This is a recommendation for Sara Chaca and her law firm, Ecuador Visas & Containers, in assisting Expats in obtaining residency visas and Cedulas.
Our experience had the potential to be a complete nightmare, and had it not been for Sara, we would have probably gone back to the U.S. with our tails tucked between our legs. To begin with, BEFORE WE HAD MET SARA, we made two trips to Miami to talk to the people at the Ecuador Consulate to find out what we needed to do and then to pick up our visa’s prior to leaving the states. The consulate referred us to a woman that worked at the Banco Del Austro there in the plaza down from the consulate. She is an Ecuadorian citizen and she translated and notarized all our documents after we had them Apostilled. On our second trip, we picked up the translations.
We took those documents to the Miami consulate and they legalized every document. We opted for the 180 day visas instead of the free 90 day visas as we were thinking it would give us more time in case of any snags in the process. Well, when we arrived in Quito, immigration stamped our passports and we were off to Cuenca, none the wiser. All was going as planned until we went down to the Ministerio to apply for our residency visas. When we got to the desk with our legalized documents in hand, they refused every one of our documents because the notary stamp that the Ecuadorian Consulate’s translator/notary used was in English, not Spanish. And, the guy behind the counter made me very angry when he took my original marriage license and waved it in the air saying it was ridiculous. It was over 20 years old (my original) and that it didn’t prove that we were still married. They wanted one that was 30 days or less in age. It did not matter that it was certified by the county and Apostille by the state, translated, notarized and legalized by the Ecuador consulate in Miami, they would not accept it here in Cuenca. We were told we were going to have to go back to the states and get a new marriage license. I then told him that if I ordered a new license that it would look exactly like the one he had in his hand and would not prove that we were still married and that he needed to tell me exactly what he wanted to prove we were still married. He got angry and told me we had to leave the Ministerio. We left and I told my husband we had better get an attorney to handle this mess. This struck fear in the both of us as we had read the horror stories about the experiences of others in hiring an attorney and the money it cost them, the long drawn out processes….. So we went on Gringo Tree and started mulling through the recommendations. I called a couple of people from the recommendations and the last one I called was Sara Chaca. I was immediately struck by her kindness and understanding of our situation so we scheduled a meeting. It certainly helped that she spoke enough English that we could communicate effectively with her. So, we started the process. We went to the Migratory Police to obtain our Migratory Movement reports. Remember me mentioning going through immigration in Quito? Well, they stamped our passports T-3. That is for the 90 day visas that are free when you enter the country, not the 180 day visas we paid for in Miami and actually had. Well, that had to be corrected. Sara took us to the notary and got a special power of attorney, flew to Guayaquil and got that mess corrected. She was with us every step of the way. We did not have to go anywhere or do anything that she was not by our sides. And we must have gone to the Ministerio office a minimum of 12 times throughout the process. There were a couple of times that she couldn’t be with us but Gabby was there in her place. Gabby speaks very good English and is as sweet and kind as Sara. The both of them have the patience of saints too. Not something I am known for. Oh, I almost forgot. As for the marriage license, Sara’s husband, Adam, is from the states and I think it might have been him that got us a new marriage license and had it Apostilled and overnighted here to Cuenca. Each time we went back to the Ministerio, there was a problem to be fixed. I truly believe this was because of the first impression we made and the guy there held a grudge against us for making him angry. I’ve since learned that I am a guest here in this country and I should act that way and leave my old stress filled habits there in the states as they are not well accepted here. Yes, it was an experience to get our Residency Visas and our Cedulas. If it weren’t for Sara, we would not be here. I would recommend her, and have many times already, to anyone that needs help. She is amazing and one of the kindest, most helpful, honest and fair people you could ever want to meet. She could easily triple what she charges and still be well worth the cost. I never felt like I was being taken advantage of by Sara. That is saying a lot because after our first experience at the Ministerio, that experience left me very defensive and guarded. Sara took all the stress out of the rest of the process and I feel like I’ve made a friend for life in her and the entire office where she works. By the way, they also bring containers of household goods into Ecuador if you need those services too. They also have someone in their office that you can talk to about health insurance and prescription drug discount cards. Her Email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We just wanted to thank you and your staff for the excellent support in obtaining our Ecuadorian Pensioner Visa. Several people advised us that we could do this process on our own. Now that we are done and after experiencing all that is involved, we believe the investment made through your firm was well worth it. Knowing that you and your staff were by our side every step of the way is worth the investment alone. Peace of mind has a value all of its own and it was obvious that we would have been in trouble attempting this process without your support. Thank you again for your outstanding service and we highly recommend you and www.EcuadorVisas.com along with your many additional services. You are invaluable to anyone moving to Ecuador.John and Pamela Stivers, Melbourne, FL
My experience with Sara Chaca and Ecuador Visas has been a very positive one, and naturally the process has been a long one since I chose a property-linked visa. This type visa for using a Real Estate Property Investment Visa is the most complicated and time consuming because of the several different points that paperwork must be handed off to the Registro de Propiedad, in addition to just the Immigration Ministry for a Real Estate Property Investment Visa. Sara walked me through every step of the process, preparing the paperwork thoroughly and super conscientiously and escorting me everywhere I needed to be in the process. Sara is knowledgeable about all the different visa options and walked me through the implications of each decision. On two occasions I had time constraints within the process and Sara moved mountains to meet my deadlines. Everyone in the office is friendly and helpful. What is most remarkable about Sara personally, though, is that she is an outstanding communicator. She responds promptly to every email and query. She reads and listens to every concern and addresses each head on. This is the reason that I chose Sara Chaca and Ecuador Visas in the first place, and it is the reason I highly recommend them.Karen Billings, Edmond, OK
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She is still assisting us in other legal matters, even though we are now living in Bahia de Caraquez, on the coast of Ecuador now. Again, Sara is very dependable whether it is dealing with municipalities or individuals. Whether it involves phone calls, emails or in person, she is there. Either Sara or her assistant Mayra even came to Bahia de Caraquez on the Ecuador coast when we needed them to.
