Wow, what a few months

Hello everyone. It is hard to keep up with all the changes and jumping through the hoops to get that visa.

The trips to Guayaquil to register for the Antecedentes Penales are getting totally crazy. I went 2 weeks ago so I could share the “experience” with everyone. I must have been crazy. We had to leave Cuenca at 10pm and arrived at the Police station at 0230. There were already 20 people in line and it continued throughout the night. No place to sit except on the curb or on the sidewalk. Brought my poncho and slept on the sidewalk like a homeless person along with everyone else. Luckily it did not rain. By the time it was 0730 everyone was in line. They took the 1st 27 people which my guys were part of. I had 3 registering for the Report. We finally finished at 1230 and they were seen. There were way over 50 people in line and guess what the magic number is 50 so the rest about 15 or 20 were told to come back the next day but to get there earlier. So sadly plan to waste lots of time waiting to register for this requirement.

OK, Finally we have some good news in several places. Nick is now working with Visa Angels and emailing to lots of clients. What a help and so happy to have him. I helped his Mom get her residential visa about 3 years ago and now after graduating college he is planning to live here in Cuenca so he fits in Perfectly.

Next great piece of news. Spouses can once again apply as a dependent under their husbands and/or wives. It has been a long time coming since June 2018 so for anyone wanting to come, even though we always recommend having your own visa, you can once again apply at the same time and receive your dependent visa.

On a very personal note. I am so excited to announce that I am now an Ecuadorian Citizen. This has been my goal since arriving here. So proud and happy to have my new Ecuadoriana Cedula and will be getting my new Ecuadorian Passport next week.

I promise to post more updates and keep everyone posted on what is new and different here in Ecuador. It is Cuenca Independence Days so I will be enjoying the Grand Feria along the river in Cuenca.

Visa Angels is announcing many changes some with happiness and some with sadness

Let me start with the good news.  Visa Angels has joined forces with Ecuador Moves to be a "one stop shopping for Visas and shipping of containers from outside of Ecuador to Ecuador.  We have recommended each other for years but never worked under one location.  We have joint office spaces at Edificio Maldini, Gaspar de Villarroel y Isabel la Catolica.  We are so excited to have our own office space so clients who have worked with Visa Angels in the past remember we had  to meet at Mall del Rio infront of Subway which is no longer there in "my office". 

Changes in containers and Visa laws have driven us crazy but we hope we are getting this sorted out.  Speaking for visas, there are some changes that have caused obstacles to us being able to file visa applications the first time.  As mentioned before Ecuador will still not accept Amparo dependent visa applications for spouses.  Each adult must have their own Visas.  Children are of course permitted to be dependents of their parents.  In addition the Antecedentes Penales which is the Ecuadorian Police report is now MANDATORY for all new visa applications.  (If you already submitted your application in Azogues, this change does not affect you.)  This is for people who will be arriving into Ecuador or who are here waiting for their Visa appointments.  The only 2 ( two ) places that can take the registration is in Quito or Guayaquil so for those due to arrive, you will have to overnight so you can go to the proper offices to be photographed, fingerprinted and interviewed before they will accept your passport information to be entered into the Ministry of the Interiors data bases.  If you are already here with an appointment date you must go to one of these cities to register for this report.  The report is free of charge as is the process but getting to the proper location requires Traveling  there, hiring an interpreter and spending several hours waiting.  If you choose to not comply the visa application will be rejected on the spot and you either make another appointment with that printed report,  or plan to leave Ecuador.  This is very stressful for us as it just happened one day that Cuenca would no longer be able to take the registration.

Now,  believe it or not that was the good news.  Now for the sad news we are sharing with you today.

Sad but Necessary News

 I wanted to let you know that due to all the extra pieces to the visa process, our volunteers have dwindled away over the past several months so I was faced with the decision of re-thinking what we have been doing with the volunteers and how to go forward without them.  All of the expenses to operate fall solely onto visaangels so my choice was to stop Visa Angels or to begin to actually charge a set fee which will allow me to cover expenses and my time.  After 2 months of tearing both options apart, I have come to the conclusion that I must continue to keep Visa Angels running if at all possible so I have moved to a flat charge for Visa Angels assistance with the visa process.  The fee will include all emails, reviewing of the scanned documents, receiving the documents to present to the translator, making all the required copies, preparing the application for submission and my time going to and from Azogues. It also includes making all the appointments via the internet and keeping you up to date of new or existing requirements.

