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.
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.
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:
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.
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.