There are two general categories of visas: Non-Resident and Resident (immigrant).
Most nationalities will receive a tourist card upon entering Ecuador, which will be good for up to 90 days. The exceptions are citizens of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China and Somalia, who will need to obtain a Tourist Visa (12-X). Whether entering on a tourist card or with a 12-X visa, most foreigners are only allowed in Ecuador only for a total of 90 days in one year.
If you want to work in Ecuador, or simply guarantee a stay of over 90 days, there are a range of visas available, including study (12-V), work (12-VI), volunteer and religious (12-VII), cultural exchange (12-VIII) and long-stay business or tourism (12-IX).
Each has its own application process. All should be registered at the Dirección General de Extranjería in Quito, or at the Sub-Dirección de Extranjería in Guayaquil upon arrival in Ecuador.
You should confirm all information before travels with the Ecuadorian Embassy or Consulate in your own country. Requisites vary significantly by consulate.
Foreign nationals may apply to settle in Ecuador and obtain resident status. The documentation process takes at least four to eight weeks. There are a number of different resident visa categories, including:
I. Retired persons who receive pensions from their native countries (required minimum monthly income from a foreign account $800 for the main visa holder, plus $100 monthly for each family dependent).
II. Real estate and securities investors who are willing to invest in Ecuador a minimum of $25,000, plus $500 for each family dependent.
III. Investors in industry who wish to export agricultural products, livestock, or minerals, (minimum investment of U$30,000).
IV. Companies with foreign local agents who possess unlimited power of attorney to represent the company in Ecuador, provided that 80% of the company’s local personnel are Ecuadorian.
IV. Technicians or technical experts under contract with a company established in Ecuador; religious workers; or foreign journalists.
V. Professionals with university degrees recognized by a national university, who wish to practice their profession in Ecuador. Should the applicant’s profession not exist in Ecuador, the degree must be locally certified. The applicant must also fulfill the requirements for such practice (e.g. bar).
VI. Individuals economically dependent on spouses or on a blood -related family member (family).