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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

ECUADOR VISAs – Tourism, Investment, Overstaying, Extensions, Changing Status, Working as a Professional. Part four. March 2012

Walking tours of Centro Historico Quito with Liliya
Entertaining history, legends, stories, gossip and
a lot of info about things to do and see in Quito.
$20 for a two-hour tour for one person
$5 for every additional person
For booking email me at

Part one

Part two

Part three


I just assembled this run-down on the situation with Ecuadorian visas as of 28 February 2012 and hope it helps people!
Things are changing ALL the time – and very quickly…!

CHANGING VISA TYPES & RESIDENCY – e.g., Investment visas

- Where.
 Unlike the visas above, a different office deals with Investment & Residency visas: The Office for Foreigners. (i.e., Dirección General de Extranjería) located at Av. 10 de Deciembre (Building No. N26-05), Between Avenidas Colon y La Nina in Quito. 

- What You Need.

 Depending on the type of visa, you will need to show a bunch of documents – mostly superfluous, illogical, or just plain bureaucratic, depending on the type of visa you want. For the SIMPLEST of visa types — a CD minimum US$25,000 investment — you will need to show the following:

 (1) ORIGINAL PASSPORT & VISA stamp. You can have ANY type of visa now to apply for an investment visa or to change your visa status (note that this was NOT the case in 2011 where you needed a minimum of a 6-month “12-IX” visa);

 (2) ORIGINAL Certificate Confirming Your Investment. You should be given this by the bank where you made the investment.

 (3) NOTARIZED COPIES of the Passport ID page, visa stamp, and Investment Certificate noted above. You can get documents notarized just a few blocks from the Foreigners Office at:

 Dr. Alfonso Freire Zapata
 La Nina N26-169 y Av. 6 de Deciembre
 Floor no. 11 — Office no. 1103
 Tel. 2543-939; E-mail:

 Each “certified” page will cost US$2.25 and you may need to come back the next day to get them.

 (4) APOSTILLED Police Certificate from where you have spent the most time the last five years ISSUED NO MORE THAN 90 DAYS before you submit your application forms. As it often takes a long time both to get the basic certificates – not to mention getting them Apostilled (or Certified by the Ecuadorian Embassy in your country if your country did not sign the Hague Convention) – this is tricky! You need to time things right! And there is rhyme or reason to what different countries do… In Australia, the whole process takes about 4-5 WEEKS; in Canada, upwards of 2-3 MONTHS (!); and in Ecuador (amazingly enough!) just 10-15 MINUTES while you wait

Note that if you have a visa which you required you to ALREADY submit a police certificate (e.g., “12-IX” 6-month tourist visa issued in the U.S.), it doesn’t matter: you STILL need to get ANOTHER certificate. This of course makes no sense whatsoever, but… well… this is the rule! So you would be advised to get MORE THAN ONE COPY of every certificate you get just to play it safely…!

Also, if you have been in Ecuador a while (or even if you haven’t), you should ALSO probably get a police certificate from Ecuador to ensure “all your ducks are in a row.” You can get this “Certificado de Antecedentes Personales” at:

 Police Archive Registry

 Av. Amazonas N21-175 y Rosa

 Edificio Rio Amazonas

 It costs US$5 and you get it on the 2nd floor – - take the stairs to the left as you enter the front door. It’s the one thing you can find which is issued very efficiently – only 10-15 minutes. So go get it!

 (5) TRANSLATIONS of anything not in Spanish. This must be done by someone who does not have a “personal interest” in your case – and folks at language schools may be able to help you. I went to a language school where a friend-of-a-friend had taken some classes and I paid the director US$20 to come with me to the Notary Above for about 45 minutes as he simply signed MY OWN translations. What you ultimately need to present is (a) the ORIGINAL documents (in the foreign language); (b) the TRANSLATIONS (signed by the “translator”), and (c) additional forms which the translator will sign (and the notary will give you) stating that the translator can attest that the translations are… well… translations!

EACH translated “confirmation” page from the Notary is a whopping US$22.

 (6) MOVIEMENTO MIGRATORIO Document. This basically says when you have entered and left Ecuador. Is this information in your passport? Sure. Is there any logic as to why you need this? Nope. But you need it and can get it at:

 Migration Police Office

 On Av. Rio Amazonas southwest of the intersection of Av. Rio Amazonas & Av. Republica (near the southwest corner of Parque Carolina)

 It costs US$5 and you need to present your passport; depending on the queues, you can probably get it in 20-30 minutes.

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