Visa Information
The first 180 days in Ecuador are pretty straightforward for citizens from most countries. You obtain a tourist stamp when you enter which is valid for 90 days. Then, a Tourist Visa Extension is easily obtainable for another 90 days. However, Ecuador routinely updates requirements for , as well as . Article 65 of the Human Mobility Law was introduced in February 2021 which announced numerous changes, outlined below, that provide more flexibility for visitors.
Unlimited temporary visa renewals
The temporary visa rules have recently been updated to allow for unlimited renewals. This applies to all temporary visa types such as the , Investor, Rentista, Retirement, Volunteer, Student & Dependent. This change effectively allows you to keep your temporary residency for as long as you like, provided you're okay with renewing it every 2 years.
If you're thinking about eventually becoming an Ecuadorian citizen, then it's still best to obtain permanent residency sooner rather than renewing your temporary residency a few times. The fees for renewing your temporary residency are the same as your original application.
No time limit on how long you can be outside of Ecuador during temporary residency
Not many other countries offer this level of flexibility with a temporary residency visa. This is valuable for anyone that or doesn't want to be tied down to one location for too long. If you value your travel freedom, perhaps continuously renewing your temporary visa every 2 years is the best option since permanent resident visas have a maximum of 180 days allowed outside of Ecuador each year.
The existing rule limited temporary visa holders to a maximum of 90 days outside of Ecuador during each 12 month period. Now, it's theoretically possible to visit Ecuador and apply for your temporary residency; then, once you've received your visa and cedula, you can leave the country for, say, one year and then return and either renew your temporary residency or apply for permanent residency.
Visa will be canceled if more than 360 days are spent outside of Ecuador during the first two years of residency
Within the first 2 years of your permanent residency, you’re allowed a maximum of 180 days outside of Ecuador each year. Instead of being able to pay a substantial fine (as was previously the case), you'll lose your permanent residency and need to start again with temporary residency.
Fine of $200 or 1-year ban if visa deadline is overstayed
Penalties for overstaying your visa have been significantly reduced from $800 and a 2-year ban to a more accommodating $200 fine or a 1-year exile from the country. The fine amount would be paid on re-entry to Ecuador, so the $200 fine will automatically be voided after one year if you remain abroad.
Health insurance is not required for visas
was previously a requirement before any temporary or permanent visa was issued. They've now done away with that, but you still need to have health insurance before they'll issue your cedula, which is comparable to a driver’s license or state issued ID card.
Commerce Visa provides a 180 day extension, and you can apply for it every year
The new Commerce Visa is much more practical than its predecessor, the Special Tourist Visa, which was valid for only 90 days, and could only be applied for once every 5 years. The Commerce Visa allows you to spend 180 additional days in Ecuador every year, and the 'commerce' requirements are pretty loosely defined. However, it's a still new visa so it's difficult to say what activities will be required to meet eligibility.
Tourist Visa Extension
When your 90-day tourist visa expires, you have 15 days to renew. Border runs are not permitted in Ecuador, however you can extend them in Loja at the Office of the Migration Police, in the building of the Old Predesur. The entire process could take over an hour, so you should plan to arrive at the migration office early to allow for any unforeseen complications. After checking in at the migration office, you will be sent to Banco Pacifico nearby to pay the $135 fee. The latest you can pay is 3 pm, because you will need to return to the migration office to fill out a form for the extension. You will need to provide a photocopy of your passport ID and the entrance seal (the page that was stamped upon entry).
Address: Av. Orillas del Zamora Nro. 88-102 y Santiago de las Montañas Edificio del Gobierno Zonal 7 (ex Predesur) Primer Piso
Hours: 8am - 4pm
Phone: +593 07 257 1369 (Ext. 15)
What to bring
Copy of your passport
Copy of the entrance seal
$135 in cash (paid at Banco Pacifico)
A cedula is like a that you carry everywhere with you and you'll quickly memorize your number because everyone asks you for it when you buy anything or do anything official like . You normally receive your Cedula after you've received your temporary residency. So, the effect on most applicants will be the same. You're going to need health insurance as you'll definitely want your cedula.
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