Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Friday that all immigration services to foreigners will be relocated to the Azogues office by the end of year. Currently, residency visas are processed in Azogues but short-term visas and other foreigner services are handled at the Cuenca immigration office on Calle Alfonso Cordero.
Azogues is located 18 miles north of Cuenca, in Cañar Province.
Passport services for Ecuadorian citizens will remain in Cuenca but be relocated to Banco Central on Calle Larga at Huayna Capac.
According to immigration officials, the change will affect about 11,000 foreigners living in Cuenca, mostly North Americans, Europeans, Colombians and Venezuelans.
The ministry says that the closure of the Alfonso Cordero office is both a cost-cutting and practical measure. “It is the policy of the government of consolidate services on property that we own,” says Humberto Cordero, regional immigration services director. “We lease the office on Alfonso Cordero. In addition, the office in Azoguez is larger and better equipped to handle all the needs of foreign residents, visa holders, as well as refugees.”