All the paperwork has been completed, translated into Spanish and filed. When we receive notice that the Visa’s are ready to pick up, we travel to the Ecuadorian Consulate in Miami to obtain them. In checking with our immigration attorney to see how things are progressing, I posed the question of do we wire the remaining half of our fees to their Florida office once we’ve been told to go get the Visas.
The answer we received was no, you don’t wire to us, you pay the balance at the Consulate. Okay, that’s cool. Do they take a check or credit card or do we wire the funds to them. No, no and NO! Hmmm, so we pay cash? Yes and it must be in twenty-dollar bills, nothing larger. That is an interesting twist and I’m not crazy about carrying $1500 in twenties around Miami, Florida at any time; however, their rules are their rules, albeit a bit unnerving.
As I’ve stated before, when one deals with another country, you have to play by their rules. I do understand their reasoning, however. Credit card companies charge outrageous fees on foreign transactions and that can be problematic and checks can take forever to clear. Cash has no such problems and easily rendered.
Now I have to contact the shipping company to find out we are expected to pay the remainder of the fees for them once we are in Ecuador. Before we leave, no problem. We pay 90% of the fee when we order the container. The remaining 10% is paid upon its arrival in Ecuador and when we arrive at the port for its custom’s inspection. So I need to find out if that will also have to be paid in cash, or if we will be allowed to wire the funds to their offices.
All and all, this entire process has been fairly smooth and, with the exception of how the final payment is made, has held no surprises. For that I am thankful and equally thankful that every step of the way we have been guided by a very knowledgeable person who has clarified anything we were unsure about or may have been confused on a particular issue. No matter how many times we may have asked the same question, her patience and answers have never changed. Once we are in Ecuador, she will even help us open our Ecuadorian bank accounts, obtain utilities, internet and find a place to live. All of this is without any additional fees or costs, except the rent and utility payments for our part.
By totally researching and doing our homework, we were able to find a wonderful immigration attorney, a company to ship our household goods and, so far, there are not been any of the horror stories that we’ve heard from others on their experiences with other companies or attorneys. By following their instructions to the letter when obtaining and submitting our documentation and by asking for clarification when we were uncertain, there have been no problems with this process.
When we first met with our immigration attorney, she explained everything to us, showed us in writing what was required, what to expect and everything the fees for her services covered. She made sure that we understood everything she explained and has always been there when we have had a question. There have been no surprises or hidden fees. What she told us and what we have experienced have been one and the same.
Our next big hurdle will be the loading of the shipping container to Ecuador, and then having the goods arrive in Ecuador. As with the process of the Visa, I will keep you up to date on how that plays out and if we run into any problems.
Hope that everyone has a wonderful Easter, which is hard to believe is fast approaching, and that you are surrounded by the love and laughter of friends and family. Until next time, take care and God bless.
Terri at the Drake’s Nest.