We have begun the paperwork process by ordering certified copies of our birth certificates and marriage certificate. When they were ordered, we had to give a reason as to “why” they were being ordered. There are selections such as lost, need for legal reasons, or for apostatized. Also you are asked to verify that “you” are the person named in the certificate. Once those questions have been answered satisfactorily, the order is completed. We should receive these documents within a few days. There are fees to be paid for the certified copy, shipping and for it to be apostatized. For these three documents, our cost was $200 total. If they are not apostatized by the Secretary of State in the states we were born and married, then there will be another fee to have that done.
We have to go to the police station to get our State of Florida criminal background check and to be fingerprinted. Once we have those documents, they will be sent to the Florida Secretary of State to be apostatized. We also have to send our fingerprints to the FBI for a Federal Criminal background check plus they compare our fingerprints to any prints that might be on record through employment history. Both my husband and I have prints on record, his through having served in the military and mine for having worked as an Assisted Living technician. Once these documents have been received, they also have to be apostatized and sent to the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. All of these procedures will have fees attached and we have to provide paid return postage.
The final documents we will need will be certified copies of our letter of benefits from the Social Security Administration that have to be signed a certain way or they will not be usable and then they are sent to the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. to be apostatized. More fees.
Once we have all our documents in hand, we will scan them to send to our contact at Ecuadorian Visa’s to make sure that they have been completed correctly, have the necessary information, certification and have been apostatized. In making the copies, we cannot remove any staples or hole punch covers. If we do remove them, the Ecuadorian Government will reject them and we will have to start all over with the paperwork. Once we are told that our documents meet all the criteria, we will deliver them to the Ecuadorian Consulate in either Tampa or Miami, Florida. They, in turn, will review the documents and let us know when we are to return to pick up our Visas. Once we have those in hand, we have up to 12 months to arrive in Ecuador before having to start the process over. We do plan to be in Cuenca well before any deadlines. Once we are physically in Ecuador and settled in Cuenca, it will be approximately one week before we will be issued our credula’s or Ecuadorian identification.
It is amazing all the paperwork and the details that have to be carefully followed. It gives you an appreciation of what immigrants go through who travel to the United States to live. All the procedures, paperwork and investigations are to make sure that criminal elements are not entering the country that could pose a problem to the citizens of that country. That works for me and I will follow whatever rules there are to ensure that my goal of living overseas is obtained.
Until next time my friends, Hasta Pronto!
Terri at the Drake’s Nest