Ecuador Dual Citizenship: How to Apply?

get ecuador second passport

Some get one for the “show”.

Some get one to feel like Bond when the cute airport clerk asks for their passport…

…so their reply can be “which one?”

Some get a second passport and dual nationality for tax, business or other personal reasons.

At least if you are an American who likes to travel you should seriously consider it.

Fact is, a quickly growing amount of countries these days charge Americans a stiff fee for entry visas when other nationalities walk in free or for pennies on the dollar.

China, India, Brazil and Bolivia all fall under this category.

As I discovered last year traveling through the middle east, other surprisingly nice countries are sadly off limits to Americans.

Many in fact.

Thankfully, Ecuador still warmly receives Americans as they do Europeans or Canadians.

And it’s relatively EASY to get dual citizenship and thus a second passport from Ecuador.

After sitting down with an immigration official this week, in December of 2012, here’s what I learned about how you can apply for Ecuadorian dual citizenship…

The main requirement is you need to be a resident of Ecuador for a minimum of 3 years from the date in which you get your first “cedula (Ecuador ID card)” or 2 years if you have an Ecuadorian kid.

You then need to gather the following documents:

1. Birth certificate apostilled (if from a country from within the apostille treaty like the US) or legalized by an Ecuadorian consulate abroad and then translated.
2. Copy of passport notarized and the original with the current resident visa.
3. Copy of cedula notarized and original.
4. Certificate from both the SRI (the Ecuadorian IRS) and the BIESS (Social Security) stating you have no outstanding debts to either. (Certificacion de no ser deudor.)
5. Your Ecuador police record and immigration movement documents. (Movimiento migratorio y record policial)
6. 4 passport photos.

The cost is $700, $200 paid up front, then $500 after being approved.

And there are no language tests, dorky Ecuadorian history tests nor required military service or further obligations upon attaining Ecuadorian citizenship.

Ecuador income is taxed by the Ecuador government, foreign income is not, regardless of if you are a citizen or not.

Currently, unless Peruvian or Colombian all foreigners need to apply for citizenship out of the Quito immigration office on Av. Carrion and 10 de Agosto.

That’s it.

Now you’ve got your Ecuadorian passport and can waltz freely through South America, the Galapagos, the Middle East and Cuba without paying a cent of visa fees or hassles.

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Map of South Ecuador Coast: Montanita, Olon, Salinas

Map of South Ecuador Coast: Montanita, Olon, Salinas

salinas montanita ecuador map
salinas to montanita ecuador map


One price for WHOLE HOUSE… fit as many people as you like!

$30 per day, $180 per week, $380 per month.

Quaint house with beautiful 180 degree ocean view for rent 3 minute walk from beach and 25 minute walk to the center of Montanita.


3 Bedroom (with 1 queen bed each), 2 bath, furnished kitchen, stove, mini-refrigerator, patio with hammocks overlooking the ocean, yard, garden.

3 Bed
2 Bath
Terraza with porch with ocean view
Parking area
Pets OK
Guests allowed no extra fees, parties OK
$100 security deposit, can rent for days, weeks or months.
In secured, gated complex with 24 hr guard.

Call Dom at 0969251257, dombuon AT to reserve now or write him below to reserve:

[contact-form 16 “montanitaVacRen”]






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How to sell your property in Ecuador… Fast

salinas property

A view from the front of the lot. 

For six weeks I put the sale of a beachfront lot I purchased for resale on hold while I built 3 tiki-style beach huts on the southen coast of Ecuador on a different oceanview lot in time for the upcoming rentals high-season here (late Dec- early Apr) according to an study when we buy houses hickory nc trough the year.

Now as I mentioned earlier this week, I’m finished building so I’ll focus back on selling the beachfront lot I purchased to resell.

It’s a good lot.

In an area with great potential for short-term growth, flat, on a small bluff elevated about 15 feet over the ocean, 475 m2 (5112 ft2), right on the beach with no road in front, 25 minutes from Salinas in a small, non-commercialized fishing village right in town near water/electricity and I’ve decided to ask only $16k with hopes to sell it quick.  That’s roughly $33 a square meter which for beachfront is a good deal in this area of the Ecuador coast where I’ve seen similar beachfront lots sell anywhere from $35-200 per m2 for smaller lots like this one. For power washing decks, one needs to have perfect knowledge and research work, you can go for the warm traditional Fiberon decking, you can streamline your home’s look with some super cozy. Power washing or power cleaning decks done with the help of an expert concrete company brings good results. It is as good as invested money brings nice returns but any mistake done by you or the professional can lead to heavy damages. Therefore I suggest giving this work in the hand of some experienced and old company. There are four stages in pressure washing deck. First step is obviously choosing the right concrete company for carrying out the task, second step is choosing supplies, third step is spraying and the last step includes additional techniques and methods. If all these steps are performed well and with expertise then your money invested on pressure washing deck gives great result. Power Washing Experts | H&A Power Washing Queens have the tools needed to clean all fencing and decking materials. Whether you’re dealing with a wood deck or a vinyl fence, you can guarantee that we’ve got you covered. We’ll find a way to clean up the mess for you no matter what.