 

What is not covered and never was paid to Visa Angels is the cost of the translations still $34.00, per document,  the cost of the movimento migratorio document $5.60, photos if required 8 for $4.00 and the cost of transportation to and from Azogues from Cuenca.  Round trip is $35.00 and additional waiting hours are $10.00 for the driver.  You must also pay the govenment fees for the Visa which has always been required and no one can pay that except the applicant.  Assistance with obtaining the cedula is a separate process and will be handled by me at $15.00 an hour at the registro civil.

 

The fee I have come to is $250.00 per visa for adults (over the age of 18)      children under the age of 18, will be  $100.00 per visa.  This is very hard for me because we were always able to cover all the costs with volunteers and people who donated to visa angels but that is no longer the facts.  If you would still like Visa Angels to get your visa I would be happy to do so.  Based on everyone else in the area offering assistance with visas, the next lowest fee is $600 per visa.  

 

We have a Paypal account where people can deposit the money so we can begin the process.  If after beginning the process anyone decides to not continue to use Visa Angels $50.00 of the $250.00 fee will be retained.  It is our hopes to "hire" people to work for Visa Angels and part of these fees will go towards that.

 

I hope everyone who knows Visa Angels knows how hard of a change this is to swallow for us.  I believe so much in what we do but in all honesty I cannot afford to subsidize everyone's visa costs as I have done the last 6 months.  It is with a very heavy heart that I announce these changes and hope you will still put your faith in Visa Angels.  If there are any potential volunteers or even those who don't want to volunteer but could donate money or supplies to us this might not need to happen.

Thank you for understanding.  

Joann (Jodie) Mansfield

Visa Angels

 

 

 

Our newest Resident

Here is a photo of the latest client Visa Angels helped to make their dreams come true.  Robert Sherman is a Well Known Artist who hopes to open his Gallery here in Cuenca.  He promises us that he has a story about this fight for his visa and cedula that he will be sharing soon but we wanted to Share his Happy day with you all.  

20180418_094908.jpg

And So It Begins

This morning Visa Angels received an inquiry about being fined.  It seems this person just left Ecuador within a day or two before today and was told they had overstayed their Visa by 1 (ONE) day and they were given a fine of $772.00.

The talk has been going around forever but now it is happening.  YOU must not overstay your visas by even one day because they are fining you as you leave Ecuador.  If you do not pay the fine you will not be allowed to return to Ecuador.

As a reminder you enter Ecuador on a T3 visa which is for 90 days.  The day you enter counts and the day you leave counts so if you go in and out 10 times during that 90 days the days inside Ecuador count even if you enter at 1201 am or 2359.  Pay attention to your time in Ecuador because like this person, when you leave the excuse I did not know I had overstayed by 1 day means nothing.  It is your responsibility to keep yourself legal.

 

 

MAJOR UPSET TODAY AT THE MINISTERIO

Hello everyone, I do not quite know how to explain this but we were in Azogues to file a CD investment visa with a dependent.  The application for the cd went well and we were proceeding with the dependent when they told us they needed the marriage document so we produced it but the said OH, this marriage document is Not registered in the Country of Ecuador.  We cannot accept it.  Oh, and no one in Ecuador is registering those marriage documents so we can no longer accept dependent spouse applications.

We are speaking with an attorney this evening to see what legal route we can use to go forward.  Visa Angels has always recommended each person apply for their own visa but now it appears there is no option except to do that.  People can apply for retiree, professional, Investment and even a visa which allows you to use Rental income, stocks and investments or income from working.  You must be prepared to do separate Visas for now.  As soon as we have a Legal answer we will let you know.

 

 

 

Updates coming soon

Hello everyone it is almost April and we are still very busy responding to all the inquiries for Visa applications.  The Ministerio is becoming very attention to detail oriented so we are having to make last minute changes.  The newest mandatory requirement is when you go to get your Movimento Migratorio report for your Visa Application you must also take a copy of your passport ID page and a copy of your last entry stamp into Ecuador and ask the Migracion office in Cuenca or whichever office you go to, to register you for the Ecuadorian Police Report.  It is called Antecedents Penale.  You must prove in addition to your FBI (National) and state reports that you are an honorable and upstanding citizen here in Ecuador.

