Almost 2 weeks to the day after submitting our visa application for permanent Ecuadorian residency, we received the following email from the Ministerio de Relaciones Extranjeros:
Original Message ——–
Subject: RV: NOTIFICACION DE SOLICITUD DE VISA 9-II y 9-VI
From: Extranjeria Cuenca <firstname.lastname@example.org>
La cita es el martes 23 de julio a las 9h00
De: Extranjeria Cuenca
Enviado el: miércoles, 17 de julio de 2013 15:54
Asunto: NOTIFICACION DE SOLICITUD DE VISA 9-II y 9-VI
Estimado Sr. XXXXXX,
Por medio del presente, cúmpleme informarle que su solicitud de visa 9-II y 9-VI para su cónyuge, han sido aprobadas, por lo que tiene que acudir a nuestras oficinas el día martes 22 de julio a las 09h00, con el objeto que retire su certificado de depósito y lo lleve al Banco Central, una vez que tenga el certificado de custodia debe acercarse a nuestras oficinas nuevamente a las 11h00 para estampar sus visas para lo que necesitan sus pasaportes y $320 cada uno
Por favor confirmar su asistencia
Dirección de Extranjería – CZ6
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana
• Manuel J Calle 2100 y Cornelio Merchan
Cuenca – Ecuador
Whoopee! the visas have been approved. This note said, first, we needed to respond and agree to show up on Tuesday at 9 a.m., (we did that immediately!) and once we arrive at 9 a.m., they will hand us back our investment CD document which we will need to take it over to the Banco Centrale for them to ‘guardar’ in their coffers (I’m curious to know where/how they will keep it. Do they have safe deposit boxes? Do they have a special safe or spot for CD’s for visas? more later on that once we do this on Tuesday). They will give us some sort of official receipt and then we are to walk that back to the Ministerio where we have another 11:00 a.m. appointment to pay $320 each and get our passports stamped with our official permanent resident visa. Hooray! the culmination of almost 2 years of planning, purging and dreaming.
We plan to take all our documents with us, so that we can hopefully just meander over to the Cedula office and start that process, since the Cedula office is in the same building. Ojala we can do this right away.
We ordered some furniture just around the corner from the Ministerio, so, after all the visas stuff is done we plan to walk over to the tienda and ask if, with any luck, are they ready yet? And then we will have a celebratory lunch.
I want to let my readers know that once our documents were submitted, after 3 trips to the Visa office where the lovely ladies carefully explained all we needed to do, correct, edit or change; only 2 weeks elapsed until we received the notice that the visas were approved. The ladies at the Visa office seem to take their jobs very seriously and they spent quite a bit of time each visit, poring over our documents and translations, and politely explaining all. They told us that they need to make sure that all the documents are correct and that they correspond to all legal requirements for a permanent visa. They had told us that you shouldn’t have to pay for a lawyer or facilitator for this process, and we are proof that this is true. Thank you, Ladies!
Our total costs were the charges for obtaining the apostilled documents in the states (from 3 different states, each state had different charges), the cost for color copies (passport pages, marriage license, state police reports and the corresponding apostille pages), the cost for Christabel’s translations (excellent, and I highly recommend her) and the charges for the notarization (Christabel took care of this for this and gave us a receipt) of each translated page. We did obtain the notarized passport copies ourselves as they didn’t require a translation. For both our visas, all totaled up (I can’t remember what I paid for birth certs and marriage license) all the charges were well below $1000, for both, not each.
We did all the paperwork here in Cuenca, except for ordering the certs and the apostilles while we were in the states before arriving June 1 in Ecuador (and the aforementioned hiccup of the stale dated marriage license that had to be replaced and sent here to Cuenca). If I had paid attention and had ordered a fresh marriage license in the spring when I ordered the birth certificates, and had it apostilled along with all the other documents, we wouldn’t have had to wait to submit the application until July 4; we would have been able to submit everything within a week or two of our Ecuador arrival on June 1. Oh well, one small minor issue was no big deal, I say.
Don’t tell hubby, but this means now I can REALLY start shopping for stuff for our casa! Shelves, cushions, more pillows, pictures/wall hangings, dishes, more utensils. Here I come Cuenca, I’m buying!