Marriage in Ecuador
A marriage that is valid under Ecuadorian law is generally valid in any state of the United States. Marriage of American citizens in Ecuador must be performed in accordance with Ecuadorian law. The information furnished below is only for general information, since the interpretation of Ecuadorian laws and regulations does not fall within the competence of the US Consulate.
An American citizen who wants to get married in Ecuador must establish, to the satisfaction of the Ecuadorian authorities, that s/he is free to marry under the laws of the state of his/her residence in the United States and required to comply with the regulations set by Civil Registry and Immigration Officials in the country of Ecuador. Therefore, an American citizen must possess an Ecuadorian non immigrant visa (known as “12 Visas”, such as the study, work, volunteer, cultural exchange, business, etc). The procedure to obtain a non-immigrant visa is the same as for any other foreigner who would come to Ecuador as a non-resident for a specific purpose.
Non-immigrant visas may be requested at an Ecuadorian consulate, if still residing in the U.S., or at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, if applicant is already in Ecuador. The specific procedures for each non immigrant visas, as to the requirements, are available at the visa page of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Commerce and Integration’s website.
In addition, to be legal, all marriages between foreigners and Ecuadorian citizens must only be performed by an Ecuadorian civil authority in the cities of Quito and Guayaquil. Marriages entered in other provinces are neither legal nor recognized by Ecuadorian authorities. Please note that Religious ceremonies do not have legal validity under Ecuadorian law.
Furthermore, Ecuadorian law requires non-residents of Ecuador to stay in Ecuador for 75 consecutive days prior to the date they wish to marry. Exceptions are granted to foreigners that have children with Ecuadorian citizens; in that case, foreigners are allowed to get married immediately.
The Ecuadorian Government will ask you for the following documentation:
- Affidavit for Marriage (PDF, 28kb), granted by the Embassy or Consulate of the applicant’s country of origin. Click on the U.S. Consulate’s web page for notarials for more information.
- Passport with a valid Ecuadorian visa (original and a copy). Foreigners with resident status in Ecuador should also have a 'Cedula de identidad.’
- Documents to prove the legal termination of any previous marriages (divorce, death or annulment certificates).
NOTE: Foreign documents must be authenticated by an Ecuadorian Consul abroad (not in Ecuador) or an 'apostille' by the appropriate Central Authority in the U.S. or other country under The Hague Convention and accompanied by a certified translation into Spanish. The certification of the translation must be done by an Ecuadorian Consul in the United States, an Ecuadorian Civil Court or an Ecuadorian Notary public (in Ecuador). Click here for more information on apostilles.
For updated information concerning fees for marriages in Ecuador please visit the Ecuadorian Civil Registry’s Fee page .
In addition, new Ecuadorian provisions mandate that marriages between foreigners and Ecuadorians can only be entered in two cities:
- Quito: Amazonas N37-61 y Naciones Unidas esq.
Tel: (593)(2) 381 42 90 (Quito)
- Guayaquil: Av. 9 de Octubre entre Pedro Carbo y Pichincha.
Tel: (04)3 802-300
Please contact the nearest Ecuadorian Consulate in the United States if you wish to get married in Ecuador and have additional questions as to ascertain local marriage requirements.
Immigration of an Alien Spouse to the United States
The alien spouse of an American citizen does not acquire United States citizenship through marriage. S/he must obtain an immigrant visa to be able to immigrate to the United States. For further information on immigration, please visit the webpage for our Immigrant Visas Section.
All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format. To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a free version by clicking the link above.