Posted on: 28 May 2015
Like many other countries, Ecuador has a complex and sometimes confusing system of visas. Also like many other countries, the visa laws are subject to change at any given time. So it's important that you stay up-to-date with what's going on with immigration and working in Ecuador.
You can always go for a tourist visa, or even just a stamp on your passport if you're from the US, but that's not for those that plan to stay. You will have to look into the two main categories of visas outside the tourist visa. These consist of:
- Non-immigrant (non-resident) visas
- Immigrant (resident) visas
Both categories of visas allow you to stay for over 90 days. But if you plan to make Ecuador your home, that narrows down the types of visas to the immigrant visas. The non-immigrant visas (category 12) will allow you to stay longer, but not permanently.
The process of applying for and then gaining your resident visa isn't easy. These category 9 visas may require help. There are six types of category 9 visas.
- 9-I – This is the visa for retirees and pensioners. If you're retiring and plan to spend that retirement in Ecuador, then this is the visa for you. Its main provision is that you have a guaranteed source of regular income, or that you create one with an Ecuadorian bank.
- 9-II – This visa works for those that purchase real estate in Ecuador. If you plan to purchase a property, you may want to look into this visa. It also works for those that purchase a certificate of deposit with a bank if that deposit is roughly around the same price as a piece of property.
- 9-III – This is an investment visa like 9-II but you can only apply for it if you invest a significant sum into an industry, like agriculture or export trade.
- 9-IV – This visa requires you to generally be a majority owner or representative of a company with a large presence in the country, which hires a majority of Ecuadorian locals. This visa also applies to technical experts that are under contract by an Ecuadorian business. Finally, this visa applies to clergy and religious personnel.
- 9-V – If you have a degree and want to practice your profession in Ecuador, then you can apply for this visa.
- 9-VI – This visa is for your family members and dependents.
All of these visas have requirements that go beyond what's stated here. These, however, are the visas you need to consider if you plan to stay for the long-term.
As stated, requirements can change. Also, you need to apply for visas in person. Your best bet is to start by finding your closest embassy or consulate. No matter what you read or find online, you can only get up-to-date information from the source.
If you plan to purchase property or work for a company in Ecuador, then realtor or the job can help you in the process as well. In any case, there are several paths to a permanent home in Ecuador. Once you figure out which visa you plan to apply for, then everything else about your future expat status should be smooth sailing.Share