Migration law regulations are often updated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ecuador. There are the most recent changes concerning requirements and procedures for the following Visa applications.
“Tourist permit”: The 90-day tourist permit (T-3) is automatically granted to you free of charge on your arrival to Ecuador. “Tourist Visa Extension” or “extension visa” (prórroga): you can apply for an additional 90-day permit at one of the Immigration offices.
The “tourist visa extension” will be granted only once within each chronological year. It will be valid for up to ninety (90) additional days, which will be continuous and accounted for regardless of whether the foreign person is inside or outside Ecuadorian territory. The tourist visa extension will cost $150 equals a third of the Ecuadorian Basic Salary.
– When to obtain the extension visa.
The tourist must obtain the extension visa within ten days of the previous tourist permit expiration date (between 79 and 89). The extension period will start the day after the expiration of the tourist permit. This means that if you get your extension visa on day 80, you will not “lose” 10 days of stay in Ecuador since the extension visa days will count from day 91-180.
The foreign person who exceeds ninety (90) days of their authorized stay as a tourist may request the extension visa up to 30 days after the tourist permit expires (days 90-120) but will pay a fine of $225 in addition to the cost of the extension visa.
– “Chronological year”
The moment in which the foreign person enters Ecuador with the category of tourist is considered the start of the chronological year, and it ends in 365 days from that date.
The chronological year start will not remain on the same date as your initial entry to Ecuador in previous years; it will change each year depending on your first arrival after the end of the previous chronological year.
e.g., if you arrive on a new tourist permit on July 10, 2023, your current chronological year will be July 10, 2023 – July 9, 2024. If you use all your tourist permit days and your extension visa days within those dates, you will be able to re-enter Ecuador as a tourist on July 24, 2024; however, if you re-enter Ecuador on August 10, 2024, your new chronological year will be August 10, 2024 – August 9, 2025.
– Tourist permit automatic renewal.
If you are legally in Ecuador on a tourist permit or an extension visa at the time your chronological year ends, the Migration system will not automatically grant you a new 90-day tourist permit while you remain in Ecuador. You must leave Ecuador before your chronological year expires (even if you have not used the full 90 days of your tourist permit or extension visa) and re-enter Ecuador to “activate” a new tourist permit on a new chronological year.
NEW INCOME REQUIREMENT FOR PENSION VISA AND RENTIER VISA
The new recommended minimum income amount (effective date to be confirmed*) to qualify for a Pension Visa (retirement) or Rentier Visa (rental or investment income) will be equivalent to three Ecuadorian minimum wages. The current minimum wage in Ecuador is $450 per month; therefore, the minimum pension, rental income, or salary should be $1,350 per month.
In order to add dependents under the Pension Visa and the Rentier Visa, the income amount should be $1,275 for the principal applicant, plus $250 for each dependent.
TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS & PERMANENT VISA APPLICATION
There are no travel restrictions with a Temporary Resident Visa and no time limit for traveling in and out of Ecuador. However, to apply for a Permanent Resident Visa, the person holding a Temporary Resident Visa shall not have left Ecuador for longer than 90 days in total during the Temporary Resident Visa period of 21 months.
If the Temporary Resident Visa holder has exceeded 90 days out of Ecuador during the 21 months, the person will NOT be eligible to apply for permanent residency. But will be able to renew their Temporary Visa multiple times for all types of Visas.
HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENT
The new law requires ALL visa applicants to present proof of Ecuadorian health insurance or coverage in Ecuador when the Visa application is submitted. Previously, it was a requirement to obtain a Cedula ID.
REMOTE WORK “DIGITAL NOMAD” VISA
The Temporary “Digital Nomad” Visa will be granted to those who carry out professional activities or services remotely, digitally or telecommuting by owning their own company or working for one or several legal companies, natural persons, or businesses abroad.
The minimum income amount required to apply for the Temporary “Digital Nomad” Visa is equivalent to three Ecuadorian minimum wages of $450 per month, which equals $1,350 per month. Or thirty-six months (36) of the Ecuadorian minimum salary, which amounts to $16,200 per year. To show proof of income, you must present the last three months’ bank statements at the time of the Visa application.
PROFESSIONAL VISA AND INVESTMENT VISA
The requirements for the Professional Visa and Investment Visa (CD or real estate property) remain the same. You can apply for permanent residency after 21 months. Once you apply for the Permanent Resident Visa, travel outside of Ecuador will be restricted to 90 days per year for the first two years and 180 days per year in the third and fourth years. After that, you can leave the country for up to two years at a time as a permanent resident.