How to Apply for a Resident Visa in Ecuador


Ecuador is an easy country to immigrate to. There are multiple visa options and the requirements and processes not overly burdensome.

With some recent changes to the immigration laws codified under the 2017 ‘Ley de Movilidad Humana’, we wanted to help our readers to better understand the rules as they are constituted.

Currently, travelers from all but 12 countries in the world have 90 days of visa free travel by simply presenting a valid passport with at least 6 months of validity remaining. If you would like to stay longer as a tourist there are extensions available to you (see below).

You can apply for a residency visa within Ecuador or via an Ecuadorian Embassy where you live. From time to time the Embassy’s have slightly varied rules than what you find in Ecuador.

Additionally, the visa offices in Ecuador are not always uniform and some are easier than others to traverse.

Under the recently implemented immigration rules, you first must apply for a two-year temporary resident visa before you can apply for permanent residency (one of two major changes to the law). At the end of those two years (advisably 21 months in) you then may apply for a permanent resident visa, which does not need to be renewed.

Types of Visas

The categories of and requirements for the temporary and permanent resident visa options are nearly identical – so the following information is true for both.

There are 4 common types of residency visas:

  • Investor Visa

  • Pensioners Visa

  • Professional Visa

  • Rentier Visa

For all resident visa applications you are required to provide:

  • Criminal history (both state and federal)

  • Proof of health insurance

  • While in many cases not required it is advisable to have your birth certificate as well

  • Marriage certificate if applying as a couple

The specific requirements for each Visa option are as follows:

Investor Visa

The investor visa is one of the most widely utilized and perhaps easiest ways to achieve residency in Ecuador.

You may qualify for the investor visa by:

  • Purchasing real estate with a minimum Municipal assessed value of $31,680. Your visa is then attached to the property, so if you should decide to sell you will have to first apply for a different visa.