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Immigration and Visas

Ecuador - Immigration and Visas

The regulations for obtaining visas for working and living in Ecuador change frequently and it is a good idea to obtain the latest details from your local Ecuador embassy or consulate prior to making your application. Visitors can apply for a tourist visa but if you enter Ecuador on this type of visa you will not be allowed to apply for another type of visa while you are there. Visitors must return home and apply from their country of origin. Applying for a visa for a stay of more than 90 days requires a certain amount of documentation. There are individual visas for students, volunteers and those who are on exchange visits.

Applying for a work visa requires two copies of the application form which is then sent to the director of immigration at the Ecuadorian government. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months. A firm offer of employment and a copy of the contract are required, along with proof of qualifications. Any dependents travelling with you must supply their birth certificates and any marriage certificates which are applicable. Copies of police records should be supplied to confirm that the applicant is of good character. Medical certificates are required to prove that the applicant is not afflicted with a contagious disease and should show that the applicant has taken a recent HIV test.

Visa costs will vary according to the number of dependents which are added to the permit. Those who have obtained a management position may require a different type of work permit, though your local Ecuador embassy will be able to provide you with the forms for the correct visa. Family members will also be able to move to the country once the worker has been issued with the relevant permits, although this will not permit them to work.

It is possible for expats to simply obtain resident status and settle in Ecuador. The process of application can take several weeks and applicants can be in one of several categories. Retired people who receive a pension in their home country who have a minimum income can apply for this status. Those who are willing to invest in the country, those who have skills which are in demand and those who have a university degree may also apply for this status. As long term residency is fairly easy to obtain many people do not bother to apply for citizenship, though this is a possibility if you prefer.

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