Looking for help - Immigration related !!

Hello Friends,
I'm considering of starting a new life at Ecuador and I need some help/advice on the immigration process.

I'm in my early 40s and a working professional. I'm exploring the possibility of starting a new life at Ecuador and I'm hoping I can get some help with the immigration process here. I plan to either search for a job (I know of the challenges) or setup a small business of mine. I need to know the process around getting the residence permit and how that can be scaled to citizenship in future. Is there any bureaucracy involved? How much time does it take? Costs? Duration?

Please excuse me, if this question has been asked several times earlier.

-
cheers,
sun.

Dear Sun,

Welcome to the Ecuador forums of expat.com ....

Naturally, these matters are complex and have been discussed often before.

Use the search function ("Search the Ecuador forum" box) on the Ecuador forum page to navigate to existing threads that are relevant to visas, immigration and citiizenship .. and other topics of interest.

cccmedia

I am in the middle of that process right now and we’re moving in the end of March I can tell you it’s lots of paperwork and lots of stuff you want to do while you’re still in the United States like FBI background check your  state background check, marriage license  if you’re married and all those things cost money and time to get back and you don’t wanna do any of it while you’re in Ecuador because it will be much more difficult and a lot more expensive.   I highly suggest getting a lawyer and that cost alone is about $2000 the cost of getting the background checks and getting them appostille  oh that probably cost a total of $800 give or take and then it all asked to get translated in Spanish etc. etc.    A good lawyer can certainly help you out through the whole process and make it much easier but it’s definitely something you want to take care of while you’re still in United States as far as gathering the information you can wait to actually go through the process when you’re in Ecuador but you want to gather all the information you need now before you leave    And if you’re planning to take anything with you I can tell you a 20 foot container filled with your stuff shipped over the ocean is going to cost about $9000 give or take     Hopefully some of that helps you decide what you want to do

sun.surfering :

. . . I'm considering of starting a new life at Ecuador and I need some help/advice on the immigration process. . . . Is there any bureaucracy involved? . . .(emphasis mine)

Sorry... Funniest question ever.  I thought I understood bureaucracy coming from the USA.  I didn't.  Let me tell you a story...

I made the 7 hour (each way) trip from my house to Azogues to apply for permanent residency for my daughter and myself.  I had to go to the Azogues office because that is the office where we applied for temporary residency before we knew any better.  After waiting a couple hours to meet with someone, they told us a long list of extra documents we would need (that were not listed on the website or known to local attorneys).

Also, we'd need my daughter's apostilled birth certificate.  We didn't have it.  Guess who had it...  Yup, they did.  But in order to give it to themselves, I needed to print out and sign a letter requesting that they give the apostilled birth certificate to themselves.  I did that and was informed that I'd have to return in 15 days after they had given themselves the birth certificate (I had to call my attorney and have him translate because it sounded so insane I thought I wasn't understanding).

When I returned 15 days later, I got a different official who didn't want any of the extra documentation required by the first official.  He wanted a different document that neither the website nor the first official had mentioned and that we hadn't brought.  One month, three trips and 40 hours of travel later, we finally had our applications accepted.

Let's not even discuss getting my driver's license...

Hello there! 

Going through the  process isn't as bad or as difficult as it seems, unless you try to do it yourself.  I am currently renewing my visa, as the first residency visa only lasts for 2 years.  This one will be permanent.

I used before, and am using again, a company called EcuaAssist and they took care of everything for me.  Since I didn't want to be bothered with even getting my FBI report, local police report, getting it apostiled and translated, along with all the local paperwork and running around, I did pay extra and the total cost was about $2000, which included all legal and notary fees.  You can find them on the internet and they have offices in Quito, Cuenca, Manta and a couple of other places (I can't remember where.). They're bilingual, so communicating won't be a problem.  They are easily able to obtain US documents and get them apostiled because they partner with a law firm in California.

When it came time to go to a notary or government office, I met someone from EcuaAssist and they walked me through as they knew exactly what I needed and where I had to go.  Easy!

They also guided me through the SENESCYT process - something you need to do if you have a professional degree (eg. MD, PhD, etc) and want it recognized here.

