Paul Acee's Ecuador

Ecuador Retirement Visa. 9-1 Visa


These are the documents I’m bringing with me to apply for an Ecuador retirement visa, 9-1  pensioner visa and how I did it without an attorney, “facilitator” or using an “Apostille Service” and how you can do it too.

FBI Background check

I had the Napa, California Police Department “roll” my fingerprints. Cost $17.25.

I took the finger print card and mailed it USPS along with this form to the address listed on the bottom of the form. Cost $18.00 (Money Order)

It took about 30 calender days to get it back, you can check the current time here As of this writing (9/27/2014) the current lead time is 8-10 weeks.

Once you get it back it’s time to get it apostilled. You DO NOT need it notarized, we’ll get to that later. Mail your FBI background check for the apostille. You will need this Cover Letter and this form filled out and mailed to the address on the Cover Letter to the U. S. Department of State. Cost $8.00 (Money order)
It took about 30 calender days to get back, apostilled.

Social Security “Notice of Award” Letter

That’s the document I used that showed my monthly retirement income. It had a copy of the acting Social Security Commissioners name/signature, Carolyn W. Colvin. I made a copy of this one, two pages (front and back) and had it notarized because it was a copy. I could have sent the original not notarized but out of an abundance of caution I chose not to.  You can go either way. Mail that with this Cover Letter and this form filled out to the address on the Cover Letter to the U. S. Department of State. Cost $8.00 (Money order)

It took about 30 calender days to get back, apostilled.

After I got it back apostilled I mailed it to the the Ecuador Consulate in Houston for certification/stamp. Cost $40 (Money Order made out to Ecuador Consulate) along with two color copies of my passport profile page, a brief letter about what I was using it for (retirement visa) and a self addressed stamped envelope.

Attn: Leo

Ecuador Consulate

4200 Westheimer Rd. Suite 218

Houston, Texas 77027

Divorce Decree

If you’ll be using this it needs to be a “certified copy” I got mine from Tarrant County (Fort Worth) Texas, County Clerk. Cost about $10. Does NOT need to be notarized! Took about two weeks to get back. Then I mailed it to the Texas Secretary of State for the apostille. Cost about $10. Took about two weeks to get back

Birth Certificate

Needs to be a “certified copy”. I got that from the San Bernadino County Clerk in California a few years ago. Can’t remember how much it cost. I mailed that to the California Department of State for an apostille. Cost $18.

Note – I’ve been hearing I may not need the birth certificate or divorcee decree, but out of an abundance of caution I’m prepared if I do.

This is what I’m bringing To Ecuador. Everything else I can do there.

Important – All of my apostilles are way less than 180 days old and my FBI Background Check is only about 60 days old.

So there you have it. No attorney, facilitator or “apostille service” used or needed.

Update (5/22/2015): Cuenca Immigration is once again requiring a FBI Background Check and a state background check (if coming from the U.S.), you will need both. Use the last state you’ve lived in, or are living in for this purpose (only one state report is needed/required)

Update 9/20/2015 – The requirement for an Ecuadorian Consulate to certify retirement income is no longer in force if coming from the U.S.A

For countries under the Hague Treaty you can submit an apostilled social security letter or letter from retirement fund. For countries not under the Hague Treaty the retirement letter must be legalized by an Ecuadorian Consulate in your country.

texas to ecuador passports

Paul Acee

Author: Paul Acee

Retired and living in Ecuador.


  1. Hi Paul! My name is Deborah. I can just “hear” your excitement lol. My husband, Ray, and I did it all ourselves just last week in Manta and we had such a sense of accomplishment. We look forward to following your journey. Good luck!

  2. I agree with you 100%. There is no need to hire a facilitator or a lawyer. Some people are just paranoid or lazy (i.e., do not do appropriate research before coming to Ecuador).

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