A Canadian Family Traveling & Living Abroad (in Ecuador)

Ecuador’s Visa Options and Entry Requirements

Remember: Visa requirements can and do change frequently. Please check with your local consulate or an immigration lawyer here in Ecuador before finalizing your trip/move to Ecuador.

Entry Requirements and Visa OptionsEntry Requirements

Ecuadorian visas aren’t required for up to a 90 day stay, for citizens of United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, France, Germany, New Zealand and Switzerland. You are required to produce a passport valid for more than 6 months, a return ticket and proof of funds to support yourself – although I don’t know that the last two have ever been requested. For stays in excess of 90 days, you’ll require an approved visa.

Visa Options

There are many options that will allow you to stay longer than 3 months in Ecuador, or even live here. Here are some of the common visas:

Non-Immigrant Visas

Visa 12-IX (twelve-nine) visa permits up to180 days. This visa must be obtained from an Ecuadorian Consulate in your own country before coming.

Visa 12-VII (twelve seven) visa: a volunteer/missionary visa, is renewable in Ecuador, usually for two-year periods. Must be sponsored by a group within Ecuador, and they assist in acquiring the visa.

Visa 12-VlII (twelve eight) visa: A cultural visa, teaching in Ecuadorian schools or universities.

Immigrant Visas

Visa 10-I (ten-one) allows a foreigner to live in Ecuador with income from outside the country.

Visa 10-II (ten-two) and 10-III (ten-three) require financial investments in Ecuador.

Visa 10-IV (ten-four) and 10-V (ten-five) are obtained through work-contracts with institutions or companies in Ecuador.

Visa 10-VI (ten-six) may be obtained by those who have immediate Ecuadorian relatives or those who are married to Ecuadorians.

For current and country based requirements, be sure to check with the Ecuadorian consulate in your country.

When traveling abroad, its always a good idea to make 2 copies of your passport – bringing one with you, and leaving the second with someone back home. Many travelers are now scanning a copy and emailing it to their web-based email account (ie. gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc). If you lose your papers you’ll be glad you did this.

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Bryan is a journalist, photographer, expat and dad. He writes for Gringos Abroad (Ecuador travel & living) and Blogger Abroad (run an online business abroad). He also enjoys living in Southern Ecuador (South America) with his wife and daughter. Connect with Bryan on LinkedIn. Work with Bryan & Dena

More about: Ecuador Travel, Living in Ecuador

{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Nancy Beck August 13, 2013, 12:26 am

    On a “Pensioners Visa” what is the required time one must reside in the country? In other words, if I wanted to come back to the US for an extended visit, how long could I stay and still maintain my residency requirement?

    Thank You in advance for your reply.

  • Brittany May 28, 2013, 5:10 pm


    My husband and I went to Ecuador Jan-April of this year. We plan on going back in September and staying for 9 months. We were told we can get a 6 month visa here in the US and then once our 6 month visa has expired (March 2014), we would be working on our 90 day passport visa again since it would be a year since the last time we went (Jan 2013). Does this sound correct? Or does my annual 90 days on my passport start the date from when I left Ecuador last, meaning April 2013? Also which visa would I apply for? The 12-9?

    Thank you for your help ahead of time!

    • Bryan Haines June 14, 2013, 5:06 pm

      It sounds correct. We did that while we were between longer visas. Works well.

      I’m not sure about how the time runs on the visa – if it is actual days or consecutive from the first day you entered. You might want to check with a lawyer on this one.

  • Debbie Hoffman March 26, 2013, 3:55 pm

    March 26, 2013
    My husband & I have been collecting information about Cuenca for a possible move there from the USA. We recently encountered a blog from a couple who was moving back because the Cuencan quality of life has deteriorated over the past 2-3 years. Specifically they complained about: 1) increasing crime, 2)city diesel buses that stink up the air quality and 3) climate change to rainy & gloomy nearly every and all day (like Seattle) which is not helpful for people with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I appreciate your blog and look forward to hearing your take on these issues. Thank You, Debbie Hoffman

    • Bryan Haines April 23, 2013, 11:32 am

      There are lots of reasons people decide not to stay in Cuenca.

      Crime does exist in Cuenca. But it does everywhere. If someone wants less crime, they should move to a small town. This is the same everywhere in the world.

      We’ve heard some retired expats complain about diesel fumes in the city center. Younger expats and locals don’t talk about it. Of course, if the downtown doesn’t agree with you – you could move to the outskirts. I don’t see diesel fumes as a deal breaker. Small towns would have much less diesel fumes…

      Apparently the climate is changing. Some of the locals talk about this. It rains when it should be sunny and vice versa. We’ve lived here almost four years and I wouldn’t say that it is rainy and gloomy nearly every day.

      It is best to visit and see what you think of these issues.

  • Holly Nail March 21, 2013, 3:47 pm

    My husband and I are seriously contemplating retiring to ecuador within a few years when he retires from Southwest Gas Co. Our main concerns are the passport, residency visa, and various legal procedures getting us moved, plus trying to keep it simple as possible. What is the procedure to follow? Will it cost us a lot? One other big concern is would we be allowed to bring with us 4 cats, and if so, what are the legal procedures to follow? Thank you, and hope to hear from you soon. Holly

  • Evelina Mora January 21, 2013, 9:02 am

    Hola Sr Bryan Haines
    Mi pregunta es la siguiente, vivo con un extranjero de la Republica Dominicana con ciudadania Estado Unidence por un periodo de 4 anos, queremos formalizar su estadia aqui en Ecuador para entonces contraer matrimonio, cuales serian sus recomendaciones para evitar contratiempos y y para que el permanesca definitivamente en mi pais de Ecuador.
    Gracias por su tiempo.
    Evelina Mora Jaen

  • Frank Thomas December 22, 2011, 11:07 pm

    Dear Sir,
    We like to visit ecuador and there is no embassy og ecuador in my country, where can we refer our processing to and how many days will it take us to get the visa.
    Awaiting your response
    Thank you

  • Greg Lawless September 10, 2011, 9:56 am

    Thanks for your many tips on visiting and relocating to Ecuador. My wife and I are planning to visit Salinas and Cuenca next September. Are vaccinations required to visit Ecuador?

  • ana lagravinese August 2, 2010, 4:43 pm

    i would like to know if it is a requirement to deposit an amount of money to the banco central of ecuador to obtain the rentista visa? It is the 10-I visa i am referring to.

    • Bryan Haines August 4, 2010, 8:43 am

      I'm going to refer you to a law office here in Cuenca, that specializes in Visas and Relocation. A friend of ours, also an expat, works in the office. She will handle your email. You can address your email to Rebecca McCleskey. By the way, Abogado is lawyer in Spanish.

      Idrovo & Velastegui Abogados
      Dr. Grace Velastegui, Attorney at law
      Luis Cordero 6-41 y P. Cordova
      Cuenca – Ecuador
      (593) 7 2842225 Phone
      (593) 7 2825801 Fax

      • ana lagravinese December 30, 2010, 5:16 pm

        Thank you for your help; i will email her and hopefully will get good news. Happy New Year!


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About Bryan & Dena Haines

We are a Canadian family of 3 living in Ecuador since 2009. We blog about life and travel in Ecuador. If this is your first visit, start here. Interested to work with us? Read more about Bryan & Dena

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