Ecuador is the kind of place that you fall in love with. I know I did. And so are Ecuadorians. Maybe you fell in love with one and got hitched. Or you are a foreigner who had a child with an Ecuadorian or a foreigner.
Then, an Ecuador Amparo visa or 9-VI visa is simply great. It is relatively easy to get and is issued to a foreigner who is related to a citizen of Ecuador or a permanent resident of Ecuador by
- de facto Union or union marital de hecho
- blood (parent or child)
Many expats also refer to it as an Ecuador marriage visa or family visa or spouse visa, even though it is not just related to that. All you have to do is establish the relationship with your Ecuadorian relative and done.Now, you don’t automatically get the Amparo visa just by being married or having a child. You have to go through the legal process to get one.
Sounds obvious, but I have heard some crazy stories about constitutional rights if you catch my drift.
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So Who Can Get Ecuador Amparo Visa?
You can get the Amparo visa if you are
- Dependent(spouse/child) of someone on another kind of resident visa, for example, an Ecuador professional visa or an Ecuador Investor visa
- Spouse of an Ecuadorian citizen
- Foreign parents with children born in Ecuador & grandparents
What are the Ecuador Amparo Visa Requirements?
Some people believe that you would automatically get the Amparo visa if you marry an Ecuadorian resident or citizen or give birth to one.
Like every country on the earth, getting a visa has due process and a set of requirements, and you will get the family visa only if you tick all the boxes.
Ecuador visa requirements are different for every visa. Here are the requirements for the Ecuador Amparo visa.
1. Proof of Marriage (or Union Marital de Hecho)
If you are getting the Ecuador Marriage visa through marriage or a marital union/common-law marriage with an Ecuadorian citizen or permanent resident, in that case, you would need to provide proof for the same.
If you got married in Ecuador, in that case you can get the marriage certificate or register your de facto reunion in Ecuador, and submit that as proof.
If you got married abroad, then you would need to go to an Ecuadorian consulate in the country where you got married or your home country and get your marriage registered in Ecuador.
Later when you apply for the visa, you can provide proof of that registration.
In case you are planning to apply for the visa in Ecuador based on marital union, make sure to normalize your de facto union from day one.
2. Birth Certificate
A birth certificate is required if your child or one of your parents is an Ecuadorian citizen or permanent resident.
The birth certificate of the child should have your name on it, as well as the child’s cedula.
3. Proof of Financial Stability
For an Ecuador family visa, you need to show that you can support yourself financially and that you have a recurring income that’s the same as the minimum income in Ecuador.
The minimum income can change every year. Now it’s $400.
So you need to furnish bank statements for the last 6 months showing proof of a minimum recurring income of $400 from employment, business, pension, real estate rental income, annuity, disability payment, etc.
No notarization or apostilling is required for the bank statements.
This was not a requirement in the past, but now it is. So make sure you can prove your financial stability.
4. Health Insurance
When applying for the Ecuador Amparo visa, you must have health insurance, at least for the first 90 days when your visa is being processed. This can be from a public or private provider.
Note that your existing insurance like Medicaid or any other that doesn’t cover international travel won’t be accepted for this.
Our recommendation is to get a Safety Wing travel health insurance, to give you peace of mind and get help in case of any medical emergency. Their plans are flexible depending on your requirement and they cover COVID.
5. Background Check
A criminal verification or a background check is needed for the Amparo visa. This is to make sure that you have a clean criminal record. And they are very strict about it.
If your background check or police clearance certificate has expired even a couple of days before you apply, they could turn you back.
Note that Ecuador also asks for a criminal record for everywhere you lived for 5 years or more, along with your home country.This document must be apostilled from where you got it, and then translated & notarized.
- FBI background check
- State police
UK citizens needing an Ecuador visa for retirement can request a UK criminal report online.
6. Insurance for Ecuador Visa for Marriage
You need to have private insurance for at least 3 months to get the visa and then the cedula. And the catch is that you have to start with private insurance only. There are many options like Privilegio, Blue Box, Humana etc.
And if you want to go international, Safety Wing works as well.
