and Argentina, I paid $85 per month for travel insurance (provider: IMG).  Figure about $120 total for IESS-EPS monthly premiums.  My travel-insurance deductible was $2,500 .. and I did not file any claims.

According to various posters on Colombia forums, EPS is cheap -- several folks stating they paid about $33 per month -- but is so limited that they had to buy a private insurance policy in addition .. in order to obtain coverage they consider adequate.

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Before proceeding with further reading-research, I would query an immigration attorney to make sure your plan is doable/legal.  Here in Ecuador, Sebastián Cordero is the one I would ask. 
email:  scordero(at)rcpabogados.com

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To get optimal support from this forum, it is probably not advisable to describe a poster as "mistaken" when he or she is just suggesting a possible scenario to support you in making good choices.

cccmedia in Quito


Note: All costs indicated in this post are in US dollars, although payments made in Colombia may be collected in equivalent Colombian pesos.  The currency in Ecuador, since Y2K, has been the US dollar.

cccmedia :

It's still unclear why -- anecdotally at least -- nobody else has claimed to be doing this dual-country residency for Ecuador and Colombia.  More on this below.
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You have revealed what you called an "additional" benefit to such dual-residency -- having health coverage in both countries.  Actually, that would be the only true benefit for you, as I understand it, of attaining dual residency. 

Do you have any other reason for seeking or considering dual residency aside from health care?  Your original post on this thread stated you have decided to obtain the second residency, but did not explain why.
----
Travel insurance is not necessarily more expensive than paying for both EPS (Colombia) and IESS (Ecuador) health care programs .. although in the case of travel insurance vs. IESS, travel insurance will require a deductible and a pre-existing-conditions clause. 

For my recent trip to Peru and Argentina, I paid $85 per month for travel insurance (provider: IMG).  Figure about $120 total for IESS-EPS monthly premiums.  My travel-insurance deductible was $2,500 .. and I did not file any claims.

According to various posters on Colombia forums, EPS is cheap -- several folks stating they paid about $33 per month -- but is so limited that they had to buy a private insurance policy in addition .. in order to obtain coverage they consider adequate.
----
Before proceeding with further reading-research, I would query an immigration attorney to make sure your plan is doable/legal.  Here in Ecuador, Sebastián Cordero is the one I would ask. 
email:  scordero(at)rcpabogados.com
----
To get optimal support from this forum, it is probably not advisable to describe a poster as "mistaken" when he or she is just suggesting a possible scenario to support you in making good choices.

cccmedia in Quito

Note: All costs indicated in this post are in US dollars, although payments made in Colombia may be collected in equivalent Colombian pesos.  The currency in Ecuador, since Y2K, has been the US dollar.

My wife called the Ecuadorian Embassy in Bogota today and they recommended we file through them. They said in Ecuador they are swamped with Venezuelans and if we file here in Bogota we could eliminate much of the wait times and could have the visa within 3 weeks of all the paperwork being submitted.

You said you dont perceive any other benefits other than maybe the medical, however there is also the 183 day rule for Colombian tax residency that it solves, without visiting a third country to get the days needed outside Colombia. It also eliminates needing to track days so carefully to make sure you dont overstay the 183 days since it is not just based on a calendar year. Once you have your full residency you can pretty much come and go as you like and dont have to file and pay for extensions. At least the first couple years we may well only go back to Colombia for a month over Christmas/New Year.

I happen to be quite fond of my place near Bogota and if it wasn't for the tax regulations I wouldn't have considered spending so much time outside Colombia. But it is what it is, and now that I have found a location I like on the Ecuador coast. Colombia's loss. Now Ecuador will get a good chunk of my retirement funds rather than Colombia getting most.

As for EPS. Yes cheap. Mine is $108,600 COP a month for myself and my wife. That is the new rate for 2019.  I have found EPS to be sufficient. I have heard both sides, thinking its good and others opting for private. I guess it's like anywhere. It's based on your own experiences. There are horror stories of botched medical procedures in every country in the world. I have mostly just used it for routine checkups and 2 prescriptions I take monthly.  It costs me 3,000 COP copay for a checkup, bloodwork or prescription. I find the Dr.s I have been exposed to to be good. All spoke English. I did have 1 ocasion I needed to use the emergency care when I tweaked my back running in Popayan. I ended up spending 5 days in the hospital on pain meds. Once it went back in place and the spasms stopped they released me and sent me to therapy 3 times a week for 6 weeks. It was all basically free. I had a few 3,000 COP tickets I had to buy for copay but I was quite happy with the care.

I for sure think Colombia is cheaper than Ecuador, but unless your on a real shoestring budget it's not enough difference to keep most away. Colombia has a lot more imports and much more reasonable prices on imports. Price Smart comes to mind, but it's much more than that.

NHLFAN :

I for sure think Colombia is cheaper than Ecuador, but unless your on a real shoestring budget it's not enough difference to keep most away. Colombia has a lot more imports and much more reasonable prices on imports. Price Smart comes to mind, but it's much more than that.

Your personal experience is supported by this Numbeo comparison between Quito and Bogotá.

Quito basically costs 20% more, and this makes sense considering we don't benefit from currency exchange rates that currently benefit hard currencies.

For many a 20% difference may not be a determining factor, but there are expats (and potential expats) whose budgets are limited and a 20% difference is considerable.

Personally, I would never base a decision based solely on cost or how cheap a destination is, but rather on the lifestyle a destination offers.

Thanks for explaining your rationale, Fan, with respect to avoiding over 183 days in-country and the Colombia worldwide-tax issue.

Good luck with your dual-residency plans.

Please keep us informed as to how it works out for you.

cccmedia

Colombian income-tax on Expats.

At least three classes of Expats are essentially exempt from Colombia's worldwide income tax to the extent described in this post.... 

1.  As discussed above, an Expat spending fewer than 183 days in Colombia out of any 365-day period is not considered a 'fax resident' .. and does not need to file a tax return or pay income taxes in Colombia.

2.  An Expat primarily earning income from a USA-based corporation gets an exemption up to about $100,000 US per year on earned income. 

3.  An Expat who pays the USA's IRS via annual tax-return gets to deduct the USA payments from any income-tax theoretically owed to Colombia.

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Peru and taxation.

Ecuador's other neighbor, Peru, also claims worldwide income tax payable by 183-days-plus tax residents.

However, Peru does not tax the foreign retirement income of Expats who have obtained a Peruvian visa designed for pensioners.

cccmedia

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