Cuenca Law Office, Ecuador


Idrovo & Velastegui Attorneys at Law


Husband and wife team, Nelson Idrovo and Grace Velastegui, specialize in residency visas, real estate and custom clearance aiding foreigners immigrating to Ecuador.

Grace is fluent in Spanish and English. Learn more about Grace.

Contact Information:

Address: Luis Cordero 6-41 and Presidente Cordova, Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
Phone: Office: 593-7-2842225 / Cell: 099-611-0451
Email: gracevelastegui (at) yahoo (dot) com
Web site: Cuenca Law Office

Contact Grace and Nelson / Cuenca Law Firm

Please note, that GringosAbroad (Bryan & Dena) are not affiliated with this law firm, but we are recommending them. We are unable to answer any legal questions, and these should be directed below. Comments or questions are welcome.

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32 comments… add one
  • Robert Lanois Oct 23, 2016, 3:58 pm

    Thank you for putting this page up for people to see. Ecuador is one of the many places my wife and I would like to have an extended stay in. Part of our thinking is to have a hub to travel in and around a region. With a home in Ecuador we could travel around the Andes and northern South America as well as the entire west coast. It could also be a location that we would also use to travel to Central American countries as well. Though we are not ready for the process now and will have verifiable income with pensions and SS to use in a Pensioner Visa, I would ask how long does it take once the visa has been applied for? Is it difficult to find good places to live with little furniture? In your video you mention household goods. Is it difficult and expensive to have household goods brought to Ecuador? Lastly your English is terrific, but is it difficult to communicate with others if you have not a Spanish language to speak? Thank you again.

  • Henry Szczypiorkowski Oct 23, 2016, 1:34 pm

    Hello Grace and Nelson. My wife and I recently obtained our residency visas, though some 2 1/2 months apart. As a result we need to be careful in organizing our trips out of Ecuador during these first two years. To date we (though our facilitator) have received two different answers to our question of whether or not we can remain outside of Ecuador over the anniversary of either of our visas issue dates. Are you familiar enough with the legislation to answer this question, or do you need to review the legislation first. If the later, what would your estimated cost for this service be?
    The particular specifics are: my wife’s visa was issued August 26, 2016 and based on current travel plans, as of August 7, 2017 she will have 22 of her 90 days from year 1 remaining. We plan on leaving Ecuador on Aug 7 and returning on Oct 5. She will use 19 of the 22 days remaining to here for year 1 and we realize she will forfeit 3 days from year 1, which cannot be carried over to year 1. It is also our intention to be out of Ecuador in year 2 slightly less than 90 days to avoid possible problems after Oct 5, 2017.

  • Rikesh Koirala Sep 27, 2016, 9:06 am

    I am from Nepal and planning to relocate Ecuador. Could you please suggest me to get Permanent residence of Ecuador.

  • shah alam sayad Dec 25, 2015, 10:37 am

    dear sir am i interested ecoudor residency visa .please help us about visa processes .thank you

  • Kiran Aug 31, 2015, 7:24 am

    I am Kiran from india and i am planing to relocate to ecuador and apply for investor visa 9-II (bank deposit)pl send me all the details to apply investor visa 9-II and how much your fees for this service and govern visa fees and documents fees, pl send me the compelete details to my email id

  • uvarajan Oct 26, 2014, 4:16 am

    I am uvarajan from india and i am planing to relocate to ecuador and apply for investor visa 9-II (bank deposit)pl send me all the details to apply investor visa 9-II and how much your fees for this service and govern visa fees and documents fees, pl send me the compelete details.

  • Jen Jun 26, 2014, 1:13 pm

    Hi – I have been searching high and low for any reference regarding attorneys in the southern coast area or specifically any info about these partners: Andres Cordova and Sebastian Cordero. Does anyone have any experience or information about these guys? I will be moving to the southern coast so will have to obtain visa in Guayaquil. Thanks!

  • Mohamad Hamzeh Jun 10, 2014, 11:27 am

    Hello there,

    My wife and I just came back from an exploratory trip to Quito and Crucita. We are considering the acquision of some beach front property. When is the appropriate/best time to get a lawyer involved in the transaction? What are typical/fair “finder fees” that we should consider in Ecuador?

    • Gregory Peters Jan 12, 2015, 10:52 am

      I am located in the greater Salinas area and have
      several excellent attorneys that I have worked
      with and have years working in real estate on the

      You may contact me at anytime


  • Kevin Mar 27, 2014, 1:00 pm

    It is very disheartening to read the post by Marguerette in which she makes such terse allegations against Nelson and Grace. Having had multiple experiences with their firm I can say with total confidence that to rip someone off is not in their nature, professionally or personally. Their ethics are beyond reproach.

    Nelson and Grace handled the immigration process for my wife and me with seamless efficiency; the key is that we assumed our personal responsibility and followed their directions to the letter so that we were prepared when it came to the implementation of the visa application. I was overly impressed with their eye for detail when they noted a very minor discrepancy between my wife’s passport and her birth certificate that we were able to correct before we made our application. It’s that eye for detail that streamlined the procedure and our residency was approved in less than seven weeks.

    Many other expats we have met have not been so lucky with their choices of representation and have struggled with their endeavors. If we had to do it over again, we would unequivocally choose Nelson and Grace.

    In addition to our residency, we have also engaged their services with other legal matters and their performance has always been exemplary. Having been in a profession where I had ongoing contact with legal services I can attest that they are highly skilled, proficient professionals and among the most honest and caring lawyers I have ever met. If I am ever in need of legal services in Ecuador, they will remain my first choice and I will continue to highly recommend them to my friends and acquaintances.

    • Ellie Jul 28, 2014, 8:16 am

      I wholeheartedly concur with Kevin’s response. We have used Grace and Nelson and they are superior in their work, ethics and commitment to the best service available. You do have to follow their instructions as to the obtaining documents they will use on your behalf.

  • Marguerette Mar 24, 2014, 2:56 am

    I was totally ripped off by these 2. They took my $600 and did nothing. Even the paperwork that Nelson filled out for me was wrong. It took a long time for the woman at immigration to completely have it redone. She showed me step by step, and didn’t charge a penny. They told me to just come, and they’d take care of everything. They did nothing.

    • Bryan Haines Mar 24, 2014, 8:48 am

      I find this hard to believe. We have used them for years and have had excellent success. And so has everyone else I have heard from.

      You commented that they did nothing and then you said they filled out the forms incorrectly. Which is it? And have you spoken with them to sort this out? Or did you decide to publicly air your opinions without first trying to figure out what the problem was?

    • zabi May 25, 2014, 1:02 am

      Hello I am zabi from India. I want migrate to Ecuador. Could you please help me out in this regard.

  • Sue Borden Jan 12, 2014, 6:59 pm

    We went to Quito some months ago and submited all of our paper work. We were told later that they need my birth certificate. To our suprise they said it was not included. We made a trip back to our old home town to get the paper.While we were here boath myself and my husband became ill. So my question is the paper work that we had put on file in Quito still going work since it is already in the System. Or will we need to have that deleated and make another trip to enter the papers again.

  • johannes petrus vronik Nov 26, 2013, 1:54 pm

    wil graag pensioenade visa voor ecuador ben nederlander en 5jaar recident in spanje getrouwd met ecuadooraanse vrouw wat hab ik nodig om permanent te verblijven in ecuador

  • Bill Jul 19, 2013, 1:21 am

    Hi Nelson and Grace!

    I saw your video from the Gringos Abroad website on Visas; it was very well done – thank you!

    I are interested in getting a Pensioner Visa 9-I residency visa so my wife and I can live in Ecuador full time and own a house or property. We live in USA, and we understand that we may need to take our translated and Apostilled documents in person to the San Francisco Ecuador Consulate to begin the process.

    Is this correct, and can you help us get our 9-I residences?

    And if so, Grace and Nelson, how do you charge for your help?

    Thank you,

  • Jean Cohen Jun 16, 2013, 6:36 am

    I’m still trying to learn if there is a limit in time or expiration period for a Visa I or Visa II. We are planning to move to Cuenca in approximately 6 to 8 mos, depending on the sale of a house – but would like to go ahead and get all the visa work done now and possibly have acquired it before the move. Thanks for your help.

    • Grace Velastegui Jun 17, 2013, 9:17 am

      The documents you need to present at time of residency application should not be older than 3 months. You should take this into consideration when planning your move. All residencies are processed in Ecuador, however you have the option to apply while in the U.S. granting a Power of Attorney to your lawyer so they can sign the applications in your name. This will require you remain in the U.S. until the residency is approved and receive the residency stamp at an Ecuador Consulate. This procedure will add extra expenses to the process.

      • Bill Jul 26, 2013, 11:21 pm

        Thank you, Grace!

  • Tara Jun 2, 2013, 10:53 am

    Do apostilles expire? I can’t find a definite answer anywhere. I have already obtained all the apostilles, but will likely not move to Ecuador for some time. Is this something that I will have to do all over again?

    • Grace Velastegui Jun 3, 2013, 11:28 am

      Dear Tara,
      The authorities do not take into consideration the date of the apostille. What they consider is the date of document issue. All documents should not be older than 3 months at the time of residency application.

  • Sonia and frank May 24, 2013, 1:48 pm



    • Grace Velastegui May 27, 2013, 7:57 am

      All documents must be no older than 3 months at the time of application. They must be notarized and apostilled, however the date of the apositlle is not considered, the date stamped on the certified copy is what they look at.

      • Grace Velastegui May 27, 2013, 7:57 am

        Please feel free to contact our law office for more information.

  • C L Mar 27, 2012, 4:22 pm

    Would like to discuss your immigration services @ your convenience. you were referred on Gringos abroad.

    best regards,

    C L

    • Grace Velastegui Mar 28, 2012, 8:49 am

      Dear CL,
      Feel free to contact us to our e-mail address or call our office phone #(593) 7284 2225. We will be happy to assist you anytime.
      All the best,

  • Grace Velastegui Aug 4, 2011, 11:36 am

    Thank you for your question. When you purchase property and use it as basis for your residency visa, the office of Foreign Affairs notifies the Property Registry that the property is linked with the residency visa. Therefore, if you sell the property, mortgage it or there is any change, the Property Registry is under obligation by law to immediately notify Foreign Affairs.

    • elmonica Aug 11, 2011, 5:15 pm

      Thank you for reply. I have read through the “Requisitos” for the 9-II visa process and have a couple of questions.

      Can you explain what the following “Requisito” requires:
      Original y copias notariadas de Antecedentes Personales autenticado por el cónsul de Ecuador en el país de origen ó apostillado.

      Also, before I can obtain a certificate of deposit with a bank, I think I am going to need to obtain an identification card (Censo). Can you tell me if this something I can obtain in Cuenca and where I would go to get one? I assume that I will need to have a permanent residence of some kind established in Cuenca, rather than a hotel, before applying for the Censo?


  • elmonica Aug 3, 2011, 1:16 am

    I see that I can contact the law firm directly using the contact box, which I may do at a later date. I thought I would throw my question out here in case somebody knows. If I find out the answer at some point, I will post it as a reply to this comment.

    My approach to obtaining visa will be via the Investor visa option which requires an investment of $25,000. Mostly likely I will be considering investments options such as CD deposits, land, stocks etc so that I can meet the minimum threshold. I would imagine a lot of expats who obtain this visa do so buy purchasing a house or condominium.

    Now, I have read on another blog (it could be inaccurate), that when you apply for the visa, the property you are using to qualify with gets associated with the visa in some manner, and in the event you sell the property, the visa lapses, in which case you need to qualify again or leave the country.

    What I wonder is how do they know if you sell the property that was associated with the visa? Is there a periodic renewal process for investor visas whereby you have to prove that you are still holding the investment? Maybe the holders of these visa are required to carry the titles or deeds for the property they own at all times. I can see how that might work with real property, but what about alternative investments?

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