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Criminal Background Checks for the Visa Application Process

The EcuaAssist Team

Submitting a criminal background check is a requirement necessary to apply for the different types of residency visas in Ecuador.

Article 58 of the Regulation of Human Mobility Law determines the general requirements to obtain a residency visa which states the following:

  • Register a certificate of criminal record from the country of origin or country in which the applicant has resided during the last five years, translated into Spanish, and if applicable, apostilled or legalized, as appropriate.

The validity of these documents are limited to one hundred and eighty (180) days, counted from the issuance date of the documents until the last time the holder arrived in the country.

The certificates issued by federal governments will be valid as long as they include nationwide criminal records.

In those cases where the applicant submits criminal checks which show the existence of criminal records, the authorities may require more information and will summon the applicant to an interview to justify documented reasons of the existence of criminal records.

Then, the authorities will prepare a report with the decision to accept or deny the visa.

In addition, in some cases, it is possible to submit an Ecuadorian criminal check.

For the application of a permanent residence or renewal of temporary residence, a foreigner who has remained in Ecuador as a resident for a minimum and continuous period of twenty one (21) months, can present the criminal record certificate, issued by the appropriate Ecuadorian government entity.

However, if one wishes to certify that they do not have a criminal record in Ecuador through an Ecuadorian criminal check, they must have not spent more than 90 days outside the country during the entire validity period of the residency visa.

Ecuadorian criminal checks can be downloaded from the migration website using a cedula number.

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