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7 Types of Ecuador PR Visas (Permanent Resident)

Posted in: Living in Ecuador

grace-nelson-cuenca-law-officeThis guest post about Ecuador pr visas is by Grace Velastegui of Idrovo & Velastegui Attorneys at Law located in Cuenca, Ecuador. Visit their page to learn more about them or ask a question.

Note: Almost three years ago, we published the six types of permanent resident visas available in Ecuador. The following post is an updated list of the six previous visas – plus a few updates:

ecuador pr visa

In recent years, there has been an influx of immigration to Ecuador. Many foreigners are finding the relatively low cost of living and mild climate, especially in the Sierra Cities of Cuenca, Loja and Vilcabamba, to be most inviting.

To help those who are interested in making the move to Ecuador, we are providing the following information of the residency options that are currently available:

7 Ecuador PR Visa Options

Here are the seven Ecuador pr visas currently available:

  1. 9-I Pensioner Visa
  2. 9-II Real Estate Investor Visa
  3. 9-II Certificate of Deposit Visa
  4. 9-III Industrial Investor Visa
  5. 9-IV Legal Representative, Work, or Religious Visa
  6. 9-V Professional Visa
  7. 9-VI Dependent Visa

Ecuador Visa Application Fees

Before we get into the specifics of each Ecuador pr visa, here are the adjusted fees for 2016:

In the past, the application fees were $350.00 per applicant ($30.00 when the application was entered and $320.00 when the residency was approved). Beginning January 1, 2016 these amounts increased to $550.00 ($50.00 at time of application and $500.00 when application is approved). Also, all dependents, regardless of age pay $250.00 ($50.00 at time of application plus $200.00 upon approval).

Do Applicants Over 65 Years of Age Get a Discount? 

Update February 10, 2016: Yes. The Ministry is giving a discount to applications 65 and over.  No. In the past dependents over 65 years of age, minors, and disabled were exempt from the payment of $320. Currently all dependents, regardless of their condition, pay $250 total. However, the disabled who have a membership card CONADIS (National Council on Disabilities) can qualify for exemption from paying the application fee of residence.

7 Types of Ecuador Permanent Resident Visas

Which Ecuador pr visa is right for you? Many expats will qualify for more than one type. Here’s a breakdown of the options and their requirements:

1) Visa 9-I Pensioner Visa

Visa 9-I Pensioner’s Visa: For this visa you have to justify a monthly income of at least $800 for one person and $100 more per dependent, if you are coming with your family.  The income that you will receive monthly has to be proved with a certification from the entity that will pay you the income such as Social Security.

2) Visa 9-II Real Estate Investor Visa

Visa 9-II Real Estate Investor’s Visa: In this case you would have to buy property in Ecuador and register it in your name for a minimum price of $25,000 and $500 more per dependent.

3) Visa 9-II Certificate of Deposit Visa

Visa 9-II Certificate of Deposit: You can apply for the second type of 9-II by investing in a Certificate of Deposit in a private bank in Ecuador and leaving the CD in the custody of the Central Bank of Ecuador. You can also buy shares in a company. The required amount is $25,000 plus $500 per dependent. You will receive the interest, but you can’t withdraw the money until you decide to leave the country or change your status.

4) Visa 9-III Industrial Investor

Industrial Investor, Visa 9 III: For industry agricultural, livestock, or international trade investors who wish to export. The investment will be in business or individual-owned enterprises or companies other than the anonymous company. A Registration of Commerce license in the commercial register of the respective City is required. Requires a capital equivalent of at least $30,000.

5) Visa 9-IV Legal Representative, Work, or Religious Visa

Visa 9-IV –Legal Representative, Work Visa or Religious Visa: General Proxy for companies domiciled in the country- General power for the Legal Representative of a company established or domiciled and registered to operate in Ecuador. All permits in compliance with the law and rules of the Superintendence of Companies and; partners or shareholders of the company, current administrators as well as the Taxpayer Registration Number issued by the Ecuadorian Internal Revenue Service will be reviewed as well as evidence of tax filling.

