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Immigration to Ecuador

The regulations for obtaining visas for working and living in Ecuador change frequently. Las Olas has developed relationships with several English-speaking law firms that can handle all your immigration requirements.

Residency Visa Rules

If you would like to stay in Ecuador for more than 90 days, get a 12-IX tourist or business visa before you leave your country. Go to the nearest Ecuador Embassy or Consulate.  The fee will be $230.

You can get a permanent residency visa while in your own country, but it is a cumbersome process. Before coming to Ecuador you will need a police check, and certified copies of your birth certificates and marriage certificate from the appropriate authority in your home country, and then take them to the Ecuadorian Consulate or Embassy to get the 12-IX visa. (180 day visa).

You will need the 12-IX visa in order to obtain a permanent residency visa after you arrive in Ecuador so it is easiest to obtain the 12-IX visa in your home country prior to arrival in Ecuador. You must register your 12-IX visa within 30 days upon arrival in Ecuador where upon you will be issued another identification card called a censo. If you fail to register and get a censo you will have to pay a fine and will not be able to leave the country without one.

Ecuador offers permanent resident visas to foreign investors and/or retirees. The process involves many steps, but is relatively easy. Getting a residence visa is a normal step in making Ecuador your first or second home. We recommend that you use an attorney for the process as the visa laws change frequently and you can easily miss required steps or documents. Our legal partners would be happy to assist you through the process. Alternatively, there are several services that help you through the process, but be sure to check references before you decide to use one.

There are several different types of visas available. If you are planning to move to Ecuador you will need a resident visa. A resident visa is required before you can bring your things into the country. There are five common resident visa categories that are frequently used:  Investment visa, retirement visa, business visa, work visa, and religious visa.

Investment Visa: With this visa you must have invested $25,000, plus $5,000 for each additional dependent including your spouse. Investments in land, a home or a certified deposit in a savings account are the normal means of satisfying this requirement and must be in place the entire time you have your visa.

Pensioner’s Visa: With this visa you are required to prove that you receive at least $800 of income per month, plus an additional $100 per month for each dependent.

Business Visa: Requires a capital investment of $30,000 in a business. We do not recommend this one unless you are planning to operate a business in Ecuador due to the stringent reporting requirements.

Professional Visa: For professionals with university degree recognized by a national university.  Your transcripts have to be apostilled or legalized in your corresponding country by the appropriate authorities.

Visa rules in Ecuador change frequently and without notice.  While we undertake to ensure our information is current, it is always best to check current up-to-date requirements in your country before you are ready to come.