Police Clearance Certificates

In common with many countries which have an immigrant program Ecuador wants to make sure that it is not importing a criminal element. It therefore requires the production of Police Clearance Certificates with any application for residency. Today all countries are more likely to deport criminals than to accept them as immigrants.

Not all countries will provide proof of the lack of a criminal record. Judgements in civil matters are usually not recorded so far as police certificates are concerned. Most countries will oblige, at a price, in the issuing of such certificate

Application Requirements

Ecuador is not as severe in its requirements for police clearance certificates as is, say, the United States of America. The Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio e Integración web site specifies just what is required. An updated criminal record certificate issued in the foreign country or the country where the applicant has lived for the last five years, duly apostilled or legalized at the Consulate of Ecuador in the country granting it is what is necessary. This may require obtaining such a certificate from more than one country.

The minimum information that must be supplied is proof of identity, dates of residency and a set of finger prints. The identity requirement is usually satisfied by a notarized or certified true copy of the identity page of a current passport. A set of fingerprints can usually be supplied by asking a local police station to make up their usual card bearing your finger prints. This may include not just prints of the fingers and thumbs but also of the palms and the sides of the hands. Where birth or marriage certificates are required it is often the case that "original" copies issued by the recording authority are needed. Notarized or certified true copies are frequently not acceptable.

Application forms can usually be downloaded from the relevant web site or obtained by post from the issuing authority. In some cases the local embassy or consulate can provide the form. It is sometimes the case that the office of diplomatic representation does not handle anything to do with the authority which issues police clearance certificates. It is often an indication of inefficiencies in the civil services or even corruption in the countries concerned. This is the case so far as South Africa is concerned.

A very useful resource for obtaining the detailed needs of various police departments is provided by the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants. Included in this informative page of the Society's web site are the requirements of the many countries listed. Unfortunately Ecuador is not one of them although how to obtain such a certificate from Ecuadorian authorities for entry to Canada can be found.The difficulties mentioned in the Australian section can clearly also be encountered regardless of the country of destination.

The links provided at the "Resources" tab on this site provide useful information as does the book "How to Retire in Ecuador" by Les Johns which can be obtained directly from this site.