The company must have a minimum capital of $ 25,000 dollars of the United States or with at least $ 100,000 dollars of the United States of America in fixed assets. A Certificate of compliance of no pending obligations with the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute will be checked.

6) Visa 9-V Professional Visa

Visa 9-V Professional Visa: To obtain a professional visa you must first register your degree. The university you graduated must be on the approved Senescyt list at www.educacionsuperior.gob.ec. If it is on the list, you must provide your degree. If it is not among the listed universities, further documentation will be required.

7) Visa 9-VI Dependent’s Visa

Visa 9-VI Dependent’s Visa: Available for the family of the main applicant and foreign citizens that marry Ecuadorian citizens.

Please let us know which residency visa best suits your circumstances; we are a working law firm that will provide you the best assistance available to acquire your immigration status for Ecuador and all legal matters you will require for your relocation.

You should be aware that in the first two years of residency you can only leave the country for 90 days in each year.

This guest post about Ecuador pr visas is by Grace Velastegui of Idrovo & Velastegui Attorneys at Law located in Cuenca, Ecuador. Visit their page to learn more about them or ask a question.

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is editor of GringosAbroad - one of the largest English language sites about Ecuador. Work with GringosAbroad. He is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands).

36 comments… add one
  • Riny May 5, 2017, 3:35 am

    How long will it take for professional visa to get approved for indian citizen with UK qualification.

  • Ahsan Mar 29, 2017, 12:12 pm

    I am ahsan ullah from pakistan . I have 12 ix visa i want to go ecuador .my question is can i convert my visa into residency visa . Repply me sir

  • Maya Wertheimer Mar 16, 2017, 2:00 pm

    Hello, Bryan.
    I have read the whole informative explanation. Thank you for that. It is simple and most of it I did understand; however, there are some questions I need to ask.
    1. My husband is over 65 but does not have $800 per month to show for. I do. However, I am not 65 yet.
    Is there a solution to this?
    2. We are planning to go to Ecuador and buy a property. Does the sum of $25,000 + $500 is just to register and then come up with another sum to buy, or is it registering and buying (together) means one time $25,000 + $500?
    3. I am an educator and have been for more than 25 years in English and ESL. How do I register my degree if it is from another country but was officially accepted in the US and translated into English? Would that suffice to become a permanent resident?
    I thank you for reading my long message and await for your reply soon. :o)

  • Sameh Galal Mar 15, 2017, 3:20 pm

    I wanna ask about the method of putting 25 thousands dollars in bank how can I put that amount by transfer or by cash or any one is okay ?

  • madhu Feb 25, 2017, 3:25 am

    Hello,

    I am an indian citizen with bachelor of engineering degree and having around
    20 yrs experience as oracle database administrator. I want to apply for professional
    visa and permanent residency there after. Can you please guide me as i know there is
    no visa requirement to equador from india as we can get a visitor visa on arrival at
    airport.

    I will appreciate if you can me the cost as well as timelines.

    Thanks.

  • Hannele Laari-White Nov 27, 2016, 1:51 pm

    As per a conversation with an English speaking Ecuadorian lawyer at the Manta Immigration office, a permanent resident cannot be out of Ecuador for more than 18 months consecutively AND/OR cannot be out of Ecuador for more than 18 months accumatively in a 5 year period. This 5 year period includes the first 2 years, where one can only be out of Ecuador of 90 days/year. If one exceeds these time frames, they will lose their residency visa. This information was obtained on Nov.22/16.

    • No Chaser Apr 6, 2017, 1:19 pm

      OK, this is very helpful. I was told that you could not leave the country at all in the first two years, which would be impossible for me to adhere to vis-a-vis my work.

      The requirements as you lay those out are something I can work within.

  • Bipin Philip Nov 7, 2016, 5:41 am

    Dear sir,
    I’am an Indian working in Dubai as structural draughtsman. I would like to migrate to Ecuador.I am single, I think I have to apply for Professional Visa,right? But I do not have a degree. I have completed Higher secondary school and Diploma in Draughtsman/Civil(NCVT) from India. Can I apply for Permanent Residents Visa? Do I have to write IELTS to migrate? If I can from where I have to apply? Dubai or India? How long the processes will take?

