Before coming to Ecuador it’s hard to find up-to-date information on the new visa requirements. Even people who live here struggle to get clear on what might be required for them to continue their stay in Ecuador. Here at Gringo Tree we are always trying to keep our readers as informed as possible. Read on to hear about the updated rules and requirements for Ecuador’s tourist and residential visa’s from Maite Duran at Gringo Visas.
Ecuador Visa Requirements
Article 56 – Tourists. Tourists are defined as all people who come to Ecuador with the intention of carrying out tourist activities and who are prohibited from carrying out work activities.
Every person, from any country, with some exceptions, (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Senegal and Cuba, who require a previous registration), can enter Ecuador as tourists for up to 90 days without having to request any visa. This length of stay for tourists will be counted in the period of one year from first entry to Ecuador.
NOTE: As of now, no public or private health insurance is required for the first 90 days as a tourist. This is subject to future change.
If a tourist want to extend their stay in Ecuador, they can apply for a “Tourist Visa” which is obtainable one time for up to ninety additional days upon request and payment of the respective fee.
If you are interested in extending your stay for a maximum term of up to one year as a tourist, you must ask the Human Mobility Authority for a “Special Tourist Visa”. In order to obtain this visa, you must prove the legal means of subsistence that allow you to stay in the country and pay the corresponding fee. This visa can be requested once every five years.
Have in mind that with any of these tourism permissions or visas, you will not be able to carry out work activities.
Additionally, any person entering the country as a tourist must have public or private health insurance for the duration of their stay in Ecuador.
Article 59. – The new law distinguishes two categories of residency: temporary or permanent residence in Ecuador.
Temporary residence authorizes the stay of two years in the Ecuadorian territory, subject to renewal one time.
In order to apply for this migration status, there are thirteen categories. Considering our clients’ interests, the most relevant are the following:
– Pensioner: has their own legal resources which come from revenues from an external or Ecuadorian source.
– Retired: who receives a retirement pension from abroad whose amount allows him to cover the expenses for his stay.
– Investor: who has assets and economic resources of legal origin to carry out productive or commercial activities in Ecuador.
– Professional (technician, technologist or craftsman): who enters the country to practice a profession or technical, technological or craft activity. For that purpose, the professional degree has to be registered by SENESCYT (official education agency).
– Persons covered by the holder of the migratory category: children and spouse or couple in civil union registered in Ecuador of the holder of this immigration category.
[color-box color=”green”]If you are within one of these categories, you must fulfill the following general requirements:
1. Official documentation selecting the resident category for which you want to apply.
2. Valid passport
3. Background check report from your home country or the country you have lived in for the last 5 years.
4. Not to be considered as a threat or risk to internal security
5. To verify the legitimate income that allows the subsistence of the applicant and his dependent family unit.
6. Payment of the fee set by the authority of human mobility.
7. Submit the temporary residence application form.[/color-box]
Once the temporary residence is granted, the person must be affiliated with the social security system or with a private health insurance company.
This is the immigration status that authorizes staying in the national territory indefinitely.
In order to obtain this status, you have to meet at least one of the following conditions:
– Fulfill at least 21 months as a temporary resident and submit the corresponding application prior to the expiration of the migratory status.
– Have entered into marriage or maintain legally recognized civil union with an Ecuadorian person.
– Be a foreigner minor or disabled person who depends on an Ecuadorian person or on a foreigner that has permanent residence.
– Be a relative within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity of an Ecuadorian citizen or a foreign citizen with permanent residence in Ecuador.
[color-box color=”green”]If you fulfill one of these conditions, you must accomplish the following requirements:
1. To accredit one of the conditions established in this Law for permanent residence.
2. Valid passport
3. Backgrounds check report from Ecuadorian Police Department in the case that you have been a temporary resident for two years in Ecuador. In the case that you have not been a temporary resident (as in conditions 2, 3 and 4), you must obtain backgrounds check report from your home country or the country you have lived in for the last 5 years.
4. Not to be considered as a threat or risk to internal security.
5. To verify the legitimate income that allows the subsistence of the applicant and his or her dependent family unit. (It means, to prove that the person is still receiving the pension, salary, revenues or assets he/she was receiving at the time of the Temporary Residence request). In the case of persons applying for conditions 2, 3 and 4 of the article concerning permanent residence, the person by whom they are covered for their application for residence must prove the livelihoods necessary for their subsistence.
6. Payment of the fee set by the authority of human mobility.
Once the permanent residence is granted, the person must be affiliated with the social security system or with a private health insurance company.[/color-box]
Continuity Of Residency
The temporary resident may be absent from the country for a maximum period of ninety days for each year, within the period of validity of his residence. In case of non-compliance, the person shall pay a fine equivalent to three Ecuadorian basic monthly salaries ($1,125 in total as of January 1, 2017).
The permanent resident may be absent and return to the country but may not remain abroad more than 180 days in each year, counted from the date of obtaining the immigration status, during the first two years. In case of non-compliance, if the person remains abroad for more than 180 days in one of the years, the person shall pay a fine equivalent to four Ecuadorian basic salaries ($1,500 in total as of January 1, 2017). In the case that the person who was already fined would exceed the time limit again, he or she will lose residency status.
The permanent resident, after the first two years, may be absent from the country for up to five years. If this time limit is exceeded, he or she will lose residency.
* The President of the Republic shall issue the regulations of this Law in 120 days (counted from February 6, 2017). Until the Regulations of this Law are issued, no institution shall suspend its services.
The authority for human mobility, immigration control and other public entities related to human mobility will have a period of 90 days from the enforcement of the regulation of this law to issue secondary regulations to ensure effective compliance with the rules in this act. However, these entities could take more than the established time in the law in order to make such transition.
** All visas obtained before the enforcement of the regulation of this law shall remain the same.
*** Every visa application process started before the enforcement of the regulation of this law shall be exempt of the new regulations.
FINAL NOTE: Everyone’s individual’s situation is different. Each may be affected differently by the changes in the new Migration Law
Was there something we missed? Have any more questions about the new Visa rules and requirements? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.