Do I need to speak Spanish to get residency in Ecuador?
This was a question many future expats have asked us. And last weekend, a rumor caused many current expats to begin worrying about their language skills.
Note: We received this update 10 days ago, but with our move back to Canada we got a little behind on things.
The following is an update from Nelson Idrovo our lawyer in Cuenca. Along with his wife Grace, Nelson runs Idrovo & Velastegui – a Cuenca Law Office.
Is Spanish a Residency Requirement in Ecuador?
Here’s what Nelson Idrovo, a Cuenca immigration lawyer, has to say:
“This weekend there was a message published stating that residents need to take a language proficiency test to maintain residency status. This is to let our clients know that this is not true and there is no legal basis for such a claim. This is just a joke in very poor taste. In fact, Gringo Post just published that the claim is false and not to pay any attention to this notice. It is true that those who wish to apply for citizenship/naturalization must pass a basic Spanish interview and answer questions regarding Ecuadorian history, geography and aspects of the constitution.”
So to clarify, there is a difference between residency and citizenship/naturalization. We got Ecuador residency four years ago but never became citizens. Once you become a citizen in Ecuador you will legally become Ecuadorian. There are no language requirements to become a legal resident of Ecuador.
How To Learn Spanish in Ecuador
So, what about learning Spanish? While this isn’t a legal requirement, it would be silly to plan to live in Ecuador without learning the language.
When we first moved to Ecuador, we invested significantly in Spanish books and courses. It paid off – helping us quickly settle in and become comfortable in our new city. If you are struggling with the idea of learning a language, you should check out Fluent in 3 Months. It really helped us have the right mindset as we learned Spanish.
What part of Spanish learning are you struggling with right now? Please share it in the comments.