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Moving to Ecuador? How the New Ley de Movilidad Humana Affects You

Posted in: Expats in Ecuador, Living in Ecuador

After months of discussion, rumors and debate, the Human Mobility Act (Ley de Movilidad Humana) was signed into law on January 28, 2017 by President Correa while in Barcelona, Spain. On February 6, 2017 it was published in the Registro Oficial (Official Registry).

Ley de Movilidad Humana Rafael Correa

President Correa pictured with Mayor of Banos, Marlon Guevara, in this archive photo.

Correa began his three day visit to Spain in Barcelona, where he signed the Human Mobility Act (Ley de Movilidad Humana) on January 28, 2017. Photo: Andes

Update (February 6, 2017): The new law “Ley de Movilidad Humana” was published in the Official Registry, therefore it is now in effect.
There are details such as fees and other aspects that will be precised in the Ruling (Reglamento) which according to the law should be issued within the next 120 days.
Update (February 10, 2017): The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility has temporarily suspended the application of visa petitions throughout the country. We hope that in the course of the next week they begin to receive them. This is due to the fact that the New Mobility Law is in force but the Regulation to the Law has not been issued yet. We have been informed that the Ministry is internally trying to determine a list of requirements for each visa that will adequate to the New Law. At the moment they are on hold, we will keep you informed.

Objective of Ecuador’s New Ley de Movilidad Humana

The new law regularizes the situation of people on the move – including refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons and victims of trafficking.

UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency) welcomed Ecuador’s new Human Mobility Law. Ecuador is host to over 60,000 refugees, 95 per cent of whom are Colombians. This is the largest refugee population in Latin America. ~ UNHCR

The new law also establishes rights and obligations for Ecuadorian nationals abroad as well as returning nationals and foreign residents.

“The idea is that Ecuadorians abroad and foreigners living in Ecuador, are protected and taken care of because there is a law to protect them, “ said Patiño in an interview with Andes.

The following details were provided by Nelson and Grace, immigration lawyers in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Details of the New Ley de Movilidad Humana (Human Mobility Act)

New Migration Rules

On January 5, 2017 the National Assembly approved the Human Mobility Act (LEY DE MOVILIDAD HUMANA) and the President of the Republic recently signed this into law;

The Human Mobility Act repeals the current laws on travel documents, naturalization, immigration and foreign affairs and unifies in a single legal body all the regulations regarding tourists, residents and applicants for naturalization:

New Categories for Expats Moving to Ecuador

In regard to Immigration: for foreigners interested in visiting or settling in Ecuador the following categories are established:

TRANSIENTS: Visitors who are passing through.

TOURISTS: Tourists will be given a period up to 90 days in the country; extendable only once in the period of 1 year. In addition, as an exception, they could request a special visa that would extend their stay for up to 1 year, only once in the period of 5 years. This visa is exclusively for tourism and does not authorize the holder to work. Also, it is required to have public or private insurance to be able to enter Ecuador.

Update (February 9, 2017): Tourists entering Ecuador must have proof of insurance that will cover them during their stay in the case of a medical emergency.  The law says this can be insurance from private or public companies. Travel insurance is commonly purchased for this purpose.

More reading: 7 Travel Insurance Options for Expats

RESIDENCY: One of the principal differences of the current law and the new law is the inability to apply directly for Permanent Residency and the new law establishes two types of residency visas:

TEMPORARY RESIDENCY: This authorizes a 2 year stay that can be renewed once. The following is a list of temporary visas available:

  1. Work
  2. Legal Income generated from investments in countries other than Ecuador
  3. Retirement
  4. Investor
  5. Scientist, Investigator, Academic
  6. Athlete, Artist or Cultural Manager
  7. Religious or Religious Volunteer
  8. Volunteer
  9. Student of basic, secondary, undergraduate or graduate education and professional internships or professionals
  10. Technical Professional, Technologist or Artisan
  11. Resident by Agreement I
  12. Dependents of person holding a Migratory Category Visa

Once the temporary residency is obtained, you can enroll in the social security system or other private health insurance.

Temporary residents can be out of the country for a maximum of 90 days each year.

