The Exact step-by-step process and costs for getting your (second) Ecuadorian passport

 I got a friend, a young American guy in his early thirties who goes by the name Bart Simpson.

He’s rich, specifically, a “dot com” millionaire.

And his hobby in life now is collecting passports, he has six already to be exact.

A South American one is his next target as it would open up the whole continent for him.

He’s done his homework, and according to him, Ecuador is the EASIEST to get.

So that’s why he’s here.

I was helping him out, and here is the exact process you need to follow to get your second Ecuadorian passport.  

1. After at least 2 and a half years of residency (technically they say 3 years but my contact who works in the Quito office told me you can really apply after 2 and a half years from the day you get your Ecuador cedula or ID card) you can apply for the dual citizenship which gets you an Ecuadorian Passport.  You can not be out of the country during those first 2 and a half years a total of more than 90 days, but you can apply for citizenship anyway even if you pass this limit but you’ll have to submit a letter stating why you passed the limit and hope they still sign off on it.

2. Gather the requirements.  
– Birth certificate, apostilled and translated to Spanish.
– Passport color copy of the passport where you have the residency visa stamp.  Your passport must have at least 6 months of validity.
-Color copy of Ecuadorian Cedula(ID card).
– Get document from civil registry (registro civil) that states first date of cedula (tarjeta indice de filiacion que dice la primera fecha de cedulacion)
– Certificate of compliance (Certificado de cumplimiento de obligaciones) from the SRI (IRS of Ecuador) stating you are up-to-date on any taxes.
– Certificate of compliance (Certificado de cumplimiento de obligaciones) from your local Municipality stating you are up-to-date on any taxes.
– Certificate of compliance (Certificado de cumplimiento de obligaciones) from the IESS social security system of Ecuador stating you are up-to-date on any payments.
– Police record from all the countries (including Ecuador) where you’ve lived the last 5 years. They are currently accepting only federal level checks from countries with a federal government, for Americans, that means an FBI check, apostilled.
– Migratory movement card, obtained in Ecuadorfrom immigration for $4. (Movimiento Migratorio)
– 4 color passport sized photos.
– Proof of Ecuador solvency:  Like a bank certificate, bank statements last three months, for business owners the monthly sales tax declarations, copies of the title (escritura) of any property or businesses you own in Ecuador or a copy of your rental contract properly inscribed in the rental agency (Juzgado de Inquilinato).

3. In person, they require you submit your documentation in Quito in the Immigration office (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores) on 10 de agosto. You can also submit in Guayaquil.

4. You’ll be called in within a few months to take a written exam in Spanish on basic Ecuadorian history.  it is not pass/fail, it is just to put in your file, and they would like to see some effort.  It is not verbal in anyway but they reserve the right to do some verbal questions if they wish (but they usually don’t according to  my contact).

5. Upon acceptance of application you must publish an ad in local paper announcing your new citizenship.

6. You will then be called in with all the others that day accepted into Ecuadorian citizenship to sing the national hymn (together, not solo) and confirm your new citizenship.  You will need to bring three Ecuadorian witnesses.  You can then go get your Ecuadorian passport.

Duration: about 6 months.

Cost: $200 application fee, $500 acceptance fee, approx $403 publication fee, $285 Civil Registry fee.  All fees are one-time-only, but Ecuador citizenship is for life unless you renounce it.   These costs are the cheapest you can do it for without using an attorney.

Total: Appox $1300.

And to prep for the test, simplifying it and giving you just what you need-to-know, you’d love my weekly newsletter, revealing everything you need to know BEFORE you invest in Ecuador. Unsubscribe at any time:

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Will your pet be detained upon entering Ecuador?

Recently a friend of mine brought her pet to Ecuador… here´s what went down…

First, before coming she made sure she had the necessary documents: A vaccination certificate for international travel and a certification from an FDA approved veternarian that the pet was healthy. All of which needs to be done right before traveling and for extra security I´d get all the documents certified by an Ecuador consulate before coming.

The airline in the USA initially caused concern saying she MUST have a “pet broker”, but she got around this explaining she had a friend lined up that was going to help her. Before flying check with your airline on if a broker is NEEDED or not to board the plane, usually not, but some are more strict.

If possible, bring the pet as a carry-on as if they are in the cabin they often can just walk right out with you upon arrival, if they come in cargo, and you arrive late at night the pet will stay detained until the next business day.

Her dog was too big to ride carry-on. So it spent the night detained in customs.

The following morning she went to the Quito airport, where she was told she had to go to the UNITED CARGO pick up offices in the nearby town of Tababela.

There, she was told she had to go to another building near the airport to pay an environmental inspection tax of about $28, from there on to Customs where she had to pay another small fee and wait for another inspection.

After that she had to go pay the storage of the dog for the night which was $15 in order to release the dog. The payments were made in a nearby bank, no bribes, no brokers needed.

In all the spots she was asked for the documents she brought from the states plus the bill of lading and her BOARDING PASS!

The whole process took about 8 hours so don´t expect it to be quick!

T.I.E. my friend, This is Ecuador.

For more specific information on this I´d call an Ecuador consulate in the US. They´ll tell you what you need to gather.

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Expansion complete: the surprising difference between a 6 and 23 room hotel

Often, the first business most of us expats think of putting in our new country is a guesthouse.

