A censo (Certificado de Empadronamiento) is a document which identifies the status of foreigners in Ecuador. It is like an additional ID card. Any non-Ecuadorian who wants to remain in the country in any condition other than a tourist will have to get one, even if you also have an Ecuadorian cédula (ID card).
The censo will last for the duration of your visa. If the visa is indefinite, so is the censo. If you change your visa you will need to get a new censo. If you obtained a visa outside Ecuador then you have 30 days from the date you arrive to register and get your censo. Similarly, if you change your status or your address you must inform the authorities within 30 days.
In this case the authority is the Jefatura de Migración. There are offices all over the country but in Guayaquil they told me that everyone has to get their censo in the city where their visa is registered so that means Quito or Guayaquil! You can find the addresses and opening times of the various offices below. The censo costs $4. You need to take the following documents with you:
2. Copy of the passport page with your visa.
3. The document from the embassy / extranjería giving details of your visa.
4. The document from the extranjería which confirms you have a valid visa to stay in the country and instructs the Jefatura to issue the censo.
NOTE: If you arrive in Ecuador with such a visa you need to register it with the extranjería before you try to get a censo (and within 30 days).
5. A document which confirms your place of residence. This could be:
- a letter from the hotel where you are staying
- a rental contract
- if you own your property, the document which confirms you paid your last municipal taxes (el impuesto predial)
- a notarized letter from the homeowner with a copy of his / her cédula which confirms you are staying as a guest in his /her house
6. You also need to present a specific document which was the basis for you being given your particular visa:
9I Document which demonstrates you are receiving income
9II Certificado de Inversion (Document which demonstrates you have made an investment)
9IV Document which confirms your position
9V Notarised copy of your degree
9VI Information submitted by your spouse or family member to demonstrate they have the funds to support you.
12V Certificado de Matricula (Registration certificate)
12VIII Letter from foundation
The regulations for the censo are detailed in Article 4, #VI of the Certificación de la Ley de Migración. The censo is a requirement for foreigners holding visas 9I, 9II, 9III, 9IV, 9V, 12IV, 12V or 12VI.
Offices and Opening Hours
Av. Jaime Roldós (located opposite the bus station (terminal terrestre), in front of the river and clearly marked Jefatura de Migración)
08:00-12:30, 14:30-18:00 Monday – Friday
Alamos N 50-45 José Félix Barreiros A dos cuadras de Solca
08:00-12:00, 15:00-18:00 Monday – Friday
08H00 a 12H00 15H00 a 18H30
NOTE: As of March 2012 there were no templates available to produce the censo. I know that this has happened at least three times in the last six years for an extended period. Instead you are given an A4 certificate which serves the same purpose and you are expected to make a copy and carry it round with you.