Immigration & Ecuadorian Visas

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Before You go to Ecuador

Ecuadorian visa policies and regulations change frequently. The information on this page was obtained from the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Relations in Quito, and it represents the Ministry’s requirements for each visa as of September 2012. However, each embassy and consulate around the world has its own set of requirements and procedures for procuring a visa. Check with the embassy or consulate closest to you for accurate information applicable to your situation.

Note: If you enter Ecuador with a tourist visa (12-X), you cannot subsequently apply for any other kind of visa in the country. You must return to your country of origin to apply for a non-tourist visa. Applications for non-tourist visas are no longer accepted within the country if you entered the country with a tourist visa.


Tips: If possible, try to sort out your visa situation before you arrive in Ecuador. If you need visa- or immigration-related assistance while in Ecuador, the Ministry recommends that you physically go to their office in Quito rather than calling (Carrión E-176 and Av. 10 de Agosto. Tel: 593-2-299-3200, URL: www.mmrree.gob.ec).

Reminder: Keep your passport with you at all times in case authorities want to see it. If you can’t produce adequate identification on demand, you may be fined or detained.

VISAS

There are two general categories of visas: Non-Resident and Resident (immigrant).

Most nationalities will receive a tourist card upon entering Ecuador, which will be good for up to 90 days.  The exceptions are citizens of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China and Somalia, who will need to obtain a Tourist Visa (12-X). Whether entering on a tourist card or with a 12-X visa, most foreigners are only allowed in Ecuador only for a total of 90 days in one year.

If you want to work in Ecuador, or simply guarantee a stay of over 90 days, there are a range of visas available, including study (12-V), work (12-VI), volunteer and religious (12-VII), cultural exchange (12-VIII) and long-stay business or tourism (12-IX).

Each has its own application process. All should be registered at the Dirección General de Extranjería in Quito, or at the Sub-Dirección de Extranjería in Guayaquil upon arrival in Ecuador.

You should confirm all information before travels with the Ecuadorian Embassy or Consulate in your own country. Requisites vary significantly by consulate.

To help you find additional information when you’re in Ecuador, we have included an updated list of embassies and consulates in Quito and Guayaquil.

If you’re looking for information on how to get a censo (identity card), or if you just want to find out about extending your tourist visa, see our useful tips tourist visa section.

NON-RESIDENT VISAS

SHORT-TERM VISIT OF LESS THAN 90 DAYS OR TRANSIENT VISA, CATEGORY 12-X

Citizens of any country in the world can enter Ecuador for a stay of up to 90 days with this visa.

If you plan to stay longer than 90 days, or if you are drawing income from an Ecuadorian source, you will need one of the other types of visas for a stay of over 90 days.

Generally, you can just arrive in Ecuador with your passport (valid for at least 6 months) and a return ticket and you will have no problems entering Ecuador as a tourist.

If you have any doubts you can check with your Ecuadorian Consulate regarding applying for a 12-X visa.

Requirements for the “automatic” 12-X tourist visa include:

• Completed application form.

• Valid passport for more than 6 months, plus a color photocopy.

• A written request signed by the applicant, addressed to the Ecuadorian Foreign Service Officer.

• Two passport-sized photographs (in color, with white background).

• Return ticket (for air, land or sea travel).

• Proof of economic means to support yourself during your stay in Ecuador (may be requested by Immigration authorities upon arrival).

 VALIDITY: Maximum 90 days in each period of 12 months (non-calendar year), starting once the foreigner enters Ecuador.

CONSULAR FEES:

Visa: $30
Application: $30

Foreigners traveling on a 12-X visa are legally prohibited from taking employment in Ecuador. To procure any other kind of visa, you must return to your country of origin or go to the consulate closest to you and apply for a non-tourist visa there.

Citizens of the European Union, the United States, Canada and the Andean community can apply for a 12-IX tourist visa without leaving Ecuador, for an additional 90 days in the country. See below for details.

 VISAS FOR STAYS OF MORE THAN 90 DAYS

Foreign nationals planning to stay in Ecuador for more than 90 days need to apply for a visa at the Ecuadorian consulate or embassy in their home country. You can renew any visa other than the 12-X from within Ecuador.

Nationals of countries other than the U.S. applying for the following types of visa in the United States must also present a valid U.S. visa / green card.

Each embassy and consulate has their own list of requirements for each visa, so be sure to consult the one nearest you for the precise information you need.

Below is a list of requirements to renew each non-tourist visa within Ecuador, as stipulated by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Relations. Renewals can be done at the Ministry’s office in Quito, located at Carrión E-176 and Av. 10 de Agosto.

STUDENT VISA (12-V visa)

This visa is for students beginning, completing or improving their education in government or private facilities with government recognition.

Specific Requirements:

• Two forms correctly filled out with two passport-sized photos.
• Visa application, addressed to the Director General de Asuntos de Migración y Extranjería.
• Original document certifying enrollment in an Ecuadorian institution and transcript if applying for renewal.
• Original passport valid for at least six months, and one copy of same.
• Language institutes and other centers must present a Resolución del Ministerio de Educación.
• Minors must present parental authorization.

•  Certificate of financial solvency (either a bank deposit of a reasonable amount to cover expenses with a letter stating the intention of the bank of forwarding to the student 10% of that amount per month; OR a document signed by a relative stating that the student is supported by his/her family and duly notarized; OR a legal and duly notarized document indicating the student receives some other type of financial support).

VALIDITY: Up to one year; renewable.

