Written by Sara Chaca, Attorney – Abogada
April 25th, 2019
Whether you’re planning on retiring to Ecuador, or you’re just visiting the country, it’s important to make sure that you apply for and receive the right kind of visa(s), based on your own unique scenario and qualifications, respectively. As well, just like is the case with many if not all other countries, in Ecuador there are multiple kinds of visas available that can be considered and/or issued to foreigners.
And so, in this short article, we’ll take a look at the most common types of visas, and examine the general attributes and requirements of each of them, which are presented in the below for your review and understanding.
Tourism Visas: Temporary Visitors in Ecuador
When visitors enter Ecuador, they’ll receive a Tourist Visa, officially known (and shown) as a T-3 admission stamp. This visa is valid for up to 90 days – these are rolling days though and not calendar days of January 1st to December 31st). In order to stay in Ecuador for more than 90 days within any single 12-month measuring period, a foreigner can obtain a Tourist Visa Extension of 90 additional rolling days and/or a Special Tourist Visa which will allow them to stay in Ecuador for up to 180 additional rolling days in that same 12-month measuring period. The Special Tourist Visa of 180 days is only available once every five years, so it is not possible to extend a stay in Ecuador indefinitely on a tourist visa, though one could potentially stay a total consecutively running time period of 360 days in Ecuador, that naturally being 5 days short of any full 12-month measuring period, respectively.
Residency Visas in Ecuador
Any foreigner moving to Ecuador will generally first receive a Temporary Residency Visa (TRV), and they must maintain this visa for 2 years before they can apply for a future Permanent Residency in Ecuador.
As alluded to immediately above, a Temporary Residency Visa is only valid for 2 years, and can only be renewed one time (i.e. for a second 2 year period on top of one’s first Temporary Residency Visa of 2 years). In order to maintain the status of being a Temporary Resident of Ecuador, the TRV holder may only be out of Ecuador for up to 90 days in each of their first 2 years of Temporary Residency, as counted from the anniversary date shown on the TRV holder’s applicable visa stamp. Otherwise, the TRV holder may be fined by the Ecuadorian government and/or their TRV can be canceled, depending on the exact circumstances (this varies on a case by case basis).
Once someone has lived in Ecuador for at least 21 months under a Temporary Residency Visa, they are able to apply for a Permanent Residency Visa (PRV). Under a PRV, a person may only be out of Ecuador for up to 180 days in each of their first 2 years of Permanent Residency, as again counted from the anniversary date shown on the PRV holder’s applicable visa stamp. Then, after the second year of Permanent Residency, they can keep their Permanent Residency Visa status with a permitted absence of up to five years at a time. If a person doesn’t follow these Permanent Residency rules, again the PRV holder may be fined by the Ecuadorian government and/or their PRV can be canceled, depending on the exact circumstances (once more this varies on a case by case basis).
TYPES OF RESIDENCY VISAS IN ECUADOR
There are numerous residency visa options available to foreigners whom are moving to Ecuador. Here as follows are brief yet straight to the point descriptions of each of them:
While the above isn’t a fully comprehensive or totally exhaustive list of all the requirements and ways in which someone can become a Resident of Ecuador, it does in my experience cover at least 99% of the respective scenarios and situations that I have personally come across in serving and working with my foreigner clients, for purposes of making Ecuador be and become their new home.
Sara Chaca (Attorney – Abogada) is a seasoned Ecuadorian Lawyer, who principally serves Expats in making their moves to Ecuador, as well as for any legal issues that arise or become actionable for her Expat clients to undertake in their new lives here in her beautiful country. Sara resides in Cuenca with her family, which consists of her American husband and 2 daughters (as well as her parents and siblings), and when not working, she enjoys spending time with her family in Cuenca’s majestic Cajas Mountains and local parks & fairs of Cuenca, plus visiting the coast as well as the many gem towns of Ecuador. Sara’s personal email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and her law office’s fully informative website is www.ecuadorvisas.com for you to visit at any time of day or night – plus, her personal Ecuadorian cell phone number is 099-296-2065 and her Toll Free “800” phone number for US & Canadian callers is 1-(800)-655-1581. Sara has a less than 24 hour first response policy, in that if you email or call her, she WILL return your first email or first phone call in less than 24 hours (more typically in closer to 24 minutes). Most importantly, all first time consultations with Expats for any type Visa or Legal matter(s) are always FREE OF CHARGE.
Naturally, rather than us tell you how great our Visa and Legal work is at “Ecuador Visas” (Law Office of Attorney/Lawyer Sara Chaca), simply permit the highly detailed recommendations and testimonials of our many dozens of Visa & Legal clients to that effect do so for you (including a regular flow of tourists and real estate investors coming to Ecuador from the likes of the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, etc., besides of course the many local Expats ALREADY residing/visiting here) – and so here they are for you to see: https://www.ecuadorvisas.
And then of course there’s those 20+ “100%” ALL across 5-star Google client reviews that one considering a move to Ecuador should always want to check out prior to hiring their Attorney/Lawyer: See our Google Reviews
As well, here’s a listing of our Head Attorney/Lawyer, Sara Chaca’s 40+ published articles and videos, which collectively have received thousands of client views: https://cuencahighlife.
Finally, remember that every client’s first consultation by our own “Abogada Guru” (Attorney/Lawyer Sara Chaca) is Fully Complimentary — Totally Free Of Charge ($0.00)!
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8:00AM – 5:00PM
Address: Calle Larga 6-16 & Hermano Miguel, Cuenca, Ecuador, 010101
(*Plus we also have a Florida Office in the US!*)
Ecuador Phone: 099-296-2065
US Phone: 1-800-655-1581
Email Address: email@example.com