PERMANENT RESIDENCY: This authorizes an indefinite stay in Ecuador; the primary requirement is to reside in the country with a Temporary Visa a minimum of 21 months; once the permanent residency is obtained you can enroll in the social security system or private health insurance.

Permanent residents can be out of the country for a period of no more than 180 days in each year during the first 2 years; after these first 2 years they can be absent up to 5 years.

NATURALIZATION: In general, the rules for naturalization have not varied much and the requirements are the same. An important change is the elimination of the rule currently in force which states that to be eligible to apply for naturalization, the foreign resident cannot be out of the country more than 90 days total in the first 3 years of residency. Said restriction has limited the acquisition of Ecuadorian citizenship for many actual residents that have lived more than 3 years in the country.

However, the new law does not reference the time out of the country and only maintains the requirement to be a resident a minimum of 3 years to be able to request naturalization. For foreigners married or in a common law marriage to Ecuadorians, this amount is reduced to 2 years.

COSTS: This law does not determine the amounts of the government application fee for Tourist Visas, Residency or Naturalization. The amounts not yet elaborated will be determined in the respective Law Regulation and Resolutions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We hope the above clarifies any doubts many of our readers have regarding this subject. If you have further concerns, feel free to contact us directly.

Dr. Grace Velastegui
Dr. Nelson Idrovo

Idrovo & Velastegui
Attorneys at Law

Your Turn

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

81 comments… add one
  • DIANNA Feb 11, 2018, 11:09 pm

    Thank you for the great information!
    If my husband and I were to give birth to a child while staying in Ecuador on an extended or special tourist visa, would we be able to apply for permanent residency based on the baby’s Ecuadorian citizenship, without first holding temporary resident visas for 21 months?
    Thank you for your expertise!

  • Alanna Fox Starks Jan 28, 2018, 6:46 am


    I am trying to FIND the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office so I can review my options with them. As there are ACTUALLY 32 DIFFERENT VISA TYPES and not just the limited amount listed above, I have discovered that I actually qualify for an EXCEPTION VISA and I would like to go ask them costs, etc. for this in person. Y si, hablo Espanol. I have looked on Google for this address but the last known office had moved to Azogues a year ago and now I cannot find any update on that at all.. If you could let me know the address, that would be a huge help! 🙂 Thank you so much!

  • davood Jun 11, 2017, 4:51 pm

    hi i am in nonember 2016 with his wife and daughter into Ecuador and we residence permit retirement i and i, after four months of permanent residence pensioon i post to my wife and my daughter asked, and now still not answering if their stay includes the new law is or problem to stay there please guide me thanks

  • Leah Grace Apr 4, 2017, 7:12 pm

    Good afternoon. I am currently in Ecuador on a 90 day tourist visa that expired a few days ago. I am in the process of trying to renew my old volunteer visa. The ministerio gave me an extension and told me I would receive and email with a list of requirements that I have to bring to them.

    I have ordered my criminal background check from the FBI via mail. My concern is., and it’s a big one..if I don’t have all the requirements the government wants with regards to renewing my visa, will there be a financial penalty via immigration if I have to leave?

    If I do have to leave, I hope I am not fined at the airport. I have looked everywhere for information, but to no avail..

    • Ana Aug 8, 2017, 12:02 pm

      DISPOSICIÓN SEXTA: El Ministerio de Interior tiene 90 días para publicar la normativa relacionada al cobro de las multas por faltas migratorias, pero hasta la emisión de esta normativa no se exigirá el pago de estas multas a ningún extranjero.

  • Valerie Mar 25, 2017, 7:24 pm

    Maybe you’ve been out of the states for too long, or maybe that isn’t really your audience, but “Traveler’s Insurance” is often a mix of things from covering missed flights, lost luggage, theft, etc. as well as medical insurance. Probably best to just say folks need to have proof of medical insurance coverage good in Ecuador (or other foreign countries).
    Now I need to look up whether Tricare will work.