  • M M Islam Malik Aug 14, 2016, 9:35 am

    I’m a Bangladesh citizen and staying with my family in Bangladesh. I want residency in Ecuador with my family under the Investor Category. My language is English and Bengali.

    Please tell me how to proceed?

  • Mahalakshmi Aug 13, 2016, 5:29 am

    Hai,
    I am 26 and a bachelor degree of nurse having 3 years and 9 months of experience,and I would like to migrate Ecuador with my family.what are the process that I have to make first ?? Please reply to the question.

  • Jake Faust May 29, 2016, 3:25 pm

    Once my legal residency paperwork is approved how long do I have to pay my $500 fee before it expires. I hope you understand my question.

  • JP Apr 16, 2016, 10:44 pm

    For the CD option, do my spouse and I each need a $25,000 CD or is she considered a dependent so we would only need one CD for $25,500?

  • Dorothy Mar 5, 2016, 3:49 pm

    Do u know how much of a discount is given if u are over 65?

    • Grace Velastegui Mar 15, 2016, 4:50 pm

      Although it is not stated on the Foreign Affairs website (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriors), persons over 65 are given a 50% discount on the government application fees. The website only mentions this discount is given to handicapped persons, however, we recently confirmed with the authorities that this discount also is given to seniors.

      • Marita Matute-Santana May 14, 2016, 2:36 pm

        My husband is disabled/retired Vet. and our family is relocating to Ecuador. We would like to apply for the Visa 9 VI for him through our daughter (age 8). He has a U.S. Veteran Disability Card. Could he use that card to get the 50% discount on the government’s application fee?

        • Grace Velastegui May 17, 2016, 12:39 pm

          Dear Marita,
          Your husband can use his disability card to get the discount, but a copy of it will need to be apostilled.
          Please confirm if your daughter and you are Ecuadorian?
          You are welcome to write to our e-mail address directly for further questions: gracevelastegui@yahoo.com

          If the daughter is Ecuadorian, she

  • Amy Mar 3, 2016, 11:54 pm

    My husband will be retiring with the military in a few years. We are thinking about retiring to Ecuador. My question is that one of our children will be over 18 years old. Will they still qualify as a dependent? Can they get their visa thorough my husbands pension status? Thank you!

    • Grace Velastegui Mar 15, 2016, 1:11 pm

      Age does not factor in regarding children as dependents. You can process the visa with your children as dependents regarless of age.

  • Lourdes Marie Feb 9, 2016, 7:26 pm

    Hello Bryan,

    Thank you for the new and updated Visa options and prices.
    This is all very valuable information for me to be aware off for the future, if I want to stay for 6 months or more.
    I am planning to travel to Ecuador for three months this Summer, hoping to spend most of my stay in Cuenca.

    Regards,

    Lourdes

  • Jeremiah Feb 6, 2016, 12:11 pm

    Grace and her husband Nelson provided us with tremendous service, sight unseen.
    We worked in Monterey, CA, and could not overcome obstacles in acquiring our pensioners’ visa without taking many steps at additional costs to find out the correct information.
    Grace, Nelson and their services were recommended by our librarian whose friends recently hired them.
    We continue to use their many services and are happy in every way.

  • Robert Faske Feb 6, 2016, 11:10 am

    Cheers Brian and Deena

    Thanks for continuing your excellent Ecuador advice and info. I have a few points to make regarding Ecuador residency applications:
    Regarding discounts for primary applicant over 65: I received my residency stamp in my passport on 14 January 2016, and I was given a 50% discuente (i.e. $ 250 instead of the new $ 500 fee), which was promptly credited back to me by my facilitators, EcuaAssist in Manta. I assume this was policy, as I did not request the discount from the Ecuador authorities.
    My understanding of the 9-2 Visa is that the property needs to have a MUNICIPAL VALUE of $ 25,000 USD. In practice this means the actual cost will need to be considerably MORE as taxable values in Ecuador, as elsewhere, are considerably less than market values for property.
    It is extremely important that those applying for any of the above Visas have access to CURRENT and accurate information as to documentation, as policies regularly are changed and/or updated. Even if you are not contemplating obtaining a driver’s license in Ecuador, I would recommend any person applying for a Visa to bring an authenticated (apostilled or authenticated at Ecuador Embassy) copy of their high school or college diploma, as your identity card (cedula) will reflect a lack of either, which will prove a hindrance should you decide to get a driver’s license here ( and might be used in the future to adversely affect other activity ).
    Thanks again and keep up the good work!
    Ciao, Bob Faske Crucita, Manabi, Ecuador