My initial marketing strategy will be three-pronged, simple and inexpensive, we’ll see if and how fast it works…

1. List with 1-2 local real estate agents in the Salinas area.
– Exclusivity is neither expected nor respected in Ecuador by most property sellers, sellers usually sell a rental property through multiple agents list and promote their property and pay the commission to whoever sells it first.  I’ll aim to get the lot listed by a few of the Salinas agents who I know really sell properties, and there are also some other resources which you can find in this Homepage which can help you selling your house.  Not all agents in Ecuador actually can sell!  Property corner also provides the best agents that helps very efficiently and may be best agents for you.. I’m happy to offer 3-5% if an agent can help find me a buyer and show my lot, well worth it.  I value marketing and sales cause I’m a marketing guy myself!

2. Publish ad in the major local newspaper.
– I plan on taking an ad in the Sunday classifieds of El Comercio, the major local paper in the area, in Spanish targeting the local market.

3. Post on the net (in English) targeting the English-speaking market abroad.
– On my own site where I let anyone selling property in Ecuador under $50k publish for free, or for $20 a month if they are looking to promote a property asking more than $50k.

– Publish ad on Craigslist in English aimed at the foreign market interested in Ecuador property.  It’s free and it’s popular worldwide and a great way to get the property in front of more eyeballs looking for real estate in Ecuador.

– Post on , Its a high ranking site where I can pay a small fee to get my property for sale in front of even more eyeballs looking for Ecuador land.

Hopefully in one of my next updates you’ll learn as I learn through the sale… 😉

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What you must bring to Ecuador to get a residency visa

ecuador resident visas

This week I got a question from a friend…

“Dom, I heard you offer a free visa consultation for those interested out of your B&B in Guayaquil, I’m headed back to the US for 3 weeks, what documents and things do I need to bring back to Ecuador in order to get a residency visa?”

Great question.

As with any visa process, there is a laundry list of requirements all attainable rather pain-free once already in Ecuador. BUT there are a few requirements you CAN’T get in Ecuador, so you will need to bring them from your home country. Or, you could choose someone to help you out with the dreary proceedings one needs to go through before making your way to the States. But shun the chagrin by deploying the paperwork to an agency reputed and experienced in the business, like the good folks up here at EB5.

Regardless of your choice of visa, you will need to bring…

1. A birth certificate apostatized by your secretary of state (for US citizens only) or have your birth certificate certified/legalized by an Ecuadorian Embassy in your HOME country. I recommend getting your documents certified by an Ecuadorian Consulate, some state apostles no longer look like apostles so some immigration officials won’t accept them even though they should. Ecuadorians love STAMPS.

2. A reverse phone look up service check and a local police record check from where you’ve lived the last five years… you’ll need this document apostatized or legalized by an Ecuadorian consulate in your home country. A federal or FBI check is not necessary.

3a. For MARRIED folks, you’ll need an official copy of your marriage certificate apostatized or legalized/certified by an Ecuadorian consulate in your home country.

3b. For SINGLE folks, your proof of “single” status can be obtained from the Secretary of State in your former home state (in fact NOT from a consulate like the Ecuadorian Cedula employee told me earlier this week), but a certified divorce decree, will also serve the same purpose. This document also needs to be apostilled or legalized by an Ecuadorian consulate in your home country. (THIS IS ONLY NEEDED FOR THE CEDULA, NOT THE RESIDENCY VISA.)

For folks applying for the PENSIONERS resident visa…

4. You’ll need a document serving as proof of your pension from the issuing institution legally apostatized or certified in an Ecuadorian Consulate in your home country. For instance, this can be a BENEFITS STATEMENT from a social security or disability pay out.

For folks looking to get an investors visa the first 3 requirements are all you need to bring to Ecuador, the rest is attainable once here and translations of foreign documents to Spanish IS necessary but can be done cheaper once in Ecuador.

Random visa notes and Q&A based on yesterdays email…

– First a correction, as of July of 2012, you can, in fact, get both your residency visa AND cedula (Offical Ecuador ID card) in Cuenca as well as in Guayaquil and Quito. I think many are still unaware of this, like I was, cause many folks still come to Guayaquil to get cedulas when they no longer have to.

– Sc@m alert… one subscriber emailed me.. “I was told by someone that there were coming changes that would make getting a residency visa harder and that if I give him $1395 that he could get me “grandfathered” in so that I wouldn’t have to deal with all the new requirements.” … my response. This is simply not true, the requirements MAY change, who knows, but their are currently no plans to do so. This sounds like a dishonest sales pitch.

– Question… “[one guy] said he could get me my residency papers right away, but I wouldn’t have to come down right off, they’d be ready for me when I came down. In other words, that’s all bunk too?”