    • Karen Apr 1, 2017, 6:00 pm

      “Maybe you’ve been out of the states for too long” – Probably so, like forever. They’re from Canada. LOL

  • Hannele Laari-White Mar 6, 2017, 2:48 pm

    I would appreciate any clarification on the number of days a person with a residency visa can be absent from Ecuador, after the initial 2 years. 5 years? 18 months consecutive? 18 months intermittently? If 18 months, does it include the days in the initial 2 years? Please advise. So many conflicting answers there, even by experts. So confused.

  • David Mar 1, 2017, 12:23 pm

    The following description seems to indicate that less documents is required for a Temporary Resident visa.

    “A temporary residency visa authorizes a person to stay for two years in the country and can be renewed only once. The visa permits an unlimited number of re-entries during the said period.

    The categories of non-immigrant and immigrant visas under the previous law are now merged, including the previous work, pensioner, retired, investor, scientist, sportsman, religious, volunteer, student, professional, and by convention, dependant and international protection visas.

    This visa required an apostilled criminal background report, proof economic resources, and a legal justification for each of the aforementioned visa categories.”

  • David Mar 1, 2017, 12:16 pm

    What documents are required to secure a Temporary Visa for retirement class. Only proof of income and local criminal report (Apostille)?

  • Ellen Feb 27, 2017, 5:28 am

    Thanks for posting the update regarding “temporarily suspended the application of visa petitions.” I assume this means that my plan to apply for a professional visa in March will possibly/probably be thwarted until this suspension is lifted.

    My questions:
    1) Is this ALL Visas including Tourist Visas?
    2) If I can still go on a tourist Visa, can I then apply for a Professional Visa once in Ecuador?
    3) If I decided to wait out the temporary ban, do I have to apply for a Professional Visa while in the States or can I apply from, say, Switzerland?
    4) I believe the Apostilled FBI check needs to be less than a month old, if that is correct, can I get that from abroad?
    5) Also, thanks for your website.

  • James Pence Feb 12, 2017, 11:57 am

    Does anybody have a definitive answer about the menaje de casa program for
    foreigners under this new law? El Comercio states, for returning ecuadorians:
    “Derecho a la reducción de aranceles para la importación de menaje de casa, equipos de trabajo y vehículos.” (aranceles=customs duties)

  • david Feb 11, 2017, 8:22 pm

    I want to see how can I come back and work in my country again, I migrated to the U.S.A. when I was 5 years old, my father petition for me to migrated, I went to elementary school P.S.384, Junior High School, in East New York and in High School in Franklin K Lane I started smoking weed and from that it escalated to other substances. Now my father Jorge Naturalize when I was 12 years old, And I thought I was an American Citizen . I register in selective service, Was Married to an American citizen have two kids with her, and also what hurt that I pledge aligience to the Flag of my country, I did a mistake and why shouldnt I be able to be next to both of my parents , why, and in top of all that President Trump is going mad deporting every one and everybody, why, let me come back home, even it mean go back to jail!

  • Max Sand Feb 11, 2017, 1:16 pm

    Hi Grace, gotta admit I am more confused now than I was before. I have a 9-11 Investor Visa valid indefinitely and I have a cedula also. The fact that my Visa says ‘indefinitely’ does that make me a permanent resident? Help!

  • Robert B Feb 11, 2017, 1:13 pm

    Hi Bryan!
    I am sorry if this is a silly question but this new law will not affect those of
    us seeking the 90 day guest visa only?

  • Max Sand Feb 11, 2017, 11:32 am

    It would have been better if ‘Toronto Dude” was not allowed to post on your website. All of a sudden a good informational thread got turned into the usual nasty US style flaming that goes on in their forums. Very surprised you would allow this guy on here.

    • Bryan Haines Feb 11, 2017, 1:16 pm

      I understand – and we usually delete these. But every once in a while we let one though. Seeing both sides can be helpful and encourage conversation.

      Don’t worry – we’re back to just positive and helpful comments.

  • Melvyn Dackombe Feb 11, 2017, 8:40 am

    I intend to reside permanently in Ecuador, and having read the comments, the unofficial views are that the existing visa types and documents remain the same for the new system as for the old, the difference being the introduction of the temporary / permanent timescale and compulsory health insurance.
    These may well be true, but why, having enacted the new legislation, should very important fine details not been ironed out, to give full clarity on all requirements. 120 days has been mentioned as a possible timescale!