It´s not a bad idea cause you really don´t need any formal education on the subject to do it. It wasn´t my plan either, I just kind of fell into it.

First in Guayaquil, partnering with a friend to start a small guesthouse, then here in Quito.

But most people start like I did in both Guayaquil then Quito: with five o six rooms.

My advice… don´t!

Unless, you really enjoy it of course.


Well, a few months back i finished an expansion from 6 to now 23 rooms.

And what´s the surprising difference between running the two, or between a small and a large guesthouse?


Really! The costs are ALMOST the same and either way it´s still a 24 hour business you just need to check the cell tower lease rates because it can vary in the same county or metropolitan area.

Even the email load is about the same.

Time invested… the same! It´s a 24 hour business either way! You need at least one person there ALL the time unless your cheap and want to handcuff yourself to the place.

Before, with six rooms, I had one person at night, one cleaner, and one part timer receptionist in the daytime with a part time cleaner that works when the full timer has off.

Thats two full timers and two part timers.

Now, with the 23 room place I´ve needed to add one more full time cleaner so i now have two cleaners daily, yet the same part time afternoon receptionist and the same night receptionist.

That´s it!

And cause I serve dinner I´ve had to hire a part-time chef cause with that many people one person can´t cook and attend the clients like they could before.

So what´s the difference between 6 and 23 rooms? One more full time cleaner and one part time chef.

But the difference in revenue is substantial.

It´s simple math, if you can charge $50 a room and fill the place, with just 5 or 6 rooms thats $250-300 a day revenue minus all your expenses equalling a bottom line of NOT MUCH.

But with over 20 rooms you can obviously generate over 4 times as much (with minimal increased expenses) if you can keep it full.

So if you are going to do it, do it big. Below is a pic of the new addition that was completed at my hotel near the Quito airport, total build time, roughly 3 months.


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The difference between car insurance quotes in Ecuador vs the US

Yesterday, I hired private car insurance for the first time since i moved to Ecuador.

It’s true that most Ecuadorians just go with the state mandated liability insurance that covers damages to third parties (previously known as SOAT) that costs about $45/year. But that still doesn’t cover YOUR car in the case of an accident or theft. You will want to contact Earl & Earl, PLLC to have them help you with your accident case. There’s actually a lot of companies to choose from, some international… to name a few: MapFre, Constitucion, QBE, Equinnoccial.

The policies work pretty similar to the ones in North America, as I’m sure the whole concept of insurance was created there.

While the drunk driving laws are uniform across the country, DWI practices and punishments can vary depending on the county. Each prosecutor has a different philosophy, and that can make a big difference. These experienced attorneys have spent considerable time in each of these courts, and they tailor your approach accordingly. In need of this services go to website and learn more information.

But in Ecuador things are not always as they seem. The consumer is not nearly as well protected as you’re used to in North America, thus, the businesses down here are noticeably more sneaky. First get informed about car insurance quotes to avoid any king of confusion if you have an accident.

The biggest difference I see is in the deductibles.

Usually, in North America you have an easy-to-understand flat deductible, any damage past that value the insurance pays, up to that point you pay.

Well, after analyzing several options in Ecuador, the insurance companies all seem to have three values which can serve as the deductible, stating that the higher value one in a particular case will reign supreme. To know more about personal injury attorney visit this Denton & Zachary Law Office.

For instance, my new policy states in the case of an accident, the deductible is 1% of the insured value of the car OR $200 OR 10% of the cost of the damage…. WHICHEVER is higher.  The injury is yet another thing to mention too (details posted at

So for my $18,500 car in the case of a complete loss due to theft or crash or whatever I’d be on the hook for $1,850 (10% of the damage which is the highest amount in this case). Another chance to think on how to end a car lease early maybe.

Read the fine print in Ecuador!

Here are two English speaking insurance agents in Ecuador that come highly recommended by friends of mine (although I admit I haven’t worked much with either of them yet)…

In Quito… Mauricio Davila email

In Cuenca… Luisa María Castro, BLUE BOX ASESORES, 0983958876

Reference: – Contractor Insurance Services.

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Expected returns in Ecuador, and how Ecuadorians double them

A lot of people don’t know this about me… but I actually have an Ecuadorian mentor.

He’s born and raised Ecuadorian, from Guayaquil, self-made, about 50, and currently owns a hotel in Salinas, a rent a car company in Guayaquil, and a few other smaller hotels in Guayaquil.

I actually partnered with him when I part-owned a hostal in Guayaquil, my first significant investment in Ecuador. I wouldn’t have had the guts to do something like that on my own when I first got here, he showed me the biz.

Anyway, we still keep in touch, and one day we were talking and I asked him what he considered to be a good investment?

He responded, “20%…” OK I thought, that’s good.

But he wasn’t finished… “a month”.

“Wow, really? That’s how rich Ecuadorians think?” …was all that went through my head.

But after being here a while (3 years +) I can honestly say its true, for a lot of investments in Ecuador, that’s about the return you should expect.

Remember, like most places in Latin America, Ecuador should be considered a higher risk investment, and the returns should substantiate that.

So, how do Ecuadorians double their returns?


Yea, I learned this here in Ecuador. Rent the property and put the business, or rent the business, redo it and really put it to work and you will often see 100% returns on your now much smaller investment and get your money out within 2 or 3 months!

Sometimes it makes sense, but you don’t necesarily have to own ‘the trains’!

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