My response… I would NOT start this process from abroad… just wait until YOU ARE IN ECUADOR to begin the residency process… AND DONT use a lawyer who will likely overcharge you and then not do the work! It is really NOT necessary to use a lawyer for visas in Ecuador. This is something you can do yourself if you speak Spanish or to save a bit of hassle you could hire a facilitator (like me when I have free time :)), for instance, I charge $350 and within one month you can get both your residency visa and cedula. That’s about the going rate. Lawyers usually charge double or triple that and often take MUCH longer to complete the job.

– Question: “I just received my 12-1x visa yesterday and am going back the states next thursday. What effect does my leaving have on my visa. Do I save days on the 180 for time spent away?”

My Response… I’ve seen people leave Ecuador with time left on a visa and when they come back they are given ONLY the remaining time until the visa expires. For a different scenario, as for the free 3 month stamp upon entry, for example, if you come to Ecuador for 2 months, leave for a month, and come back they probably will stamp your passport upon entry allowing only a 1 month stay because in a year you are only allowed to be in Ecuador for 3 months on the free tourist stamp. It works similar for visas like in your case.

– Question: “Can you explain the requirements once a residence visa has been obtained? Must a permanent resident reside in Ecuador full time or is part time sufficient?”

My Response… technically, they say officially that you need to be in the country for at least 9 months a year your first two years, but unofficially I know several people who have spent less time in Ecuador with no problems. The only time I foresee a problem is if you plan to apply for Ecuador dual citizenship as allowed after 2-3 years of residency.

– Question: “How long is the residency visa or cedula valid?”

My Response… Residency visas in Ecuador are “Indefinite” meaning you never have to renew them as long as you meet the requirements of which you used to get your visa.

– Question: “I can’t move to Ecuador yet do to my job, but should I get the residency visa now?”

My Response… you can be in Ecuador up to 6 months a year on tourist visas, so just do that if you don’t plan on living here… why go through the hassle and expense if you aren’t even going to live here, for now. If you don’t move here now, chances are you never will… that’s just how life is, am I wrong?

– Question: “Dom, I’m already in Ecuador, but I forgot the aforementioned documents, can I still apply for the residency visa?”

My Response… no! You will need these documents before applying but you CAN send away for them from Ecuador if you have a good friend in your home country who can gather these documents for you and DHL them to you… I just did this this week for someone and from the US to Ecuador DHL delivered in 2 days!

– Question: “Dom, how long does it take to get the residency visa and cedula once submitting the application?”

My Response… 3 weeks to one month. If it takes longer there may be a problem or you may have selected the person to help you get your visa and cedula poorly.

– Question: “Dom, oops, I overstayed my visa in Ecuador, is there a fine or sanctions I will be subject to?”

My Response… As of 2012, there is no more fine for overstaying your visa although corrupt immigration officials may still try to charge you it… I’ve seen it happen, just a few weeks ago!…You can however hold firm and they likely won’t insist. There is however restrictions on when you can come back into the country unless you get approved for a visa before coming back to Ecuador. Always best to stay legal.

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2012 Changes to Ecuador Residency Requirements

2012 ecuador residency changes

One big reason to move to Ecuador is the ease with which you can become a LEGAL resident.

Trust me, it stinks to have to make border runs every month or two like expats in Thailand, or overstay your visa illegally.

This year, in 2012, I’ve started helping new expats in Ecuador get residency visas or tourist visa extensions while they stay in my B&B in Guayaquil.

And through this work, I’ve witnessed a few changes to the requirements over the course of 2012.

Here they are as I write this on November 23, 2012…

1. A few months ago they abolished the rule that you had to submit your application for residency visas or extensions with at least 30 days remaining before your current visa expires. Now, as long as you get it in while still on a valid visa in Ecuador you’re OK.

2. Around August they started requiring foreigners bring a birth certificate (apostilled or certified in an Ecuadorian embassy abroad) from their home country in order to get the “cedula” or your official Ecuadorian ID card.

3. Over the course of the last year Ecuador has opened immigration offices in both Manta and Cuenca where you can apply for residency visas but in Manta you still cant attain your Ecuadorian “Cedula”.

4. Last week while helping someone get their cedula, I learned of a brand new rule on the books (directly from the Cedula Officials) that foreigners getting first time cedulas need to get proof of their civil state, meaning if they are single, they need to go to their Secretary of State and get a document verifying they are in fact “single” in their home country, or bring an apostilled or Ecuadorian-Embassy-Certified marriage certificate. Before, if you were single just doing a quick sworn statement in a local notary would do. As of now, they still might accept the sworn statement because new laws usually take a while to begin to get enforced.

What hasn’t changed?

Thankfully, for several years now the main qualifications needed for a residency visa have not changed… as of yet. You still qualify for residency in Ecuador if you have a pension over $800 a month (or $900/mon if you’d like to bring a spouse), or an investment in the country legally valued over $25,000.

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