We are now getting appointments in Azogues in about 1 month so that helps quite a bit.

For those people who have let their T3 initial 90 day entry visa expire you are too late to use your "get out of jail card for free".  As of the first week in April you will be paying the fine for violating the Visa laws.  You must file for your extension of 90 days before your current T3 expires.

We will be checking for more updates from the Ministerio, but this is what is current for now.

 

Exciting NEWS. Watch for us to announce some exciting news in the Near Future

Visa Angels is moving right along and getting lots of referrals from our Happy Visa Clients and many more requests from our Web page request for assistance. 

We will be making a major announcement which we think will benefit us as well as all of our Clients.  Also, watch in the future (not sure how soon) but we will also have a Facebook page for Visa Angels.

 

Thank you all for your support.

A bit of an update

WE at Visa Angels are working with Insurance Brokers to be sure our clients get the best plans at the best prices with only Legal companies authorized to sell Health Insurance inside Ecuador.  We will update everyone when we have had the meeting on 1 March 2018.  We feel very positive about what we will be hearing so please have a bit more patience and we will get this right.

 

Necessary but not Happy News:

Visa Angels has been working with our same people for over 2 years now and we just realized that our rates are still those of 2 years ago.  Ecuador has raised its minimum rates, social security in the USA has given those a raise, and we find with all the extra requirements, documents, trips and processes we too must raise the rate to assist with the application process.

As always, all advise, email contacts and reviewing documents is at no cost to our clients.  The raise will be in the cost of the transportation and for my (Jodie's)  personal assistance in accompanying you for your visa application.  My hourly rate will be $15.00 per hour increasing from $10.00 an hour and the trip to Azogues from Cuenca will be $17.50 instead of $15.00 one way or from $30.00 to $35.00 round trip.   For trips to Machala the round trip has been $150.00 it will increase to $160.00 round trip.  These services include the driver staying with us the entire time not dropping off.  If the wait time in Machala exceeds 1 hour after the appointment time, the driver will get $10.00 an hour.  We will put these new prices into place 1 March 2018.  As always, I will provide a factura for you showing what Jodie has charged.

Very important update for those looking to get a visa using a CD

Hello again, it seems like everything time we go to Azogues there is a new twist.  Because the Ministerio of Labor increased the amount of the minimum monthly income to $386.00 that also increased the amount needed to set up a CD for the basis of the Visa Inversonista.  The formulario is 70 times that new monthly rate so the minimum CD must now be $27020.00 and an additional $500.00 for each dependent.  The CD must be issued for a minimum of 2 years to cover the time of the Visa.

 

There is also an increase in the amount of property value if deciding to use that for your visa basis but we must verify that when we are next in Azogues.  Please keep checking.  Property is much more difficult to use as a basis for a visa so we do not have that information readily available.

New Recommendations for 2018

Recommendation for Visa Angels, visa facilitator

Visa Angels' Jodie, Gio and the rest of the team went beyond the proverbial extra mile helping my husband and me through the process of getting his temporary residential visa and my extended tourist visa. My husband’s visa was pretty straightforward. Then came my turn.

Caught in a maelstrom of expired documents, changing laws, slow processing and other complications Jodie thought we might have to fly to Miami to enter my documents through the Ecuadorian consul’s online document portal stateside. Being technologically challenged, this idea rattled me. Big time. So, instead, Jodie spent many unseen hours getting my documents into the Consul in Peru so I could apply for my extended tourist visa without the time, expense and stress of flying to Miami. Jodie persuaded the people in the Ecuadorian Consul Peru to extend my tourist visa even after they quit issuing them. 

Next, Jodie couldn’t get the Consul in Peru to accept my payment online. Instead, Gio skipped an important Sunday with his family, drove to Tumbes and paid $50 for my extended Tourist Visa application fee.  Done! Then, the next week we were finally off to Peru. Jodie and Gio waited with us for seven hours in Tumbes hoping to get the visa signed by the Ecuadorian Consul's Administrator. Driving back, late night from two exhausting days in Tumbes, we encountered dense fog.  While I white knuckled it Gio got us safely back to Cuenca.

