Published on July 23rd, 20166
DIY Transfer an Ecuador 9-I Visa to a New Passport (Part 1)
Woo-Hoo! Could it be any easier?
The task: Transfer my 9-I permanent residency visa from my old passport to my new one.
It seems many expats here often wax all woe-is-me about the protracted ack of getting any kind of gubberment business done here in Ecuador. Granted I did my due diligence homework, and even queried three different attorneys/facilitators – with fees for helping me with the visa transfer ranging from a low of $100 to a breathtaking $300!
But in the end, I decided to do it myself because – after all I love nothing better than a little adventure, yes? 🙂
Indeed, online advice proved elusive, nebulous and contradictory at best, but I was pretty sure I’d need to head out to the new immigration office in Azogues (40 min. by bus from Cuenca), and before that – I figured I best get all my ducks (read: papers) in a row.
I also knew I needed an official visa transfer “application” but wasn’t sure just where to obtain such an exotic animal. Nonetheless, one afternoon last week I gathered up my color copies (of both passport ID pages + the EC visa page + cedula – 2 copies of each of these), along with a printout (again, 2 copies, just to be on the safe side) of my bank statement showing pension deposits for the past 3 months, and… I skipped on over to the immigration office near Parque de la Madre. I had no idea if they could help me, and I had no appointment of course, but suffice…
In a grand total of 5 short minutes – I walked in, and came out with everything I needed (the application, full instructions – in Spanish of course, but still – plus she even gave me a wee map showing exactly where I needed to go to get my “movimientos migratorio” certificate from the police).
Woot! Let’s all give a round of applause for the efficiency and kindness of the immigration office here in Cuenca! The entire affair was conducted fully in Spanish, but at the very end, she thanked me in English and praised my (still a bit stumbly) Spanish.
Next Stop: Policia Migratorio
The following day, armed with my wee map and address to the Policia Migratorio office (where I needed to get a certificate confirming just how many days I’d been out of Ecuador in the past 2 years), I hopped in a taxi and $1.60 later I arrived at the office (again, with no appointment, and but a prayer of what I might find there). Once again – this 2nd chore couldn’t have been more congenial and easy-peasy. Two kindly police officers swiftly checked the computer record and printed out my (very spiffy, emblazoned with a shiny, silver embossed seal no less) “Certificado de Movimiento Migratorio”:
Just as I’d anticipated – the printout spelled out that I’d:
- Initially entered Ecuador on 12 February 2014
- Skipped out of the country to take a peek at Isla de Pasqua (Easter Island) in Chile on 17 May 2015
- Returned to Ecuador a week later on 23 May
- 5 months later, headed out to explore Cuba for a spell on 27 October 2015
- Returned once again to my new adopted home here in Ecuador on 11 November.
The three of us even had a bit of fun, adding up the total number of days I’d been out of Ecuador in the 2+ years that I’ve lived here. Note, under a permanent resident Ecuador visa, you’re restricted from being out of the country more than 90 (intermittent) days each year for the first 2 years. Me? My total days out of Ecuador (not counting my wondrous 11 day exodus to those luscious Galapagos Islands which are of course IN Ecuador, albeit 600 miles off the coast) turned out to be but an (uncharacteristically paltry) 23 days.
With my sweet embossed “migratorio” in my pocket, I was then all set – ready to head out to Azogues to begin the transfer process. Just to be safe though, I again walked over to the immigration office here in Cuenca – just to make sure that everything was in order before I hopped on the bus to Azogues. I also confirmed that none of the documents needed to be notarized – yay!
So far the process has cost me $2 in color copies + $1.60 taxi fare + $5 for the Movimiento Migratorio certificate = $8.60 plus about 30 minutes of my time. With any luck, hopefully the process will continue to be as easy as it’s been so far. Do tune in to Part 2 of my DIY Ecuador 9-I visa transfer to see how it all turns out.
FWIW, I’ve also confirmed that I apparently COULD take BOTH passports with me when I head to the Balkans in September, but as I have the time, I figure I may as well get the visa transferred so I only need take the new passport.
Also, now that I have the instructions in Spanish, by searching Google I was able to find where you can download the application yourself at:
You’re welcome. 🙂
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