  • Mike Feb 8, 2017, 10:30 pm

    I will be traveling to Cotacachi next week for an exploratory visit to determine if I’d like to move to Ecuador. I would be interested in hearing from CURRENT residents about the town. What are today’s rental prices and sale prices of houses or condos? Is there a local attorney that can be recommended? And are there any other important items that I should know about?

    • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 10:27 am

      Dear Mike,
      It´s a good idea to make an exploratory trip first and see what is available and if you like it. We have worked with other clients in the Cotacachi area and we will be happy to help if you need legal assistance in the future. Please feel free to contact us directly via our email address.

  • Robert B Feb 5, 2017, 11:06 am

    Hi Bryan!

    For insurance necessary to enter Ecuador (I am planning to volunteer with
    an organization in Canoa) is this health insurance? Travel insurance?

    And do you recommend any particular company/provider for either? I just
    need the most basic and inexpensive to get into the country.



    PS: Love your blog

    • Rebecca Feb 7, 2017, 11:51 am

      Dear Readers,

      I believe the type of insurance needed to enter Ecuador as a tourist is insurance you can purchase with your airline ticket, travel insurance. It should cover your stay in Ecuador in the event of a medical emergency. Many countries require this type of insurance to obtain visas. Of course, there will be more information coming in the future.

      • Robert B Feb 11, 2017, 1:14 pm


    • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 10:31 am

      Rebecca´s comment is correct because according to the new law, tourists must have medical insurance that covers their stay in Ecuador. This can be private or public insurance, but usually is commonly known as travel insurance.

  • Lynda Kelly Feb 4, 2017, 8:01 pm

    What would be the requirement for the category Investments from Other Countries
    and/or Retirement/Artist? Is there a different fee for each category? Trying to figure out which would be the best way to apply. Many thanks for any help.

    • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 10:36 am

      The government fee for any catagory of temporary residency visa, regardless the catagory, is the same amount. The new law does not mention the amounts, under the old law the application fee was $550.00 per person. For persons over 65 years of age this amount is lowered to $225.00 (50% discount). There is the possibility these amounts will be changed by the Ministry, so we have to wait and see.

      • Kelly Feb 11, 2017, 10:11 am

        Many thanks Grace for info on fees, wanted to know what the requirements are for coming in under- Investments from other countries or Retired. Trying to figure out what would be the best
        way to apply. Thanks

        • Angie Jun 5, 2018, 9:39 pm

          We are considering retiring in Ecuador but are confused by the new law. What do retirees do for insurance when they are over 65? I’m not finding anyone who is willing to write an insurance policy.

  • Anita Feb 4, 2017, 7:47 pm

    Hello, may I ask: What type of Insurance (public/private) (health -or- travel) is required to enter Ecuador now? We’re retired so on a tourist 90 day, will our Medicare Advat. or supplemental ins. here in the US. be proof enough, even though Ecuador doesn’t honor it? So, again; confused as to what type of Ins. is required and how does one apply/get the Ins., before trip -or- after we land?
    Appreciate your response, thank you.

    • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 10:39 am

      Please see our comment above regarding insurance. Your medicare will not be considered here. You must purchase travel insurance to cover you in Ecuador in the event of a medical emergency during your stary. The travel insurance should cover you for 90 days in Ecuador.

  • David Feb 4, 2017, 3:12 pm

    Thank you very much for posting this new information. No, I don’t have any questions that you couldn’t answer anyway. No, I don’t have any complaints. No, I don’t need to bad mouth anyone’s opinion or spelling. No, I don’t need to put down a country in which I would like to move to this year.

    So again, thank you very much for posting this information and keeping people informed, not only on important matters like this, but on general information which will assist many in and out of Ecuador. Have a great day. 🙂

    • Rebecca Feb 7, 2017, 11:47 am

      Dear David,

      Your positive imput is appreciated. Thank you.

  • Lourdes Alfonso Feb 4, 2017, 2:06 pm

    Hi Bryan,

    Thanks for the updated information on visas. Well noted.



