If you are planning a trip to Ecuador, you should decide the type of visa you want, as there are many Ecuador visa types. To make that decision, you need to be sure of why you want to visit the South American country in the first place. The Government of Ecuador has two categories of visas, namely, the temporary visa category and the permanent visa category. There are several visas under each category, so interested visitors are to identify the ones they want and submit the required documents along with the tourist visa application forms.
We review all the types of visas in this article we what they are used for. Hopefully, you will be able to identify the one that will suit your purpose.
Ecuador Temporary Visa
There is only one type of temporary visa, and that is the Ecuadorian tourism visa. The visa is valid for 90 days and attracts a T-3 stamp on the visitor's passport once they arrive at the airport in Quito. A renewal or extension clause exists if the applicant wishes to stay for more than 90 days. This visa is solely for tourism and nothing else. You cannot work or study in Ecuador with it.
Ecuador Permanent Visa
The other type of Ecuadorian visa is the permanent or residency visa. It is so-called because holders can stay in the country for much longer, and there are different options under this category. We review them below.
Temporary Residency Visa: This visa is issued to a foreign national who wants to stay in Ecuador for some time, but it allows them to travel out at will without restrictions. The visa is renewable and offers greater mobility which can come into force with the passing of a new law on February 5, 2021. Before the law was passed, holders could not leave Ecuador for more than three months, but all that has changed. Those who have lived in Ecuador uninterrupted for up to 21 months can apply for a permanent residency visa.
Permanent Residency Visa: The permanent residency visa is a visa that allows foreign nationals to live in Ecuador permanently for as long as they wish. The visa so allows them to live outside Ecuador for up to 6 months within a calendar year for the first 24 months after the visa is issued. Those exceeding the six months clause will be fined almost half their annual salary. The good news is that after 24 months, the foreigner can remain outside Ecuador for up to two years, but their visa will be canceled if they do not return.
Other Types of Residence Visa
Work Visa: A Trabajador visa is issued to foreigners employed by an employer or those who are self-employed as long as they meet the requirements.
Independent Income Visa: This one is for those who earn income abroad or generate revenue externally. The minimum monthly income is $1275 and above. The authorities introduced this visa as a way to boost the economy.
Pensioner Visa: Pensionado in Spanish is for retirees who receive pensions from their home governments or countries. The minimum monthly pension amount is $1275, and they must show evidence of a Social Security or private pension.
Investor Visa: The Inversionista visa is for those who bring financial and material resources to invest in Ecuador. They may invest in any sector or buy real estate in the country. The minimum investment amount is $425,000, but this fee is not static as it changes due to inflation and government policies.
Scientist/Academic/Researcher Visa: This is issued to persons coming for academic or research engagements. The person may also be a fellow of an institution or the Ecuadorian school system. This visa is renewable.
Athlete/Cultural/Artist Visa: The artist or cultural visa is for art talent coming for an event in Ecuador and is also renewable.
Religious Visa: Ecuador is largely Roman Catholic but is home to several indigenous languages. The religious visa is issued to persons coming for any religious activity organized by a recognized religious assembly or organization.
Volunteer Visa: Volunteers from other countries to support an NGO performing altruistic services may get the visa as long as they meet the Ecuador's Human Mobility Law regulations.
Student Visa: Foreign nationals who have secured admission into a primary school, high school, University, or Master's program may avail of this visa as long as they can show proof of admission. It is also issued to those coming for internships from other countries.
There are many other Ecuador visa types, including professional visas and international convention visas, to mention a few. Their documentary requirements are different, and so are their application processes. While some can be applied for online, others require visits to the Ecuadorian embassy.