So you've spent 90 days in Ecuador and want to stay longer. A tourist visa extension is pretty easy to get. My brother and sister-in-law just did it. We learned some things that might help you.
My husband works at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, also known as Extranjería and the Cancillería. This office handles residency visas and other matters related to foreigners living in Ecuador and Ecuadorians living abroad.
It does NOT handle T-3 stamps (your first 90 days in Ecuador) or 90 day tourist visa extensions.
This paperwork is handled by Immigration or Migración, which is part of the Policia Nacional. There are Immigracion offices in the capital city of every province in Ecuador.
When we arrived in Manta looking for the Migración office, the address we found online led us to the Customs Office. Being a government office, we thought they should be able to point us in the right direction. They were sure we needed to go to Extranjería. Even though I knew that wasn't correct I figured Extranjería would be able to tell us where Migración is.
At Extranjería, we were again told that we needed to consult someone in their office. Again I knew we needed to go to Migración and after a lot of convincing we were given directions to the office.
Long before we left for Manta, I had looked up the address of the Migración office. I found an address quite easily on an official government website. With this information plugged into our Google Maps we though we'd be golden.
The address was wrong.
The directions we were given at Extranjería were almost right. We were in the general area, but a crucial turn that would have brought us right to the office was missing from the directions. We asked at a Police Station (UPC), where were give pretty much the same directions.
After driving around for almost two hours, we found another UPC where an off-duty police officer agreed to escort us to the office. Without his help, we NEVER would have found it.
Because of the delay, we arrived at Migración at 1 pm only to find that the only person able to emit the extensions was leaving at 2 (they normally work until 3). She said we wouldn't have time to get it done.
You have to get the 90 tourist visa extension as close to the end of your original 90 day tourist stamp. My family's 90 days had expired the day before and this was the only day we had in our schedule to do this.
We eventually convinced the girl to let us try. In the end it took us (split into two teams) just over an hour to do everything. It was incredibly stressful and I wish we would've had a bit more time.
The most time consuming part was going to the bank and depositing the fee for the extension. At Migración they give you a slip of paper with the bank account and amount to deposit. In Manta, we had to go to the Banco de Pacifico and deposit $126/extension. We were told that the entire process had to be completed the same day as the deposit or else you lose your money. So it would be better to get the bank info from Migración early in the morning or even a day or two before you need to get your extension.
Make sure to bring the following:
This is all you need. Although online sources mention proof of medical/travelers insurance and proof of funds, we were not asked for either. Of course, things change all the time in Ecuador. You can double check when you go in for the bank info just in case the requirements change.
I've mentioned before that I eventually ended the runaround and got my residency visa by crying. This strategy worked for us this time too (sort of).
The lady in charge was not very nice to us and was more concerned about leaving early than about our situation.
My brother had gone to the bank to deposit the money while my sister-in-law and I got the paperwork together. We were sitting in the office waiting for him to come back at 1:50 pm. The officer asked us to find out if he had deposited the money. I called him and he had. She asked that he send us a photo of the receipt so she could start the paperwork. I stared at the phone hoping the photo would come through. Nothing.
The lady got up to leave. My sister-in-law started crying and even chased her down the street. After they were gone another lady in the office told me not to worry because she was going to help us.
Thankfully, my brother arrived in a taxi before the girl in charge got to her car. She came back inside, spent a whole 10 minutes entering information in the computer and stamping the extensions, and that was it. Done.
All in all, the process to get a tourist visa extension is pretty simple, especially if you have everything you need ready. Feel free to add your visa experience below in the comments.
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