One great option is to be affiliated with IESS, but unfortunately you need a visa and cedula to get it.
Steps to Get Ecuador Marriage Visa
The steps to get a 9-VI visa for Ecuador are the same whether you apply for it in Ecuador or in an Ecuadorian embassy.
1. Apostille the Documents
For the Ecuador Marriage visa, the following documents must be apostilled in the country where they originated. The process to apostille these is different for every country.
- Background check from all the countries where you lived for more than 5 years. If you are a US citizen, you need to get the state background check as well.
- Birth certificate of your child or yourself if you are applying to get the visa through blood relations.
- Marriage certificate
In case you are already in Ecuador at the time of getting the visa, check if it’s possible to mail them to your country or have a family member drop them off for you and have them mailed back after apostilling.
2. Translate and Notarize
Once you have the documents apostilled, you need to get them translated and notarized. This can be done through certified translators accredited to the Ecuadorian embassy or in Ecuador.
3. Submit Your Ecuador Visa Application
Once you have all the documents ready, you can submit your Ecuador visa application, along with an application form, original passport, and other documents. Make sure not to hand over any original documents except for the passport.
In Ecuador Consulate
In case a consulate of Ecuador will be processing your visa, you can contact them and get an appointment, and follow the due process.
In Ecuador Zonal Offices
If you are applying for a visa in Ecuador, you can get an appointment by emailing or calling one of the Ecuador zonal coordination offices.
Time: 08:30 to 17:00Once you provide the documents and pay the fees, you will receive the visa electronically in your email. They don’t give paper visas anymore.
Amparo Visa Interview
While there have been cases when there was no interview for the family visa, you should expect to be interviewed especially if you are getting the visa through marriage. When the interview happens, your spouse must be with you.
The purpose of the interview is to see if yours is a paper marriage or a real one.
In some cases, they may visit your home to ascertain that you are together, although this doesn’t happen often anymore.
They would interview both of you separately or interview you together at first and then separately. Common questions can be both simple and pretty personal. Some examples are
- How did you meet? How long ago? Where did you get married?
- What’s the birthday of your spouse?
- Details of parents
- Color of the curtains in your bedroom
Ecuador 9-VI Visa Fees
|Visa application fees||$50|
|Visa processing fees||$200|
ECUADOR AMPARO VISA FEES FOR FOREIGNERS
If you are older than 65, you would get a 50% discount on the visa fees.
But keep in mind to add in the expenditure for the notarizations, apostilles, translations, and notarizations of translations.
Your final cost will depend on how many documents you have and how many pages need to be translated & notarized.
Ecuador Marriage Visa: F.A.Q.S
How Long Does it Take to Get Amparo Visa for Ecuador?
Every once in a while, I come across expats who claim that they have received the visa in 1 day. That holds true only if you count the day the visa process and you pay the fees.
If you start your homework and assemble the documents beforehand, even then it can take 3 months or so. Apsotilling and translation would alone eat up months.The time to process an Ecuador Marriage visa can take any time from 2 weeks to 3 months. This depends on the caseloads, whether or not you need to submit any extra documents, and the Ecuadorian holidays.
Can You Work with an Amparo Visa for Ecuador?
Yes, you can be employed with a private or public entity in Ecuador with an Amparo visa. Along with that, you can also
- start a business in Ecuador
- buy a property or invest
- open a bank account
- and a lot more
Is Ecuador 9-VI Visa Permanent or Temporary?
The best thing about the Ecuador marriage visa or amparo visa is that it allows a foreigner to become a permanent resident of Ecuador right away.
Unlike other Ecuador visa types, you don’t have to get a temporary resident visa first and then become permanent as you already have a family member or spouse who is a permanent resident or citizen of Ecuador.
How Long is Marriage Visa for Ecuador Issued?
A family visa for Ecuador is issued for an indefinite period and your cedula will be issued for 10 years.
Once you have a family visa, you are allowed out of the country for 180 days per year for the first two years. If you have to live outside for more than 180 days for some reason, you need to cancel it. After that, you can leave the country for five years and still not lose my residency status
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