We thank Sara for her knowledge, for being proficient and for her kindness.
– Very detailed with the information provided
– Very patient in answering all questions in a very prompt way.
– Following up in order to make sure that all is clear before filing and keeping you well informed during all the phases of the process.
– Since the first contact you proved to be friendly making me feel welcome and at home in EC like most Ecuadorians do.
Thank you again and rest assured that I’ll be using your services again as discussed, even though I am in Quito, because I TRUST you.
P.S. I would very highly recommend Sara to anyone with a legal problem or desiring a Visa, Cedula or Container
On May 15, 2014, my wife and I moved from the United States to Cuenca, Ecuador. We had visited this country many times before and the visit prior to our May move we tried to obtain our visas on our own. It is possible to do this on your own. However, if you’re not used to the customs, if you are not fluent in Spanish and if you do not have all the time in the world you may find out that you have hit many brick walls in achieving your goal. Prior to our move in May of 2014, we contacted Sara and her team of bilingual professionals. Upfront she made it very clear as to what documents would be needed to submit to the Ecuadorian Immigration Department to obtain our retirement visas. I would like to explain the factors why you should contract the services of Sara and her team:
1. They understand the process of Ecuador Immigration.
2. They explain your options as to the various visa that would apply to your situation.
3. They walk you through the US documents required for obtaining your visa.
4. They verify up front the process and if your documents are all in proper order prior to your leaving the US.
5. When you arrive in Ecuador they make you feel welcomed and the working relationship becomes a personal one on one.
6. They tell you every step of the way where and when to meet at what location.
7. You never feel alone and after the process is completed you feel like your hand has been held at every step.
8. Also, they are bilingual which is necessary if you do not speak fluent Spanish.
I would certainly recommend Ecuador Visas, and Sara and her team to represent you for a smooth, pleasant transition in your move to Ecuador.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions: email@example.com
I would like to recommend Sara for any legal matters.
She was a tremendous help in preparing a Last Will and Testament for use in Ecuador. This is important to do if you have assets here since they are not covered by your USA Will or Trust.
She arranges everything and is patient in explaining the details. She is very professional, pleasant and promptly replies to any emails you send her. Sara and her office manager Mayra are both fluent in English.
I will certainly use Sara for any of my future legal needs. It is so nice to find a professional as honest, pleasant and trustworthy as Sara.
Randy Ray Wilfong, Sarasota, FL
I had started doing my research of making Cuenca, Ecuador my home since October of 2013.
In December, through a news letter I happened to come across Sara’s email id.
I wrote to her, assuming that, there would be no response.
Was I surprised when I received one immediately? And that put into motion my entire plan.
Over the next 6 weeks they answered each and every one of my queries.
I was even provided with a bulleted list of all the documents required.
Armed with all original documents, I entered Cuenca in March 2014, on a T-III visa and provided the same to Sara.
I was told to expect my visa within 12 weeks.
And so it happened. On July 01, I was informed of my visa having been processed. And by the 3rd week of July I even had my Cedula in my pocket.
Bottom line: Sara and her team are very professional in their approach.
Another quality that impressed me was their punctuality.
Sara also makes it a point to have one of her staff (who is bi-lingual) to accompany you to all government offices.
That takes the stress of you, a foreigner in a strange land, away.
Heres wishing Sara, her law firm and her team all the best.
And, More Power to You.
Shawn Kadnar, India & United Arab Emirates