  • Kathleen K Feb 4, 2017, 11:05 am

    So what kind of health insurance will need to be purchased and from whom? And how much more will this cost?
    This is making Costa Rica, even though it is more costly, look like a better deal for those retiring. I was planning on retiring in Ecuador on my social security pension plus the money from my 401k and sale of my home.

    • Max Sand Feb 11, 2017, 11:17 am

      Hi Kathleen,
      You can apply for social insurance here once you receive your government id. The cost is not high, probably about $30 or $40 per month.

  • Gary Jones Feb 4, 2017, 10:44 am

    I came to Ecuador in December 2014 with a six month visa, intending to apply for permanent residency to join the IESS health insurance program because my coverage in Canada would be terminated. It was expensive because my “facilitator” recommended that I apply in Guayaquil instead of Quito, which was much closer. She said it would go much smoother in Guayaquil, which it did. Unfortunately the Canadian dollar crashed and I could not get my critical medications so I had to withdraw my application. To add insult to injury my so-called facilitator stole the three hundred and fifty dollars I had given her to pay the government fee.

    After I was forced to return to Canada I intended to move to Ecuador again, better prepared this time, but all of the fees for a visa and residency had now doubled, making it not affordable. Then Dana Cameron told me I would get a fifty percent discount as a senior; however, no government official or person at the consulate or the Embassy would confirm the discount.

    Now it looks like the government has made an already confusing situation even more confusing. I have to assume that many people, like myself, will be looking at other countries where the process is a lot more clear and less expensive.

    • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 10:48 am

      Dear Gary,
      It is a shame you had a bad experience. The government fee isn´t paid ahead of time, you pay $50.00 when the application is entered (this is paid directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the balance when your visa is approved.

      Senior citizens are given a 50% discount on the government application fee when the visa application is processed and recieved in Ecuador.

      Yes, the government raised the application fee and I also understand you must choose a country where you feel comfortable and you can live according to your economic situation.

  • Veronica Hunter Feb 4, 2017, 8:34 am

    What makes living in Ecuador appealing ?

    • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 10:52 am

      Ecuador has diverse ecosystesms, beaches, rain forests, mountains, etc. The people are generous and hospitable. The cost of living is still much lower than in other countries.

      I invite you to investigate on the internet for yourself and see what Ecuador has to offer.

  • Amy Feb 2, 2017, 6:04 pm

    Question..My husband and I recently got our permanent residency visas (before the new law went into effect). What is stated above about being out of the country after you have your residency, “Permanent residents can be out of the country for a period of no more than 180 days in each year during the first 2 years; after these first 2 years they can be absent up to 5 years.” Does this apply to people that have permanent residency BEFORE the new law went into effect or does the old rule apply (90 days each year for the first 2 years)? Thanks in advance!

    • Susan Dabney Feb 3, 2017, 11:43 pm

      Exactly my question. We are on the second year of our residency, and it would be really nice to go home more, but the 21 months seem to imply we can’t, while the 180 days seem to imply we can. My favorite source of information is Ecuador Expats on FB. Lots of helpful folks and some are accurate.

      • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 11:02 am

        I believe there is a confusion here. The 21 months is the minimum amount of time a TEMPORARY RESIDENT must live in Ecuador before they qualify to apply for a PERMANENT residency. The 180 days is the time permited out of the country each year during the first 2 years of PERMANENT residency. For TEMPORARY RESIDENTS, you can only be out of the country 90 days each year.

        • Amy Frevert Feb 9, 2017, 11:33 am

          Grace…My husband and I got our PERMANENT RESIDENCY visa BEFORE the new law went into effect. We have the 9-II (my husband) and 9-VI (me) Visas currently. So as far as being out of the country for the first 2 years, is it 90 days each year OR 180 each year since we already have our PERMANENT visas (did not have to do the Temporary Visa since it was before the new law)?

          Thank you!


