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I’ve now got all my paperwork submitted to the attorney who will in turn submit it for processing to all the proper authorities. Just waiting to hear now whether some additional document is needed, which would be no surprise, or if all is in order.
Meanwhile, the lack of a visa makes doing so many activities here a bit tougher. If it were this hard in the US (well, it is a long and frustrating process, but you are not as limited while waiting as you are here) it would be a lot less attractive place to go. Of course, as I am fond of pointing out, there are a) many, many accomplices who help illegal immmigration in the US by turning a blind eye to the laws but b) they do so because without immigrant labor many sectors of the US economy would come to a grinding halt. But I digress. Without the visa and the accompanying “cedula” or ID card I can’t:
*obtain a driver’s license
*start a business
*open a bank account
*own or register a car in my name
Those are just a few things I can think of, but they are pretty major ones. Now, it seems that this would make life pretty inconvenient. You can usually obtain a 30 day permit with your US license or bring an international license; but I’ve been here well beyond 30 days. You can do most everything you need to start up a business, except make it official for tax and banking purposes. You can get cash on your US ATM card without any problem.
But if you were just another expat and planned to immigrate to Ecuador with your family, and didn’t have some local contacts here to help you out, it would be a bit of a hassle to get started here. Having patience solves all your problems.