Hope this helps.  Good luck with your plans/future move.

Michael

Michael, would you suggest contacting EcuaAssist before even leaving the US?

Can someone help point me in the right direction in order to register a tourism business and what the cost breakdown would be for this in Ecuador? I tried searching this forum but couldn’t quite find the answer broken down simply.

antialiased :

“they told us a long list of extra documents we would need (that were not listed on the website or known to local attorneys)..... Also, we'd need my daughter's apostilled birth certificate.  We didn't have it.  Guess who had it...  Yup, they did.  But in order to give it to themselves, I needed to print out and sign a letter requesting that they give the apostilled birth certificate to themselves.  I did that and was informed that I'd have to return in 15 days after they had given themselves the birth certificate (I had to call my attorney and have him translate because it sounded so insane I thought I wasn't understanding). When I returned 15 days later, I got a different official who didn't want any of the extra documentation required by the first official.  He wanted a different document that neither the website nor the first official had mentioned and that we hadn't brought.  One month, three trips and 40 hours of travel later, we finally had our applications.

This video can summarize the Spanish version: ****

Moderated by Bhavna 2 weeks ago
Reason : Irrelevant
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

Karrywacker.  This is a forum about Ecuador.  The link you posted is fictional, and even the fiction takes apparently takes place in Spain, not Ecuador.

Hi, you can call me , i’d be happy to give you the full advice and a breakdown of cost, sincerely Miguel ***

Moderated by Bhavna 2 weeks ago
Reason : Contact details should not be posted on the forum but rather exchanged through the private messaging system. Thank you
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

Thanks Miguel! Will whatsapp you now!

Howdy Susanilla,

Sure, it wouldn't hurt to contact them ahead of time and have them send you a quote.  The final cost will depend on exactly what services you want.  My final price was accurately reflected in the quote.

They have a website you can look at too, and I also got all the test questions and answers for the driving test to use as a study guide from them.

Cheers,
Michael

Gringo Visas in Cuenca.

Thank you Emigrayo, that is a very helpful site!  About my question on starting while in the US before going to Ecuador, this is what it said:
     "Yes. It’s best to get your Temporary Visa while you are in your home country. Our office in the United States can receive and check all your original documents before submitting your Visa application at the nearest Ecuadorian Consulate."

Lots of very helpful info there.

Susanilla, sounds like you are with Gringo Visas as well. I chose to wait until I get to Ecuador because hostels in Ecuador are cheaper than in the states. It would have been an overnighter or two to go to Miami. Also the consulates don't seem to answer phones or emails. Gringo Visas has been there every step of the way with me throughout the process. Best of luck with your decision going forward.

Susanilla, I thought of something else. Best to get the background checks, birth certificate, marriage license, proof of income and all apostille while you are in the U.S. I didn't even know what apostille meant. But the Secretary of State's offices in your state, and in Dee Cee (Sterling, Virginia) are easily accessed by mail. At the airport you get a 90 day tourist visa stamped on your passport, and if you need more time you can get an extention.

Best Wishes,
Emigrayo68

Emigrayo68 :

Susanilla, I thought of something else. Best to get the background checks, birth certificate, marriage license, proof of income and all apostille while you are in the U.S. I didn't even know what apostille meant. But the Secretary of State's offices in your state, and in Dee Cee (Sterling, Virginia) are easily accessed by mail. At the airport you get a 90 day tourist visa stamped on your passport, and if you need more time you can get an extention.

Best Wishes,
Emigrayo68

If you plan on getting a driving license, then make sure you have proof of graduation highschool / college / university or another certification related to your career. Otherwise you cedula will me marked education: basic which does not allow you to get a driving license

Oh, thank you, User 159. I was wondering if I should get my transcripts apostille. Even though I don't drive anymore it occurred to me that I might again need proof of education level somewhere sometime. I'll send off for those records today.

I don't recall definitely if it has to be apostilled, but I imagine so. Anything official should be apostilled and an official translation.

Better safe than sorry as is much easy to do it whilst you are still in your home country than once here

Thank you so much for your capable advice regarding expat life!

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