No Censo Needed

Update on the Censo.  It is true that the President sent out a notice that foreigners do not need the censo to leave the country right now.  I am not sure if this will change but I do know that we left Ecuador  at the end of June 2012 without censos and had no problem.


Passport Photos

If you need to have passport photos taken in Cuenca, Ecuador then head to Bolivar 4-95 y Mariano Cueva.  Right on the corner is a great little photo studio where they are used to taking photos for passports and other government documents, so they know the deal.  You don’t have to call and make an appointment; they take walk-ins at Galo Torres Fotografias.

You’ll receive 8 or 12 photos for only a couple dollars and since it is all digital you won’t have to wait long.  We had ours taken here and we were in and out in minutes.

Censo Card

So once you have received and registered (paid $200) for your Ecuador Visa 12-IX you are required to get a Censo ID card which cost $4 and can be acquired at Av. Gran Colombia y Eduardo Muñoz (on the street behind Banco del Pacifico) in Cuenca. It is a white building on Eduardo Muñoz open from 8Am-12pm, 3-6pm M-F. It is just a few blocks away from the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, where you apply for your visa.

Right now in Cuenca there is a lack of Censos.  I don’t know why they don’t have the means to make censos but it is impossible to obtain one in Cuenca right now.  For the past 4 months I have been trying to get a censo but they are all out and apparently they have no idea when they will get them in.  I am suppose to go back to the USA in 3 weeks and I am worried I may run into problems in Quito without a censo.  So since I can’t find any information online about people going through the same problem, I will post my experience over the next few weeks.

On Monday I tired to get some answers from the immigration cops.  Unfortunately, they weren’t much help.  They told me that the president issued a statement that said all  foreigners don’t need a censo right now; but I don’t trust this.  From my experience I know I’ll arrive in Quito without a censo and have to pay a large fee.  I explained all of my fears to the cops but they said there won’t be a problem.  I asked them to write me a letter stating that I have tried continually to get a censo but with no avail etc. etc.  They refused.

Later that day I had a friend call and express my same fears but in better Spanish of course.  They told us to have the cops write up a letter with the date of my departure saying it is ok that I don’t have a censo.  So I will be making another trip out to La Avenida de las Americas for the letter that they refused to write for me the other day.

Gotta love the blasé bureaucratic  bullcrap.  Updates soon to come.

If you have information regarding this recent censo disappearance please share you experience!

Ecuador Visa

We arrived in Ecuador on a 90 day tourist visa but by month 2 we knew we wanted to stay longer.  Below is information on how we got our tourist visa 12-IX.

In order to get the visa application in we had to have the letter of solicitude.  If you need help with this I will gladly send you the one I used.

But you have to write exactly how many days you will be in Ecuador, from the date you apply to the date of your return ticket.  For example we wrote 180 days and they made us change it to 120 days.  And of course, it has to be written in Spanish.

You have to have a return ticket receipt with your name on it.

Even though we had a return ticket for March they made us change our tickets in advance to June (without knowing if we’d receive the visa).  Other people have had a different experience and didn’t have to show a return ticket. The ticket does not need to be notarized.

We had to provide a color copy of our passports and the page with the Ecuador stamp. These copies had to be notarized.  If you need help finding a notario in Cuenca I can send you some info.

We needed to print out bank statements and show that we had over $1000.  $1000 is the minimum you can have in your bank account.  They did not accept credit card statements (Although I heard some people had theirs accepted.)  We notarized our bank statements but I had to print out another copy and they told us the bank statements didn’t have to be notarized.

And you need the certificado de movimiento migratorio which you can get at the visa office.  This is the first thing you should do.  It costs $5.

You need to fill out the visa application and have a passport size picture attached.  And pay the $30 application fee in cash if they accept your forms.  Forms can be found here:


The $200 for the visa is paid when you are accepted and register your visa.  They say you can only pay with $20 bills or less.

Make sure you arrive at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores early.  And try to get it all done on the same day even if you have to keep going back and forth, it is better if they remember your face.  And get the process started 30 days before your 90 day visa expires.


-letter of solicitude (why you want to stay in Ecuador)
-color copies of passport and stamp (notarized)
-certificado de movimiento
-pasaje de returno (return ticket)
-solvencia economica (bank statements showing  $1000)

If you are getting this done in Cuenca and have any questions, please leave a comment.  I’ll try and help out the best I can.

It is an annoying process.