Ecuador offers a variety of residency options for foreigners who want to stay in the country for an extended period of time. These options are based on the purpose of the visit, such as tourism, work, study, or retirement.
Temporary residency is issued for a specific period, usually up to two years, and is renewable.
A tourist visa allows foreigners to stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days within a 12-month period.
Professional Work Visa
This visa is issued to foreigners who have a job offer from an Ecuadorian company. The employer must apply for this visa on behalf of the employee. This visa is granted for up to two years, after which it can be renewed.
A student visa is granted to those who are enrolled in an accredited academic institution in Ecuador. This visa is valid for up to two years and is renewable.
This visa is for individuals who invest a minimum of $30,000 in Ecuador. It allows the holder to reside in Ecuador for up to two years and is renewable.
This visa is for individuals who can show proof of a monthly pension of at least $800. The visa is valid for two years and can be renewed.
This visa is for individuals who can show proof of a steady income of at least $2,000 per month from sources outside Ecuador. The visa is valid for two years and can be renewed.
Permanent residency allows foreigners to stay in Ecuador indefinitely.
Professional Work Visa
After holding a professional work visa for at least 21 months, the holder can apply for permanent residency.
After holding an investment visa for at least three years, the holder can apply for permanent residency.
This visa is granted to the spouse, parents, and children of an Ecuadorian citizen or a foreigner with permanent residency. After holding this visa for at least three years, the holder can apply for permanent residency.
Process for Applying for Residency in Ecuador
The process for applying for residency in Ecuador varies depending on the type of visa. In general, the process involves the following steps:
Gather all required documents: This includes a valid passport, criminal background check, medical certificate, and proof of financial means.
Submit application: The application must be submitted to the nearest Ecuadorian consulate or embassy.
Pay fees: The application fee varies depending on the type of visa.
Attend an interview: Depending on the visa type, the applicant may be required to attend an interview.
Wait for approval: The processing time varies, but it can take up to six months.
Obtain visa: If approved, the applicant must obtain the visa within 90 days of approval.
Documents Required for Residency in Ecuador
The following documents are generally required for residency in Ecuador:
- Valid passport
- Criminal background check
- Medical certificate
- Proof of financial means
- Visa application form
- Application fee
Additional documents may be required depending on the type of visa.
Registering with a Government Department
Foreigners must register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within 30 days of arriving in Ecuador. Additionally, depending on the type of visa, foreigners may need to register with other government departments.
Resources for Residence in Ecuador
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and the website of the nearest Ecuadorian embassy or consulate are reliable sources of information on residence in Ecuador. It is recommended to consult with an immigration lawyer or specialist to ensure that all requirements are met and the application process is completed correctly.
For reliable and up-to-date information on residency in Ecuador, individuals can visit the following websites:
- Ecuadorian consulate or embassy in their country of origin: https://www.ecuador.com/
- Ecuadorian immigration department: http://www.inm.gob.ec/
- Ecuadorian Tourism Board: https://www.ecuador.travel/
Individuals can also seek advice from immigration lawyers or consult with the Ecuadorian consulate or embassy in their country of origin.