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Change in Ecuador’s Immigration Laws – The Human Mobility Act

We are pleased to announce that as of January 28, 2017, the government has made positive changes to make it easier to live part-time or full time in Ecuador!  

Here are the details of the new laws as presented publicly so far.  It’s a little long and certain sections will require clarification and fees have yet to be released. We will provide any updates to this new law as we are made aware of them.

The proposed law establishes that foreigners in Ecuador can be temporary or permanent residents.  

Under the new law all foreigners have the right to apply for a visa, to benefit and have access to the justice system and benefit from legal and constitutional guarantees regardless of their migratory status in Ecuador.

Residents in Ecuador will have the right to work in Ecuador, whether employed or self-employed, and to have access to our social security system the same as Ecuadorians.

Foreign residents in Ecuador have the right to access healthcare. No public or private health institutions shall restrict or refuse emergency medical services due to nationality or migratory condition to anyone.

All foreigners wishing to stay in Ecuador will need to have a regular migratory status. This means they will need a visa.

It is important to note that according to this proposed law all foreigners in Ecuador will need to have valid public or private health insurance during their stay in Ecuador.

Also, foreigners will have to register their domicile with our Registro Civil and the respective Municipality. Passers-by (tourists) will need to register their staying address (hotel, etc.), for protection, etc.

The proposed law states that all foreigners need to carry their ID document during their stay in Ecuador.

Nationals from most countries do not require a visa to enter Ecuador.

According to the proposed law, tourists can stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days every 12 months. Same as now.  The new law introduces a welcome change, when it states that the 90 days may be prolonged for up to 90 additional days.

The proposed law establishes that there will be Temporary Residents and Permanent Residents.

The new proposed law says that temporary resident visas will be granted for up to two years and will be renewable one time, except for students.

Temporary resident visas will be granted to workers (with a work permit), to pensioners, to those who invest in Ecuador (a business, real estate, etc.) and to students.

Permanent resident visas will be granted to those who have a temporary resident visa and wish to remain in Ecuador. A new application will need to be submitted.

The proposed law does not refer to professional visas. Currently, professionals may seek a resident visa, providing their educational institution is certified by our Ecuador’s accreditation institution, SENESCYT.

Permanent residents may not stay out of the country for over 120 days (about 4 months) each year. If this limitation is exceeded a fine will be imposed (first time) or the visa may be revoked (second time).