Visa Angels’ staff are profoundly ethical. Their fees are very fair...worth every penny and more. The good people of Visa Angels went above and beyond doing whatever it took to get the job done for us to our great relief. Did I cry when that little stamp finally stuck to my passport making me legal again? Of course!  Thank you Jodie, Gio and gang. We can’t recommend you highly enough.

Katharine Bowers and Daniel Duggin

Address: Edifico Maldini, Cuenca

Contact information: visaangels@gmail.com

Recommended by Katharine Bowers:  yogakateb@gmail.com

Happy 2018 to one and All

Hello everyone and welcome back to our website.  We had a wonderful holiday season but we are now ready to get back to Work.  We are still getting cedulas for those temporary residents who received their visas on 10Aug17 or after.  We are working to get most of our appointments in Azogues because it is closer and we love the people there.

 

We are copying something from another Visa Helper as their post was easy to understand and we will give credit to them as well.  This is regarding the requirement for Health Insurance.  Many have entered into Ecuador and were not asked for Insurance proof, here is Why.

Entering Ecuador (2018)

January 11, 2018

|Ecuaassist Team published on faceboo

 

Beginning February 6, 2018, migration control authorities will begin to require health insurance in order to enter Ecuador. Although there is no specific fine for not having health insurance, what is certain is that if the foreigner does not justify that they have health insurance, even having a temporary or permanent residence visa, they will be prohibited from entering Ecuador.

 

In the last few weeks, many doubts have been resolved on the topic of health insurance and extensions, which have been present since the Regulation of the Law of Human Mobility came into effect on August 10, 2017, and the Ministry of the Interior was given the responsibility of directing entry and exit policies. It was not until November 20, 2017 that Ministerial Agreement No. 551 was published, which established the specific guidelines to grant a 90-day visa extension, and to stay for this time in addition to the initial 90 days that a foreigner receives when they enter Ecuador. As such, new questions have arisen from our clients, which may apply to your case, and which we will share with you here:

 

1. - If I obtain a 90-day extension and I leave Ecuador, can I return?

Yes, the time of the extension permits the person multiple entries to Ecuador, as long as they do so within the time of the extension, taking into account that the extension expires on a specific day, and after that date the foreigner will not be able to enter Ecuador.

 

2. - What is the fine for not having health insurance?

While there is no specific fine, upon entry to the country it is the obligation of the foreigner, according to article 133 of the Regulation of the Organic Law of Human Mobility, to present their health insurance for the length of their stay in the country.

 

3. - What type of health insurance do I need to present?

Although there is not an exact description of the health insurance, the law says that the foreign tourist should have public or private health insurance that has coverage in Ecuador.

In the case of residents, the health insurance should include total coverage within Ecuadorian territory, and from experience in recent months, it should prove that the foreigner is covered in the case of accidents and in the case of any other medical necessity in Ecuador.

 

4. - How much does the extension cost in 2018?

The price of the extension is one third of the unified basic salary, which in 2018 is now $386.00, which means that in 2018 a 90-day extension, after an initial stay of 90 days in Ecuador, would be $128.67.

 

Comments on #4.  This is a very easy process and can be gotten the same day.  Do not let anyone tell you it takes more time than making the payments and presenting the document to the Migracion desk at the airport.

Here WE Go Again, Yet another change.

***So much for celebrating seems yet again a twist of the Rules is now in place.  Here we go to para-phrase.  If you received your Temporary Residential Visa after 10 August 2017 and have at least 1 year left on it you can apply for the Cedula.  Why this date and why those prior to this date will not be eligible as we found today when we went our to file 2 more applications is a total puzzle to me.

Finally cedulas for the New Temporary Visa Holders

Yesterday, we applied for our first 2 cedulas for the temporary residential visas.  Guess what, we have to go online to make the appointment.  The process went very smoothly once we were there and hopefully next Friday we will have cedulas for all 6 people we are filing this week.  These cedulas are only valid for the length of the temporary residential visa.  Proof of insurance is required for this process. 

The good news is for holders of these cedulas they are eligible to apply for the IESS insurance if they wish to.

***So much for celebrating seems yet again a twist of the Rules is now in place.  Here we go to para-phrase.  If you received your Temporary Residential Visa after 10 August 2017 and have at least 1 year left on it you can apply for the Cedula.  Why this date and why those prior to this date will not be eligible as we found today when we went our to file 2 more applications is a total puzzle to me.