        • Hannele Laari-White Mar 5, 2017, 5:33 pm

          Thank you so much for your legal answers to this new law. Much appreciated. I would like clarification, as a resident almost at the 4 yr. mark, on being “able to leave Ecuador for up to 5 yrs. ” after the initial 2 years requirement has been completed. Does this new law apply to us, as our visas were issued under the former law? It seems that although this new law has been passed, the implementation of it & the interpretation of it is yet to be determined.
          The 18 month ruling also seemed to have many different interpretations. Do we need to concern ourselves with the “18 months consecutive out of the country” or are we now allowed to be out of Ecuador for up to 5 yrs.? We are not considering citizenship. Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Lisa Feb 4, 2017, 2:07 pm

      Also curious whether the new laws apply to people who got their permanent residency visas before the law went into effect (particularly the amount of time that you can be out of the country during first two years of residency) 🙂

      • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 11:04 am

        Please see our comments above. In any case, the new law is now in effect and applies to everyone with resident visas, whether they were processed before or after the new law went into effect.

        • MsBahamas May 21, 2017, 7:30 pm

          Mrs Velastegui, I submitted my application and documents for a work visa on April 8th, 2017. I was told by the immigration officer that I would hear back in 1 month, however, apparently due to the transition of the laws, I have heard nothing back as of May 20. My question is, under the new law, can I apply for an extension on my 90 day tourist visa, without that creating a problem for my work visa application that has been submitted. I thank you for your knowledgeable response.

    • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 10:54 am

      The old law no longer is applicable. Therefore, all persons with residency visas, before or after the new law, are subject to the new rules.

      • Andrew Feb 9, 2017, 9:12 pm

        Is it safe to say that my pending 9V professional visa application that was submitted two weeks ago, before the law took effect will be processed as temporary resident? Also, will the duty exemptions for the “menaje de casa” apply to the temporary resident categories as well?

        • James Pence Feb 11, 2017, 11:00 pm

          Andrew, I am in about the same situation as your are, and I too
          wonder about the 2 year and then 2 more thing. I have looked for the
          issue, and you are the only one to my knowledge who has brought it up.
          The mdc program provides for bringing your household stuff, and, professional tools and equipment. What if after 21 months they won’t grant you a longer stay? I keep looking for the word “permanent” and if
          you can help me, and others out, on this conundrum, please write. Few retirees can pick up and go somewhere else with one’s stuff so easily.

        • James Pence Feb 12, 2017, 10:56 am

          Andrew, I found this on line in El Comercio. Regarding the new law it states (see item 6):
          En el caso de los ecuatorianos en otros países, la ley establece los siguientes derechos: 1. Derecho a la convalidación de títulos y estudios realizados en el extranjero. 2. Derecho al acceso o reinserción a la educación. 3. Derecho a la homologación de documentos que permitan la conducción de vehículos. 4. Derecho al acceso del sistema financiero. En este punto, los bancos no podrán pedir el historial crediticio de las personas retornadas. 5. Derecho a la pensión jubilar. 6. Derecho a la reducción de aranceles para la importación de menaje de casa, equipos de trabajo y vehículos. ​

          • James Pence Feb 12, 2017, 11:02 am

            Andrew. My bad. This refers to Ecuadorians returning.

            • Andrew Feb 13, 2017, 2:11 pm

              I haven’t found anything as of yet in regards to if/how the exemptions for the menaje de casa will apply to the temporary resident categories. Under the old law, foreigners with an immigrant or work visa were eligible.

              I would imagine in the next few weeks the should be more information about it.

  • KK Feb 2, 2017, 11:00 am

    Does this new law mean even a tourist for a short vacation needs proof of health insurance to visit? Or is that if applying for a visa?

    • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 11:06 am

      To enter Ecuador as a tourist, you must have health insurance. Please see our comments above regarding travel insurance.

  • Brad Feb 2, 2017, 12:11 am

    One thing doesnt add up. So if you are applying for long term Residency. You first start with a Temporary Residency for 2 years, which you can be out of the country for 90 days a year. Well after your 2 years, you apply for your Permanent Residency, but above it says you need to be in the country 21 months on your Temp… Well if you leave 90 days each year on your Temp, you dont have 21 months under your belt in the country. So you would have to renue your Temporary Residency for 3 months so you get 21 months in the country before you file for your Permanent Residency?

    • Michael Silbergleid Feb 7, 2017, 8:22 pm

      I have been told that you have to hold the temp for 21 months. That being in country for 21 months is not required. But the 90 days out per year still applies.

    • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 11:10 am

      I would like to clarify this, the new law textually states: “you must fullfill 21 months as a temporary resident…” Therefore, it is not referring to a requirement to be in the country for 21 months before you can apply for the permanent visa, but it means you must have the temporary visa for 21 months to be able to apply for the permanent residency visa.

  • Frances Feb 1, 2017, 10:00 pm

    We are planning to move to Ecuador in late August. We were planning on applying for a Professional Visa, but now I am not sure how to proceed. I will also be retired with a pension. Obviously, all the rules have changed. Now I don’t know what documents that I need to bring with me.

    • Jane Feb 2, 2017, 9:25 am

      You bring exactly the same documents that were required before the change. The new law has nothing to do with documents required.

      • Melvyn Dackombe Feb 4, 2017, 9:14 am


        Can you say categorically that you are correct. The fine details are yet to be released.

        • Chris Feb 5, 2017, 8:45 am

          The documentation required to get a permanent residency visa under the old law is going to be the same documentation required to get a temporary residency visa under the new law.
          What’s changed is getting a permanent residency visa is now a two step process and has nothing to do with the documents required. After you have a temporary residency visa for 21 months you can then apply for a permanent residency visa which at that point will be little more than an application and a fee.

          • Michael Silbergleid Feb 7, 2017, 8:21 pm

            I have been told that you will need a criminal background check from the Ecuadorian police.

    • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 11:17 am

      In general terms, the required documents are the same. You can still base a residency on your professional degree once it has been registered in Ecuador. Also, a residency can be based on retirement income. As mentioned, in any residency application, you must first obtain a temporary residency visa.

      For the temporary visa you must provide police reports from your home country. Once you have your temporary visa and you wish to apply for a permanent residency after 21 months, you can get an Ecuadorian police report for this purpose.

  • JOHANNE Feb 1, 2017, 7:55 pm

    Will you be able to buy short term health insurance as you enter the country as a tourist?

    • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 11:18 am

      Please see our comments above regarding travel insurance. This must be purchased before you enter Ecuador and cover the period of time you will be in the country as a tourist.

  • ken Feb 1, 2017, 6:34 pm

    Clarification please. The above mentioned that it is 90 days tourist visa. That was the old law and new law (signed by Ecuador President recently) gives automatic (up to) 180 days right? Thanks, Ken

    • Bryan Haines Feb 1, 2017, 6:49 pm

      This post is what the new law means for tourists and expats.

    • Grace Velastegui Feb 9, 2017, 11:24 am

      No, as a tourist you will recieve 90 days under the new law. You can request 90 days more by paying the corresponding government fee. Also, a tourist can extend their stay up to 1 year, requesting a special tourist visa. This special tourist visa can be requested once every 5 years.

      Tourists that receive 180 days directly when they enter the country are citizens of South American countries.

  • Toronto Dude Feb 1, 2017, 4:05 pm

    This is an unfortunate development, particularly for myself as I was getting ready to apply for a professional visa. I had chosen Ecuador over Colombia mainly due to the simplicity of getting permanent residency in one step (and with no dollar investment needed in the case of a professional visa). That advantage is now gone.

    Even worse, the confusion this will generate over the coming months will leave me wondering if my visa application will be rejected as the new rules are implemented. Not even the lawyers will know what’s going on and the whole thing could be stuck in limbo.

    And last, the mandatory health insurance expense is another major drawback. Not something that’s required in Colombia.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this move results in a decrease in foreigners retiring in Ecuador, with a commensurate drop in investment in the country. Correia is just another socialist clown getting in his last digs before he leaves office.

    • Rebecca Feb 1, 2017, 5:48 pm

      There´s no reason to believe this new law will cause residency visas to be denied. It´s true you must apply for a temporary residency visa first, but seeing many expats apply for permanent residency and within 6 months or a year decide they want to return to their home countries, I see this as a positive step and gives the expat a “trial” period to see if this is truly the life style they want. Many countries have this type of temporary visa system.

      Thank you for the summary.

    • Nikki Feb 1, 2017, 6:50 pm

      Re – “Correia is just another socialist clown getting in his last digs before he leaves office.”

