09 October 2012 .
9-II Investor’s Visa in Real Estate Requirements (Visa de Inversionista en Bien Raiz):
Before coming to Ecuador:
1. Get your original birth certificate from the Municipality of your birth, then get the document apostilled or certified by the nearest Ecuador Consulate.
Tip: The verification of notary is a document verifying that the notary is really licensed to notarize in the area in question. It can be attained quickly in the locally located County Clerk’s office.
2. Go to the local sheriff’s office of the county you have resided the last 5 years and request a criminal record check. Get notarized plus get the verification of notary from the County Clerk’s office. Then get this document apostilled.
Tip: An Apostille is different from a “State Seal” and is the ONLY internationally recognized way to legalize documents. To get a document apostilled in the USA, the least expensive way is to write directly to your local Statewide Secretary of State with $10 per apostille and an envelope so they can mail it back.
Once in Ecuador…
3. Write petition letter stating request and sign it (can use example included wherein).
4. Fill out forms included with this guide, the application form (solicitud de visa) and the order for ID Card (orden de cedulacion).
5. Get 3 notarized color copies of your passport and 4 passport photos. Tip: Learn from my mistake and wait until Ecuador to notarize copies of your passport, it is only $1 and can be done in minutes compared to what you have to do in the US! In order to get a notarized copy of your passport while still in the US you will need to write the National Secretary of State in Washington DC by mail and pay $50 because you will find local notary’s in the US won’t be able to notarize a copy of a Nationally issued document like your passport. Just applying this fact alone can pay for the price of this guide!
6 Get the documents you attained in the USA officially translated by one of the many translators that lobby their services just outside the immigration offices in Quito, Cuenca or Guayaquil. They normally charge around $30 per officially translated document. Allow 24 hours to process. One translator in Guayaquil is Ing. Ricardo Montalvo with offices in Kenedy Norte Mz 401 solar 6, Calles Neptali Zuniga y Justino Cornejo Tel: 2683901 / 097107481.
7. Gather notarized copy of the title or “Escritura” of the property you own as registered in the Registro de la Propiedad (Property Registry) wherever the property is located.
8. Get the “Certificado original del historia del dominio y gravamenes” (Official Domain History Certificate) of the property in the applicant’s name.
9. Get the payment receipt of the last yearly property tax of the property which also states the official Municipal value of the property which should be no less than $25,000 USD and must increase $500 USD in value for each dependent of the applicant that is also coming to Ecuador. This document is locally referred to as the “carta original del pago del impuesto predial” which is attained from the Municipality Office (Municipio) where your property is located.
10. Go to the “Direccion de Extranjeria” (immigration office) in your city of choice for the application: Quito, Cuenca or Guayaquil. In Guayaquil the “Direccion de Extranjeria” is in the golden colored building locally known as the GOBIERNO LITORAL where you will officially submit your residency application.
Before submitting, your first step once in their offices will be to request a certificate (Certificado de Movimiento Migratorio) which certifies your migratory movements in and out of Ecuador. In Guayaquil, this certificate can be attained right in the same offices where you’ll be applying and can be given immediately.
Once you have this certificate you can officially submit your application, if you have all the other necessary documents you will be told to pay the cashier the application fee of $30, and upon acceptance of the visa you will be required to pay the remaining $320 visa fee.
11. Once you have the APPROVED VISA in your passport you will still need to get a “cedula” which serves as your local ID card and is a must get within 30 days of your visa approval.
Just take the paper “Certificado de Visacion” they return back to you along with your visa as well as the approved “Orden de Cedulacion” (order for ID card) to the Civil Registry (Registro Civil).
Tip: You should also bring a notarized copy of a water or electric bill of your residence (even if it isn’t in your name), a notarized copy of your proof of pension and a notarized copy of your birth certificate. You also may be asked by the officials to get a sworn statement done in a notary (declaracion juramentada) that states the following information (your full name, date and place of birth, nationality, civil status, education level, profession, names and nationalities of mother and father, name and nationality of spouse if applicable, your local Ecuador address and telephone.
Tip: Most cedulas are given 24 hours after submitting your application but if you insist politely that you need it back immediately due to a medical issue I have had success getting my cedula the same day. The cedula is valid for 10 years.
And to stay up to date on the latest developments throughout Ecuador sign up for my weekly newsletter on Ecuador living and investing, you can unsubscribe at any time: