We Finally Have Ecuador Residency: Congratulations to us!!!!
We wanted to get residency here in Ecuador, so we started the process last April. It took a long time to complete all the steps (11 months) but now we have it!
Don’t let the 11 month thing scare you. We were caught in the midst of some changing laws, and we changed our minds part way through. We had started the process wanting to establish a corporation but as we got deeper into the creation of it we realized that it was way too involved and decided to pull the plug. That cost us a lot of time and gave us a lot of headaches.
After we decided to shift gears we went with the investment option, and we now have residency based on that. We needed to travel back to Canada to get police reports, and we also had to travel out of the country again (Miami) in order to re-enter on a tourist visa because the visa we were on was running out. The tourist visa bought us the time we needed to finish the residency process.
Are You Thinking About Getting Residency in Ecuador?
If you want to get residency in Ecuador make sure you know what paperwork you need before you start the process. You can find out all the ins and outs of what is required by contacting the Ecuadorian consulate in your area before you come. You should also meet with lawyers on your initial visit here in Ecuador.
Things can get confusing and frustrating during the process for 3 main reasons.
1. The Laws Sometimes Change. This leaves lawyers scrambling in order to help their clients in the most timely manner possible. They may tell you one thing about a certain requirement and while you are working on it, call and tell you something entirely different about that same requirement. This is not their fault, they can only work within the parameters of what the government requirements are, and these are subject to change. If you find this frustrating, don’t take it out on the lawyers, they don’t make the laws – they just try to help us work within them.
2. The Language. Even when we Gringos think we understand everything, we often don’t. This is most often due to things getting lost in translation. This is not our fault or the fault of the Spanish speakers we are dealing with, it’s just a fact of life in a foreign country. Language is a tricky thing. What we have learned is to keep asking questions until we are completely clear on what the next steps are, and then we repeat back what we think we understand just to make sure we actually get it right. Check out: 11 Books & Courses We Used to Learn Spanish.
3. Incorrect Information. You may receive incorrect information from other expats because the laws have changed since they got their residency and no longer hold true for your experience. That’s why we do not give out specific details about our residency process or requirements. Another reason may be because your expat friends are passing on information from people who may have misunderstood the process or given wrong information to their lawyers – which would have caused a problem in their process. This could lead to all kinds of problems, that’s why it’s always best to go directly to the source: Trustworthy Ecuadorian lawyers. If you need help with the legal stuff you could contact the lawyers we used, our friends Nelson and Grace.
The most important thing we needed to remember was to be patient and stay calm. Getting upset with government officials would not have helped us get what we wanted, and it probably would have given us a bad reputation.The process could also have been slowed down so much that we would have been unable to complete it in the given time frame. We found it best to always assume that we had made a mistake or misunderstood something. Being apologetic usually caused the people trying to help us to feel sorry for us and made them want to help us more. In almost every case, we had made a mistake or misunderstood what we were supposed to do next. I think if we had approached the process with an “now, I’m going to set these people straight!” attitude, we would have received the same type of attitude in response. That would have just been an ugly mess waiting to happen. Avoiding a Gringo Superiority Complex.
The government, and their employees work differently here than in the States or Canada. Things take longer and are subject to change, but if you want something done that involves the government you have no choice but to work with it. Things will work out, but patience will be required.
It’s all worth it in the end! We feel like we can really make this our home now 🙂