Why Go Anywhere Else?
Maite Durán, Gringo Visas
By Teresa Drake
Photographs Courtesy of Tiro al Blanco and Gringo Visas
So, you want to get a visa to live in Ecuador, and specifically Cuenca. Where do you go? Do you go to your friend’s friend who is a taxi driver who facilitates for them? How about the gringo you just met who swears he knows a super quick and cheap way? How do you decide?
If you are smart, you go to a professional whose specialty is visas. And not just any professional; you’ll go to see Maite Duran, founder of Gringo Visas. She is the ultimate authority on the procurement of visas and cedulas in Cuenca. Ms. Duran’s name may sound familiar to many of you and it should. Four years ago, Ms. Duran was featured in an article in this magazine, which covered her as a rising star in the world of procurement of visas and cedulas for people desiring to relocate from their native countries to Ecuador. Today she is the authority on visas.
Maite (pronounced my-tay) has been helping expats obtain their residency visas since 2010. Although Maite was born in Ecuador, she moved to the United States as a teenager where she attended and graduated high school and college. She enjoyed a successful career in real estate and finance, but the pull of Ecuador and wanting to be closer to her family found her returning to Cuenca.
She got her start working for a company in Cuenca that offered relocation services, ultimately becoming their visa specialist. It was during this time that Maite saw a rapidly growing need for a service that would not only specialize in visas, but also deliver the level of customer service that expats expected. Maite founded the headquarters of Gringo Visas in Cuenca. The office consists of a multi-lingual team including immigration attorneys and additional legal counsel in Ecuador’s capital Quito. To be of the utmost benefit to her clients, she and her staff visit immigration headquarters at least once a week. With the number of North American expats wanting to relocate to Ecuador on the rise, Maite opened a fully staffed office in Danbury, Connecticut to better meet the needs of her clients. The Danbury office allows North Americans to begin the procedures necessary to obtain their residency visas. Maite has become the authority in Cuenca on the ins and outs of procuring visas and cedulas and has been successful in processing all types of visas, as well as legal documents, for thousands of expats from all around the world.
Maite takes her responsibilities seriously to provide the best service, legal advice, and counsel to her clients, and she strives to provide the best experience possible. To that end, either she or a member of her staff travel to the government offices in Quito to check on the requirements and documentation needed to obtain a residency visa. By going this extra step, she and her office are not caught off guard by a change in the law or the documents needed. The laws in Ecuador can and do change rapidly and only by keeping her finger on the government pulse is she able to provide up-to-date information. This focus on customer service and the ability to provide informative answers and solutions to her clientele is what has endeared Maite to so many happy expats. If something changes, clients are notified immediately so that they are not caught unaware. The last thing anyone wants is to arrive in Ecuador, travel to Machala, Azogues or wherever and discover that their documentation is incomplete, incorrect, or has expired.
Maite helps her clients find the right type of visa that will work for them. She does this by asking the right questions. It is this attention to detail that resulted in Maite providing more visas for expats than anyone else. When an expat obtains a visa or cédula, the occasion is celebrated by a photograph evidencing the happy clients holding their visa or cédula. Because Maite and Gringo Visas only do visas, they have become the number one authority on visas in Cuenca.
So, why do you need a visa expert and who needs to apply for an Ecuadorian visa? Having a visa expert is a must to avoid problems in the processing and obtaining of your visa and/or cédula. While your friend’s friend may have successfully helped them get their visa eight years ago, times and laws have changed as have governmental rules, regulations, and fees. Why play Russian roulette with your money, your time, and your peace of mind. It makes more sense to do something of this importance correctly the first time and not be caught off guard with changes in the laws or requirements.
By having an office in Danbury, Connecticut, Maite and Gringo Visas can help expats obtain their temporary visas before coming to Ecuador. This saves time and money as all the original documents are checked before the visa application is submitted to the nearest Ecuadorian Consulate. There are no fears of traveling to Ecuador only to find out one or more of your documents were prepared incorrectly or have expired and finding it necessary to return to the United States to get new documents.
For more information, you can visit Gringo Visas on Facebook, go to their website at http://www.gringovisas.com, or visit them at their office at Av. Ordónez Lasso 7-86 y Calle de los Claveles, Riverview Building, second floor #3. You can also email Maite at firstname.lastname@example.org or call either the Cuenca office at +593 98 915 3622 or in the U.S. by calling the Danbury, Connecticut office at (203) 648-4511. Gringo Visas is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (closed for lunch) and 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. They are closed on Saturday and Sunday, but available by special appointment.
Remember, Gringo Visas is committed to obtaining your residential visa quickly, easily and at an affordable price. Maite also offers free consultations, so you can get all your questions answered upfront at no cost. Gringo Visas, in addition, provides a wide range of visa related services, so one stop is all you need.
Av. Ordónez Lasso 7-86 y Calle de los Claveles, Riverview Building, second floor #3.
EC +593 98 915 3622
US (203) 648-4511.
Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.