Ecuador: Eligibility and procedure for obtaining a certificate of naturalization, including eligibility of permanent residents, and whether consent from the country of former nationality is required for obtaining Ecuadorean nationality; period of validity of a permanent resident visa (update to ECU11317 and ECU11316 of 28 July 1992)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||21 February 2003|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ECU40090.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ecuador: Eligibility and procedure for obtaining a certificate of naturalization, including eligibility of permanent residents, and whether consent from the country of former nationality is required for obtaining Ecuadorean nationality; period of validity of a permanent resident visa (update to ECU11317 and ECU11316 of 28 July 1992), 21 February 2003, ECU40090.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3f7d4d8f0.html [accessed 24 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores) provides on its Website detailed information, in Spanish, on the naturalization process, indicating that it is governed by the Law and Regulations on Naturalization (Ley y Reglamento de Naturalización) of 1976 (Ecuador 2003a). It describes who is eligible, lists all the documentation that must be submitted with a naturalization application and the information that this documentation must include, indicates the fees (US$200 for the application, and US$500 for the granting of nationality if the application is approved), outlines the process that the application will follow, and provides the address for submission of applications and other contact details for the Legal Advisory (Asesoría Jurídica) office of the Ministry (ibid.).
According to the information published by the Ministry, to apply for naturalization a foreigner must be at least 18 years of age, and must have resided at least three years in Ecuador counted from the date he or she was issued an Ecuadorean foreigner's identification document (cédula de identidad ecuatoriana como extranjero) (ibid.). A continuous absence from Ecuadorean territory of more than 90 days is deemed to have "interrupted" the legal residency requirement (interrumpe el plazo de residencia legal); however, a prolonged absence due to compelling reasons of health or studies could be considered by the Ministry as not having interrupted the legal residency requirement (ibid.). The minimum residency requirement is reduced to two years for foreign husbands of Ecuadorean nationals or for foreigners who have one or more children born in Ecuador (ibid.). Unlike other foreigners seeking Ecuadorean naturalization, the foreign wife of an Ecuadorean national can request naturalization through an expedited process (ibid.).
One of the documents required with the application for Ecuadorean naturalization is a certificate issued by the embassy or consulate of the applicant's country of origin or of acquired nationality, indicating the legal provisions that would apply to its nationals if they were to acquire another country's nationality (ibid.). If naturalization is granted, the applicant's passport and other foreign identity documents shall be returned to the diplomatic mission of the country that issued them (ibid.). No reference to a required permission for naturalization from the country of origin or nationality of the applicant could be found in this or other documents consulted.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the granting of Ecuadorean nationality is discretionary or optional (facultativa), and adds that it reserves the right to request any additional documents that would help fulfil to its satisfaction all legal and procedural requirements (Ecuador 2003a).
Ecuador issues seven different immigrant visas: pensioner (10-I Rentista), investor – ¾industry or trade (10-III Inversionista), employees of a company or business located in Ecuador (10-III Apoderado General y Otros), professional (10-III Profesional), family or dependant (10-III Amparo), and other occupations or reasons (10-Otras Actividades) (ibid. 2003b).
The Ministry indicates that all immigrant visas are valid for an indefinite period (ibid.). However, a legally-registered foreigner could lose his or her visa if they remain outside Ecuador for more than 90 days per year during the first two years following the day of admission, or for more than 18 consecutive months after the first two years of residence in Ecuador (ibid.).
An English translation of the Ecuadorean Constitution of 1998 can be found in Regional Documentation Centre. Please note that the document contains provisions relating to nationality and naturalization (Title I, Section I), as well as to the rights of foreigners in Ecuador (Title I, Section III) (Constitutions of the Countries of the World Feb. 1998, 2-4).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.
Constitutions of the Countries of the World. February 1998. "Ecuador." Edited by Gisbert H. Flanz and translated by Reka Koerner. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications.
Ecuador. 2003a. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Obtención de la Nacionalidad Ecuatoriana por Naturalización." _____. 2003b. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Visas de Inmigrantes."
_____. 2003b. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Visas de Inmigrantes."