Ecuador visa registration – Day 1

This post originally published on a previously-owned blog and was imported here to simplify my life. Please excuse any confusion due to this merge. I hope you enjoy the content!

Though we aren’t the first Extreme missionaries to move to Quito, we’re the first ones who are staying here for a longer period and who will be finding an apartment, car and other “long-term” stuff. I’m going to try to be good about documenting specific processes that others will for sure be going through as well.

As many have already discovered, the religious visa for Ecuador is quite the process to obtain. Perhaps I’ll have Mike write about the initial steps sometime as he is now the resident expert preparing all the rest of our folks, but today is about Day 1 of registering your visa.

If friends down here hadn’t told us we had to register our visa within 30 days of arrival, we never would have known! Neither the consulate we worked with nor the customs agent upon arrival happened to mention it. But, regardless, we know now.

The reason I said Day 1 is that it’s at least a two-day process. I’ll write about Day 2 later when it happens.

This is how it went:

7:15 Picked up from our apartment
8:05 Arrived and entered first line
8:30 The place officially opened, we were given numbers in order of arrival, we sat down
10:30 Our numbers were finally called
They took our paperwork* & passports
They took each of our pictures individually
They gave us two forms
We took the two forms down several windows to the Cashier and paid $4 USD each.
The Cashier gave us 2 papers each – a small receipt for our records and a page to bring back to first guy.
We brought the receipts back to our window.
He printed a sheet of paper for each of us and asked us to confirm our information.
He did a few more things on the computer and told us to come back on Tuesday (2 business days later).
10:45 We walked out.

*Now, by “paperwork,” I mean this:
– Copy of passport
– Copy of latest Ecuador entry stamp
– Copy of Visa Certification (produced in visa obtainment process)
>> Place all the above items in a large manilla envelope

Be sure to bring some cash to pay the small fee, something to read or someone to talk to. And don’t forget your passport! You’ll be leaving it there. I’ll let you know how the pick-up goes.

And, yes, there is a free public bathroom!

This may not make things better, per se,  for the next bunch of missionaries, but at least it will let them know what they’re in for. 🙂 Perhaps one day we’ll find out a better day or time to go to reduce the wait, but alas, this is our experience.

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