Paul Acee's Ecuador

Visa 9-1, Foreign Pension Checklist


This is the Visa 9-1, Foreign Pension Checklist I was given by Cuenca Immigration on Monday (10/13/2014).

1. Written Request signed by the applicant, addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2. Visa Application Form: With an original color passport size photo with white background, the same as is posted on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration.

3. Notarized (in Cuenca) color copy of the passport, which needs to be valid for at least six months. Notarized copy of your current regular visa at the time the person starts the process and a notarized copy of the registry of the visa

4. Updated criminal record, certificate issued in the foreign country or the country where the person has lived for the last five years, duly apostilled (s) in the case of the countries that belong to the Hague Convention or legalized (s) at the Consulate of Ecuador in the country where this document was issued (in the case of those countries that do not belong to the Hague Convention)

5, Updated Migratory Movement Certificate issued by the immigration police. (Valid through 30 days)

6. Document issued by the institution that pays or provides retirement pension or permanent income that comes from a foreign country, duly apostilled (in the case of those countries that belong to the Hauge Convention) at the country of origin or authenticated by the Ecuador Counsul (in the case of those countries that did not sign this international treaty), in the country where this document was issued. The amount should be not less than $800 (eight hundred dollars) of the United States of America as a monthly rent to the recipient, and will increase by $100 (one hundred dollars) extra per month for each family member that depends on the immigrant.

7. Certificate issued and legalized by the Ecuadorian Foreign Service Officer, in the country of origin, determining the perception of such pension or permanent income.

8. Any document in a foreign language must be translated to Spanish and must have the recognition of the translator’s signature before a notary public. When the translation has been done in a foreign country, it must be apostilled or legalized by the Ecuadorian consulate in the country of origin. The  translation must also come to the Ecuadorian consulate in the country of origin in Ecuador.

Important: Article 22 of the “Ley de Extranjeria” – the officials that are part of the Ecuadorian Foreign Service and the Department of the General Direction of Immigration, will have full powers to require any verification of the statements set out in applications for visas and other immigration documents to ensure and investigate the occurrence of any of the causes of exclusion provided the Migration Act.

Note: When you submit the documents, they should be submitted according to the established sequence as it is in the requirements page.

Visa Validity: Indefinite

Entries: Multiple

Taxes: Visa application: $30 Visa: $320

The process is personal

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.

Update: Effective 1/1/2016 the new fee schedule for residency visas is as follows, application fee $50, visa fee $500

  Visa 9-1, Foreign Pension Checklist

Paul Acee

Author: Paul Acee

Retired and living in Ecuador.


  1. If #3 looks a little confusing it did to me too as I typed it. Yes, you need a color notarized copy of your passport. In my case this is the first time I’ve been to Ecuador and I entered with a 90 day T-3 stamp on my passport as a tourist, that is NOT a Visa! So the other two requirements aren’t applicable in my case.

  2. What?! No ‘manilla carpeta’ on the list? LOL It’s enough to make your head spin. Yesterday was 3 weeks since we turned our application in to the Manta office. Good luck this week! Deborah

  3. I think this checklist is specific to Cuenca since it says to get a copy of your passport notarized here, but I’m sure it will work anywhere in Ecuador (but for that).

    From what i gather it currently takes about 5 to 6 weeks to get your visa application approved. Thanks Deborah, good luck to you too!

    • Paul,
      Thank you so much for your groundwork. I thought I had all docs in order but forgot to apostille my SS award letter and FRI report. That’s all I’m lacking. Use to live in CA. (UCD ’84) now in FL. Hope to meet you in Cuenca. I owe you a drink!!


      • Hi, since your experience is so recent, I hope you can help me. I am coming to Ecuador in July and hoping to secure residency. I am bringing the following documents: Apostilled FBI background check, Apostilled State background check, Apostilled Social Security statement. Some ex-pats have posted that they needed a birth certificate and a divorce certificate (if ever divorced). others say not necessary. What would you say? Did you make your petition in cuenca or Manta, or somewhere else? Thanks in advance for your help.

        • Paul Acee

          Since you’ll be applying for residency at the Guayaquil office you won’t need the birth certificate or divorce decree. In Cuenca they “could” ask for them for the cedula.

          Make sure you get that apostilled social security proof of income certified/stamped by an Ecuadorian consulate in the states before you leave. It’s required.

      • Bud, hi, my name is Paula. I leave in 10 days for Ecuador and am going to apply for residency. Paul Acee’s list, which has been very helpful, mentions that the US Social Security proof of income letter has to be sent to an Ecuadorian consulate office for “determining the perception” of the income. I have had my document notarized–my signature swearing that it is true–and then had that apostilled. I am worried that I have run out of time to get the document mentioned by Paul. Did you do that part of the process, and if so, please let me know how you did it and how long it took. Thanks!

        • Paul Acee

          Send it to a consulate next day air both ways (send them your return pre paid next day air). If the consulate closest to you won’t play ball to your satisfaction, call another one until you find one that will. I used Houston and I was in Napa, California.

          Your visa application in Ecuador will not be accepted for processing without it (certification/stamp).

  4. Will my notice of benefits award be sufficient for my Social Security, or must I be receiving it before it becomes valid. My benefits first payment is in November 2015 when I intend moving there. I have all my paperwork, but have been told I must have a bank statement showing the benefits are in my account. Also, do I need my divorce decree? I have been told it is no longer required.

    • Paul Acee

      Your “Notice of Award” is fine, that’s what I used. I had the Ecuadorian consulate in Houston certify/stamp my apostilled “Notice of Award” letter before I even received my first payment. And at no time in the whole process of applying for, and receiving an approved visa were bank statements needed.

      That should ONLY apply, bank statements, if you have someone coming as a dependent on your visa. But without any dependents, no.

      I brought an apostilled divorce decree myself but probably didn’t need it. It’s better to bring too much documentation than not enough.

  5. What about certificate of health, isn’t there some blood work required ?

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