    • Grace Feb 10, 2016, 10:58 am

      Although it is not stated on the Foreign Affairs website (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriors), persons over 65 are given a 50% discount on the government application fees. The website only mentions this discount is given to handicapped persons, however, we recently confirmed with the authorities that this discount also is given to seniors.

      Also, if you are planning to obtain a driver´s license or your wish your cedula show your educational level, you need to bring an apostilled high school dipoloma or apostilled university degree (for countries not under the Hague Treaty, they need to be legalized by an Ecuadorian consulate).

      • John Mar 13, 2016, 11:56 pm

        Hi Grace, if I don’t bring the diploma or degree, I cannot apply for a driving license? So uneducated people are not allowed to drive in Ecuador?

        • Grace Velastegui Mar 15, 2016, 4:38 pm

          You must have a minimum high school level of education to apply for a driver´s license. However, if your cedula does not state the education level, you have the option to take a driving course and apply for a license.

  • Gary Jones Feb 5, 2016, 5:38 pm

    In addition to the somewhat extreme increases in the costs of residency Visas the cost of a six month Visa has increased from US $240 to US $450. This is particularly difficult for Canadians because of the falling Canadian dollar.

    • Bryan Haines Feb 5, 2016, 9:08 pm

      Let’s not get carried away. Compared to relocation costs, flights, lawyers, etc, a few hundred dollars is really a drop in the bucket. Expats complain about bad service then they complain when the fees increase.

  • Josh Feb 5, 2016, 2:13 pm

    There is another visa that’s available but probably doesn’t apply to the vast majority of expats, I’m sure.

    If you or your spouse is from one of a MERCOSUR country (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercosur ) then you can get a MERCOSUR permanent resident visa. My wife is Colombian so we’re going this route.

    http://www.cancilleria.gob.ec/acuerdo-sobre-residencia-para-nacionales-de-los-estados-parte-del-mercosur-y-estados-asociados/

    $50 for the application and $250 for the visa. Actually, those from Colombia and Paraguay are even exempt from the cost of the visa.

    • Bryan Haines Feb 5, 2016, 2:22 pm

      Thanks for this information Josh! I heard about this a while ago, but didn’t know any details.

  • Susan Feb 5, 2016, 1:48 pm

    We are planning on moving to Cuenca later this year. My husband will be receiving Social Security, but I’m not of age to receive any yet and will not have a source of income. So, does this mean that we are not eligible for the pensioner’s visa?

    • Grace Feb 10, 2016, 10:36 am

      If you are married and you receive the minimum monthly income for two persons, you can apply for the 9-I Pensioner´s Visa and the 9-VI dependent Visa.

  • Michael Gossman Feb 3, 2016, 1:50 pm

    The last sentence is interesting. You can only leave the country for 90 days per year for the first two years. There does not seem to be any undisputed information about what happens in year three and afterwards. Do you know?

    • Larry Hanson Feb 6, 2016, 10:19 am

      I believe that after the 2 year period you are free to come and go as you please.

      • Robert Faske Feb 6, 2016, 9:22 pm

        Cheers Larry
        I know there is a requirement to be absent from Ecuador no longer than 18 months after the 2-year requirement has been fulfilled, or the residency is voided, at least according to web sources…guess I will follow my own advice and check with my facilitator!

        • Larry Hanson Feb 7, 2016, 8:06 am

          Not a bad idea, as the requirements most likely will change anyway within the 2 year period. I do think the price increases are rather large, especially the 6 month visa that would have to be paid yearly. Trying to balance the budget on the backs of the Gringos? Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    • Grace Feb 10, 2016, 11:01 am

      If you are not planning on applying for naturalization, after your second year of residency you can be out of the country up to 18 months.

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