The regular Ecuador Tourist Visa that you get on arrival gives you 90 days in the country. To get this "visa" you don't have to do anything, your passport will be stamped when you pass through Immigration at the airport in Ecuador. But I've noticed there are some people that want to stay longer than that. With the amount of things to see and do here in Ecuador I don't blame them.
So what do you need to do if you want to stay longer?
The option you choose will depend on two things. The amount of money you have for your trip and whether you want to deal with Immigration in Ecuador or at the Ecuadorian Embassy nearest you.
If you are on a limited budget and won't have ~$2,000 per person in the bank during the second half of the trip, I would recommend Option #2.
If you don't live near an Ecuadorian Consulate/Embassy, go with Option #1.
Before you leave for Ecuador you need to.....do nothing. You will handle all the visa paperwork in Ecuador.
On arrival you will receive the 90 day T-3 stamp in your passport.
About two weeks before the 90 days are up you need to visit an immigration office in Ecuador to apply for a 12-IX Ecuador Tourist Visa. There are offices in Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Manta and other major cities.
To apply for the visa you will need to fill out a form asking for the visa (which you can obtain online), write a letter explaining why you wish to stay, bring copies of your passport and prove that you can cover your expenses during the next six months. Plus the visa fee, which will have to be deposited in a nearby bank.
A translated copy of a bank statement with your name on it (along with the original), is sufficient to prove you have funds. If possible, download a Spanish version of your bank statement a day or two before you submit your paperwork.
Once you are approved for this visa you will have six more months in Ecuador. Make sure to apply while your T-3 (90 days) is still valid and with enough time to complete the process before it expires.
Before leaving Ecuador visit the Ecuadorian Consulate nearest you. Bring all the needed paperwork for the 12-IX Ecuador Tourist Visa:
Apply at least two weeks before you trip to Ecuador.
On arrival in Ecuador, you will have to register your visa. This will take a day at the Foreign Ministry (Extrajeria) in Ecuador. You will have to deposit a small fee in a local bank and present the receipt with your passport and visa. At the Extranjeria Office go straight to the Information desk and ask what you need to do to register the visa, before taking a number and waiting.
Once registered you are set for the next six months.
If you need to stay longer, you can cross the border into Peru or Colombia before your 12-IX visa expires. Stay until the visa expires (yes, you can leave Ecuador at 11 pm and cross back over after midnight) and when you reenter you will receive a T-3 stamp in your passport good for 90 more days in Ecuador.
Note: You cannot have had a T-3 stamp within the last 365 days for this to work. And you must cross back into Ecuador after your 12-IX expires. If not, immigration officials will readmit you on the 12-IX visa.
If your visa has expired and you are illegal in Ecuador, a few days before you leave the country you need to go to Migracion (a different office from Extranjeria) in Quito or Guayaquil to get your record cleared. This will make things easier when you decide to come back to Ecuador.
There is no fine to pay.
When can you come back? You must be outside of Ecuador for nine months. After this time you can return. The only exception would be if you obtain a different visa to come to Ecuador. Note: The 12-IX visa may only be obtained once per 365 days.
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