Friday, July 1, 2011

Renewal Time!

The paper trail never seems to end in Cuenca!

We’ve been here long enough to renew our Censo (Certificado de Empardonamiento) which we obtained last year on July 9th as part of our Cédula process. The Censo needs to be renewed every year and the Cédula (national ID card) needs to be renewed every ten years. I’m not sure why, but our Cédula expires in 12 years instead of 10. I think it has something to do with the fact that we arrived during the changeover process when the Cédula went to the microchip (just guessing!).

Next week, we’ll head to the Office of Migration “Direccion Nacional de Migracion” (right down the street from us -- E. Munoz 1-42 y Gran Columbia) and present our paperwork. Last year it took us three times to get it right! For some reason, we were always missing a signature, an “essential” document or something wasn’t notarized. This year, we’ve anticipated all the possible pitfalls and we have the following documentation:

*Renter’s agreement “Contrato de Arrendamiento” (or other proof of residence) – notarized.
*Lights, electric and water bill (needed for proof of residence).
*Valid passports.
*Color copies of passport with the 12-IX stamp (and first page of passport).
*Color copy of the entry date page in passport.
*Color passport photo (2x2), white background, front and profile view.
*Manila Envelope (size A-4).
*$5.00 per person

It may turn out that we don’t need our rental agreement notarized or front and profile view photos, but just in case we’re going to be “over prepared” this time. And through experience, we have learned that the best time to present yourself to the Office of Migration is first thing in the morning or around 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, when everyone goes home to prepare for “almuerzo.”

The Fourth of July weekend signals renewal time for us—not only for our Censo card, but also for our SuperMaxi discount card. Today when we tried to use our card at the grocery store, they told us that it had expired (June 30, 2011). We paid $44.88 to get a year full of discounts. It’s definitely worth it, especially if you shop on Wednesdays when you get a 20 percent discount on fruit, vegetables and flowers.

We’ll let you know how successful we are with our Censo renewal (next week!).

Until next time…hasta luego!

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Address of the Immigration Office in Cuenca: Direccion Nacional de Migracion, E. Munoz 1-42 y Gran Columbia, Cuenca, Ecuador (Azuay Province)

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