There are a number of ways to become an Ecuadorian resident and the process usually only takes a few months to complete. Ecuador’s laws governing visas and residency, has not changed since the 1980s. We recommend that you use an Ecuadorian immigration attorney to help you get through the process smoothly.
Tourist visa: When you enter Ecuador you will receive a passport stamp, commonly called a T-3, allowing you to stay for 90 days. If you leave the country at, or before, the 90-day mark and then return, you will generally be given another visa stamp for an additional 90 days.
Residency visas: The resident visas outlined below will grant you permanent residency.
9-I: Pensioner Visa: For retired persons who receive pensions from their native countries (pension from a stable source, at least $800 per month). This includes an annuity recipient or trustee who will live on cash deposited in an Ecuadorian bank or, on income from a trust. In the case of a deposit or trust the amount must be a minimum of $25,000.
9-II: Investor of Real Estate or Securities Visa: For real estate and securities investors who are investing at least $25,000. In the case of real estate, the $25,000 must be based on the municipal value, not on the purchase price.
9-III: Industrial Investor Visa: For investors in industry, or investors who wish to export agricultural products, livestock, or minerals—provided they bring capital the equivalent of at least $30,000.
9-IV: Legal Representative, Work Visa, or Religious Visa: For foreign local agents who possess unlimited power of attorney to represent a company in Ecuador, provided that 80% of the company’s local personnel are Ecuadorian. It also applies to technicians or technical experts under indefinite work contract with a company established in Ecuador, and members of religious organizations. (An indefinite work contract is one which does not have a specified term.)
9-V: Professional Visa: For 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 Ecuadorian requirements for such practice, such as bar exams, etc.
9-VI: Economic Dependence Visa: For individuals who are economically dependent on a spouse or a blood-related family member with an approved immigration visa.