Applying for an Ecuador visa can be complicated, possibly the most complicated part of moving to Ecuador. One great thing is that now there are visa offices in each province of Ecuador. Back in the day I had to do everything 8 hours away in Quito.
That said, my husband had to get a visa for the US while we were there working and, let me tell you, getting an Ecuador visa is much easier! Much easier! And less time consuming.
This page was (mega!) updated March 2018.
Visa requirements change frequently and without much notice. I recommend contacting the Consulate nearest you or an experienced Ecuadorian attorney for the best and most reliable info. To contact the nearest Consulate click here.
Read about my visa experience.
Here we will focus on long- and short-term residency visas. For information on tourist visas please visit this page.
You now need to apply for a temporary residency visa to begin. After 21 months on the temporary visa you can apply to adjust your status to Permanent Resident.
There are now many categories of residency visas (almost 30!). The most popular continue to be:
Read an article written by someone who deals with this everyday. Attorney Sara Chaca explains the most popular residency visas mentioned above (plus one more) and their requirements.
See some of the common questions I receive about visas on my FAQ page.
If you apply for an Immigrant visa your residency is indefinite. But you can loose it.
During the first two years of residency you can only be outside of Ecuador a total of 90 days per year. Meaning... Year one: 90 day max out of Ecuador. Year two: 90 days max.
After the initial two years are over, you can leave Ecuador for up to 5 years without jeopardizing your residency.
If you invest money or make a deposit in the Banco Central to qualify for residency, you can loose your residency if you withdraw that money. This includes if you were to sell your real estate in Ecuador and do not immediately invest that money into the country.
While your Ecuador visa is valid you may not face any penalties for violating any of the above mentioned rules., but when you go to renew your cedula (Ecuadorian ID card) all of the above conditions are often reviewed and could be reason for your application being denied.
The Ministerio del Exterior has a good website: http://cancilleria.gob.ec. It has info on all the different visas available including lists of requirements. It also seems to be kept up to date with the newest information. Plus you can download some of the forms required.