Visa Part 4 – Good News – our Resident Visas Have Been Approved!

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 ——–
From: Extranjeria Cuenca <>

La cita es el martes 23 de julio a las 9h00


De: Extranjeria Cuenca 
Enviado el: miércoles, 17 de julio de 2013 15:54
Para: ‘’

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  

Saludos Cordiales,

 Dirección de Extranjería – CZ6

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana

• Manuel J Calle 2100 y Cornelio Merchan

• Telf.: + (593 7) 4075 942 • Ext. 18021

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!


10 responses to “Visa Part 4 – Good News – our Resident Visas Have Been Approved!

  1. Excellent! I’m so very pleased for you and also so appreciative that you share your story as it unfolded.

  2. Celeste Riedemann

    That is good news. Congratulations. We are planning a trip to Ecuador in Sept. There are 4 of us and we’ve never been there before. Really looking forward to it. Always look forward to your posts. Thank you.

    • Thank you! Are you flying into Quito or Guayaquil? Maybe I can help with a few suggestions if you are coming into EC in either place. If you come to Cuenca, let me know when, and we can meet somewhere downtown for coffee!

      • Celeste Riedemann

        I believe we are flying into Quito. We will be flying stand by so won’t know for sure when. We are definitely planning to go to Cuenca and would love to meet up with you. I will keep in touch with you now. Thank you.

      • Celeste Riedemann

        Do you have a suggestion for a ‘reasonable’ hotel close to the airport in Quito? We will be flying in late at night.

  3. I’ve been enjoying your blog and following your journey to Ecuador. Congratulations on your residency! My husband and I were also thinking of going with the investment visa but had a question which you might be able to answer. By becoming permanent residents of Ecuador, do US citizens forfeit rights to social security at retirement age? (Assuming the SS administration is still functioning since we are 50 and 43)

    • No, as a U.S. citizen, if you worked your 10 years (it used to be 40 quarters of work, now it’s 10 years of fulltime work) you qualify for both Medicare and Social Security, assuming it is still the same in the next 20 years. You can have more than one citizenship, also. However, if you stop working in the U.S. at age 43 and stop earning any money there, you will have a very small SS $$ income at age 62, since you will have 20 years of no work. If you are a U.S. citizen, and you maintain your citizenship, you are required to declare ALL worldwide income, even if you don’t live in the U.S. Are you planning on earning an income when you come to Ecuador?

  4. Thanks for replying. Yes, hoping to earn an online income and considering going back to the states for a couple of months a year to earn money as needed.

  5. Celeste Riedemann

    We will be in Quito around 9/12 or 9/13 then down to Cuenca. I’m assuming the weather will be mild? Maybe a light jacket for evenings? I’m really hoping we can meet up for coffee some time that week.

  6. Celeste, I would recommend 2 hotels, one in Quito (Holiday Inn Express, good location, will pick you up if you email or phone them) or the B & B Ceramica–,0%5D;dsti:6247494;dstt:1;dsts:Tababela;cur:GBP;sort:2_asc;frm:1;
    The B & B will also send a taxi to the airport for you if you email them, and the owners are quite lovely people. It’s about 15 minutes from the airport. Both places include a full breakfast. I love both places, for different reasons! B & B is quiet, peaceful, beautiful spot; HHE is right in Quito for nightlife, shopping, restaurants, etc. Your choice!

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