CONSULAR FEES:
Visa: $100
Application: $30

WORK VISA  (12-VI)

Specific Requirements:
• Two copies of appropriate form with current photo in front of a white background.
• Application addressed to the Director General de Migración y Extranjería.
• Passport valid for at least six months, and proof of current legal status in Ecuador.

• Résumé (CV) of applicant, proving professional experience.

Modalities:
• Work Dependence: Authorization to work legally in Ecuador, provided by the Ministry of Work, a copy of employment contract and an updated Certificado de Cumplimiento de Obligaciones or RUC if applicable.

• Presentation of Professional Services: A contract certified by the firm, a copy of academic degree(s) or evidence of advanced technical skills, updated Certificado de Cumplimiento de Obligaciones, or RUC if applicable.

• Manager, President or Legal Representative: Designations registered in the Registro Mercantil and updated Certificado de Cumplimiento de Obligaciones.

• Dependents: Must present birth and/or marriage certificates.

• A copy of the company’s by-laws.
• Certificate of payment to the Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguro Social (Ecuadorian Social Security Office).

• Colombian citizens must present an annotated police report.

VALIDITY: Maximum of two years (renewable).

CONSULAR FEES:
Visa: $200
Application: $30

Dependents: $50 each

RELIGIOUS AND VOLUNTEER VISAS (12- VII)

Specific Requirements:

• Two completed visa forms.
• Two recent color, passport-sized photographs.
• Original passport valid for a minimum of six months.

• Copy of first page of passport and previous visa.

• A document from foreigner showing services are offered at no charge.

• Visa application written by legal representative of the institution.
• Properly notarized economic guarantee from the institution.
• Copy of Certificado de la Designación from legal representatives of the institution.
• Copy of the official register of the constitution in which juridical personnel of the institution appear.
• Certified copy of institution’s statutes.

• Report of the activities carried out or the activities to be carried out.
• A legalized document stating that the sponsor assumes responsibility for expenses incurred should the foreigner be deported.

• Colombian citizens must present an annotated police report.

VALIDITY:

Religious and missionary visas: two years (renewable).
Volunteer visas: one year (renewable).

CONSULAR FEES:
Visa: $150
Application: $30

Dependents: $50 each

 CULTURAL EXCHANGE VISAS (12-VIII)

Specific Requirements:

• Two forms correctly filled out with passport-sized photos.
• Written request, signed by a legal representative of the institution.
• Letter from applicant with promise to provide services free of charge.
• Original passport valid for a minimum of six months, and copy of same.

• Notarized copy of the cultural exchange agreement.

• Economic guarantee from the institution, signed before a notary public.
• Information about the institution:

• Statutes.
• Letter of appointment notarized by legal representative.
• Copy of Official Register containing the constitution of the institution, proving that it operates legally in Ecuador.
• Cultural exchange agreements endorsed by the Ecuadorian government.

VALIDITY: One year (renewable).

CONSULAR FEES:
Visa: U$50.
Application: $30
Colombians and Paraguayans only $30.

TOURISM VISA, CATEGORY 12-IX

Applies to: tourists, professional players, students, scientists, artists and businessmen.

Specific Requirements:

• Visa application addressed to the Director General de Asuntos de Migración y Extranjería, stating the motives and activities to be carried out
• Two copies of form with updated

• Two color photos with white background.
• Original passport valid for minimum six months, and copy of same.
• Copy of previous visa if applicable, or passport registry of the last entrance into Ecuador.
• Copy of ticket leaving the country

• Certificate of financial solvency to the satisfaction of the Consular Officer (either a bank letter stating the applicant’s monthly balance OR a personal guaranty of an Ecuadorian citizen or a foreigner residing in Ecuador in a duly notarized document OR a certificate stating the applicant’s income OR any other document that proves the applicant has enough funds for his stay in Ecuador).

• Colombian citizens must present annotated police report.

VALIDITY: 90 days.

CONSULAR FEES:
Visa: $200
Application: $30

Note: Citizens of Europe, Canada, the United States and Andean Community countries are eligible to apply for this visa from within Ecuador when their original 12-X visas expire. Citizens of other countries are not eligible.

 RESIDENT/IMMIGRANT VISAS

Foreign nationals may apply to settle in Ecuador and obtain resident status. The documentation process takes at least four to eight weeks. There are a number of different resident visa categories, including:

9: I Retired persons who receive pensions from their native countries (required minimum monthly income from a foreign account $800 for the main visa holder, plus $100 monthly for each family dependent).

9:  II Real estate and securities investors who are willing to invest in Ecuador a minimum of $25,000, plus $500 for each family dependent.

9:  III Investors in industry who wish to export agricultural products, livestock, or minerals, (minimum investment of U$30,000).

9:  IV Companies with foreign local agents who possess unlimited power of attorney to represent the company in Ecuador, provided that 80% of the company’s local personnel are Ecuadorian.

9:  IV Technicians or technical experts under contract with a company established in Ecuador; religious workers; or foreign journalists.

9: V Professionals with university degrees recognized by a national university, who wish to practice their profession in Ecuador. Should the applicant’s profession not exist in Ecuador, the degree must be locally certified. The applicant must also fulfill the requirements for such practice (e.g. bar).

19: VI Individuals economically dependent on spouses or on a blood -related family member (family).

DIPLOMATIC VISAS
Visas 12-I, 12-II, and 12-III are for diplomatic visits to Ecuador. For more information, contact your nearest Ecuadorian consulate or embassy.


REFUGEE VISAS
Visa 12-IV is for refugees and asylum seekers.