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Monday, October 1, 2012

Registering your visa in Ecuador

Registering your visa in Manta

If you have been following my blog you would have read in a prior post that we came to Ecuador with an extended Tourist Visa for 180 days. This was all arranged in Canada before we left for Ecuador. In my last post I mentioned that I would find out if you can register your visa in Manta or not. As I found out you can now register your visa in Manta. Now that is great news for anyone who is going to settle in the Manta area. Manta was added to the list along with Cuenca when the president of Ecuador changed a few things in June of this year regarding visas and immigration policies.
So you have your Tourist Visa in hand and you are moving to Ecuador? Follow me live as I take you on a first hand step by step guide on the complete process from when you arrive in Ecuador with your Tourist Visa, to obtaining your Investor Visa that grants you resident status in Ecuador.

Where to register your visa in Manta

Call it luck or maybe a better streamlined process, but the visa registration process in Manta took only about 2 hours. I was prepared to spend the better part of the day sitting waiting my turn for the "red tape" process to start and running around getting things that may be required by the nice lady behind the desk. Unbelievable! Was I really in Ecuador? Can't be possible! .I certainly would recommend you do this process with a translator. However, I learned that the department provides an English speaking worker in the department that will serve you if needed. With a stroke of luck I asked my translator to ask the woman if they also do Censo's and Investor Visa processing in Manta, the nice woman registering our visas said, "yes of course, right here!" All I could think of was "holy sh@t" at the moment.

That's right folks Manta is a one stop shop now for registering your visa, getting your censo(id number for non-immigrants staying longer than 90 days- renamed more on that in a moment) and Investor Visa or Retiree Visa.

The office where you will be going to do all this is actually in the Edificio Del Bank in the central part of Manta. The office is on the second floor and is the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores Comercio e Integracion.
During the registration process the person handling your processing will look at the documents you have for your extended 180 day visa that you prepared before you came to Ecuador if that applies to you. They will then register your visa by hand for the processing. Simple process just the waiting.
Now for the Censo- The Censo is the document that you need to have if you are in the country longer than 90 days. It is a single page document that has your id number and photo on it along with some other information that you can use instead of your passport. As of late June of this year, the Censo has been renamed to the Empadronamiento. During this processing they will ask you to get a photocopy (black & white is okay) of your passport page and your visa stamped page. You can send your translator if you have one down the street to do this while you wait or have your spouse do it. They will also take a passport style photo of you. If your spouse is a dependant then you will only have one document with two numbered seals. The second one will be your spouse's number. Total cost for the registration of your visa $0. The Empadronamiento $4.00!
The whole process for registering the visa and getting the Empadronamiento,around 2 hours.Not bad for Ecuador! So we have 2 down...next step is applying for the Investor Visa. Before we can proceed with this we need to get our house assessed by an official from the municipal office so we can have the minimum $25,000 needed to qualify for the Investor Visa. Remember this can also be in the form of a deposit to a bank account in Ecuador.We chose to use our house we built as the investment vehicle needed.
Stay tuned...we have yet to get our house assessment done. We are currently waiting...waiting...for a reply from the official that needs to assess our home.

Follow this series live with me as it happens. Come with me and see the process of what it takes to getting your resident status in Ecuador.

Stay tuned Folks!

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