      The new immigration laws were passed unanimously by the national assembly and then signed into law by the president whose named is spelled ‘Correa’ by the way. If that’s all it took to keep another right winger from coming to Ecuador then bravo!

      • Toronto Dude Feb 2, 2017, 10:25 am

        Re: “The new immigration laws were passed unanimously by the national assembly and then signed into law by the president whose named is spelled ‘Correa’ by the way. If that’s all it took to keep another right winger from coming to Ecuador then bravo!”

        Another knee-jerk liberal who thinks she has God’s opinion on everything. I don’t care how you spell his name. However, I have to say you serve your masters well.

        • Samantha Feb 2, 2017, 12:02 pm

          What part of “Ecuador is a socialist country” don’t you get? It never ceases to amaze me that people who have a problem with that want to reside here.

    • Toronto Dude-Please don't come to Ecuador Feb 4, 2017, 2:17 pm

      Socialist Clown? Why in the world would you want to come here, you are better off in Trumplandia where your capitalist values will be welcome and am sure you will fit in just right! Maybe you should have done some research on the country before you thought of the move…….

      • Chad Feb 5, 2017, 10:38 am

        You do realize that Toronto is not in the US right? Anyway regarding the unnecessary Trump dig I can’t help by pointing out the similarities in that Correa and him are both beating the same Nationalistic drum. Just saying not THAT different.

      • Robert B Feb 5, 2017, 11:13 am

        Toronto Dude sounds more like an American than a Canadian: loudmouth, “tough” guy, superiority complex, speaks about life in places he knows squat about (you mean they have electricity there?)…geez guess there are a**holes in Canada too

        Bet he has been using Gov’t Insurance and went to Public Schools but hey who’s counting?

        • Sue Feb 6, 2017, 11:05 am

          Tony is so cheap that buying health insurance is a deal breaker for him as he would prefer that Ecuador pay for his medical needs for free. Oh, but he’s not into socialism. lol

          • Thomas Feb 12, 2017, 8:53 pm

            I know, right. Maybe he could afford to live in America again if they stopped with all the military/nazi police state spending.

    • Quincy Feb 11, 2017, 2:39 am

      Although this new development makes it less convenient for me to establish residency, I’m happy to read this post and see that the Correa administration is helping to keep out the riffraff like you who hate everything about the country and the culture.

      The new constitution is creating a better future for the country, and the governance of Ecuador is headed in the right direction. I like that they are protecting the environment, and trying to eliminate the concentration of power in the media.

      It sounds like a wake up call to people like you who need to think about where you actually belong and where you actually want to live. I hope this is a crippling blow to all you CIA-loving neocons out there who want to turn Ecuador into a puppet government.

      Correa has an outstanding approval rating and is doing good things for the country. I hope the people of Ecuador don’t buy into that same lie the US bought about how spending 50% of your taxes on the stupid military is the way things ought to be. I hope they do a good job of putting corporate monopolies and chain stores in their place too.

      I have no doubt I’ll see you at the Mcdonald’s in Quito.

      • dumluk Mar 19, 2017, 4:59 pm

        Well, if youre feeding your brain cells at McDonalds its not hard to figure out how you managed to get most of your info wrong……ok, after re-reading, Im inclined to agree with most of your statement, but just where do you come up with the info that Correa enjoys an overwhelming popularity rating? He did for the first 8 yrs of his tenure….and deservedly so……I admire his efforts greatly, but at some point in the recent murky past he kinda went off the rails and has actually lost a great deal of his support, unfortunately to the extent that the Neo-con CIA fascist supported right wing banker Lasso has succeeded in typing with Correas ex vice president candidate nesecitating the run off election on April 2…….Will be interesting to see what happens on that day…….Even the considerable indigenous community is split with many of them throwing their support behind Lasso now becuz of Correas Chinese deals brings oil exploration and exploitation to the Yasuni region, the sacred heart of the Amazon……..witht he excuse that the Peruvians are slant drilling under the border and sucking out all of Ecuadors oil in that region……..I think at the end of the day it looks like Correa is more of an economist than a populist and environmentalist and champion of the rights of the underprivileged sector……A shame really, cuz he was so good for Ecuador for a long time…….

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