Ecuador Legal Checklist


Ecuador Legal Checklist

A recent message about Ecuador Legal scams started when I received this note from a subscriber.

“Gary, When I read your newsletter today, I was hoping you would say something about the cost of a visa.  Unfortunately, there are people who are promising newcomers a resident’s visa for $7000.  I’ve never heard of anyone paying more than $2000 for a resident’s visa, no matter which lawyer they used.

The reader went on to say that one  couple discovered this scam and tried to back out of the contract.  This elderly couple was threatened by a lawsuit.

I did not have all the facts so was not able to know if this was a pure scam… or just really unfair pricing or if more than just a visa was offered, but $7,000 seemed awfully high if all that was provided was just a resident visa.  I immediately wrote to the three attorneys who advise us in Ecuador to check on the price.

I am happy to say that this problem was resolved.  The person offering this service is no longer in Cotacachi.

I asked Ecuador attorney Roberto Moreno, about this and he wrote:   Gary,  Yes, $7000 is absolutely out of range. Depending on the visa we charge from US$900 to US$1200.  Also, it is important to inform the readers that some lawyers will just obtain visas with few requirements, especially in Guayaquil.  The risk is that the visa could be removed later on. We prefer now to obtained all the visas for our clients at the immigration office in Quito.

cotacachi-green

Gary Scott and immigration attorney, Roberto Moreno, at Meson.

Learn more about Roberto and his firm here.

To help our Ecuador Living subscribers better understand Ecuador laws, Roberto shared an Ecuador legal checklist. Here are excerpts from this list:

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS TO LIVE AND INVEST IN ECUADOR
By Roberto Moreno

DIFFERENT TYPES OF VISAS

Non- Immigrant:
*    to stay for an specific amount of time
*    most common: Commercial Acts visa good for up to six months.

Immigrant (indefinite time):
*    retired
*    investment in Property
*    investment in Certificate of Deposit

*With an immigrant visa you can apply for citizenship after you have lived in Ecuador for three years.

NON IMMIGRANT VISA : COMMERCIAL ACTS VISA
Requirements:
*    passport valid for at least six months
*    visa application
*    personal information form
*    bank statement
*    government fee:  US$230.00 plus US$80 for each dependent

MOST COMMON IMMIGRANT VISAS

RETIREMENT

INCOME OF AT LEAST US $800 PER MONTH FOR PRINCIPAL AND US $100 FOR EACH DEPENDANT
*    passport valid for at least six months.
*    application for visa and form of personal information.
*    official document of support of the retirement pension or permanent income apostille or legalized at an Ecuadorian Consulate
*    certificate issued by the Ecuadorian Consul verifying the income

INVESTOR IN LAND PROPERTY FINAL DEED OF PURCHASE OF A PROPERTY MINIMUM US$25,000 and $500 for each dependent
*     application for Visa and form of Personal Information
*     deed of purchase registered before the Register of the Property
*    actualized encumbrance certificate from the Registry of Property

INVESTOR IN CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSTI MINIMUM US$25,000 for one year and $500 for each dependent
*     visa application  and  Personal Information form
*     time deposit with a term of 365 days minimum
*     To get a Title, Policy or Certificate of Deposit:
– your passport (original and copy)
– bank account in Ecuador
– a letter from your lawyer certifying that it will be used to get the visa

GENERAL DOCUMENTS FOR ANY KIND OF IMMIGRANT VISAS:
*    passport valid for at least six months
*     visa application
*     personal information form
*     5 photos (2×2)
*    Marriage License (wife or husband – dependent) / Apostilled or Legalized at an Ecuadorian Consulate
*    Birth Certificate (for children – dependent) / Apostilled or Legalized at an Ecuadorian Consulate
*     government fee: $350 (titleholder)  $350  (each dependent)

OTHER IMMIGRANT VISAS:
*    GENERAL MANAGER
*     AGENTS
*     UNDEFINED LABOUR CONTRACT
*     RELIGIOUS
*     PROFESSIONALS
*     DEPENDENTS

IMPORTANT NOTE: All official documents coming from abroad should be legalized by APOSTILLE.

BANK ACCOUNTS
Open a bank account locally:
*    prolonged stay
*    if you plan to invest in the future

Requirements:
*    will vary from bank to bank
*    open your bank account with your passport  and  a letter from a law firm

Restrictions:
*    no restrictions to transfer money
*    large amounts (banks will request a licit source form)

DO YOU LIKE A PROPERTY? GO FOR IT!
*    no need of special visa
*    don’t miss a good opportunity
*    to rent be sure of all details  (rental price includes utilities?)

THE IMPORTANCE OF TITLE INVESTIGATION
*    be sure to get the necessary investigation of the property before you take your decision,
*    review previous ownership title before the corresponding authorities.
*    you can get  Title Insurance. (First American Title Insurance provides this alternative)

STEPS TO PURCHASE A PROPERTY
Define:
*    one document purchase (only one deed)
*    a promissory or general deed (first to secure the purchase and  later to finalize the final deed).
*    in your name
*    in the name of a company

Expenses:
*     municipal taxes
*     public notary fees
*     registry of  property

*if you plan to use the property as an investment to obtained your VISA you will need the final deed of purchase.

TAXES AND SENIOR BENEFITS IN ECUADOR
Income tax rate:
*    individuals:  5% -35%
*    companies: 25%

VAT:
*    12%
*income coming from abroad is not object of withhold

Other legal requirements covered in the entire Ecuador legal checklist include:

* SENIOR BENEFITS including exoneration of all type of municipal taxes, income and vehicle  taxes.

* GENERAL PROCEDURE TO SET UP HOUSEHOLDS

* IMPORTING VEHICLES WITH HOUSEHOLD GOODS

* PET REQUIREMENTS

* HEALTH INSURANCE, SOCIAL SECURITY AND PRIVATE INSURANCE SOCIAL SECURITY

* PRIVATE INSURANCE

You receive full access to the entire Ecuador legal checklist plus an internet Ecuador legal address to answer any questions as an Ecuador Living subscriber. Learn how to subscribe here.

Gary

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