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ABOUT ECUADOR

BASIC INFORMATION

Official Name: Republic of Ecuador
Area: 256.370 KM2
Capital: Quito
Form of Government: Democratic
Principal Cities: Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca
Language: Spanish
Independence Day: August 10th
Currency: US Dollars
Religion: Catholic is the dominant religion, Freedom of religion


GEOGRAPHY

Straddling the equator in western South America, Ecuador has territories in both the Northern and the Southern hemispheres. It borders Colombia to the north and shares a border Peru to the south and to the east. The Pacific Ocean is Ecuador's western border. Ecuador, 256,370 square kilometers in size, is geographically divided into four regions (the Amazon, the Highlands, the Coast, and the Galapagos Islands) and is politically split into 24 provinces. The coastal provinces (from north to south) are Esmeraldas, Manabí, Los Ríos, Guayas, El Oro, and Santa Elena. Highlands provinces are Imbabura, Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua and Chimborazo, in the north, and Bolívar, Cañar, Azuay and Loja, in the south. The Amazon is comprised of the provinces (from north to south) of Sucumbíos, Napo, Pastaza, Orellana, Morona-Santiago and Zamora-Chinchipe. Ecuador's 22nd province the Galapagos Islands.


REGIONS

Ecuador has 4 natural regions that we described below:

  • The Coast
  • The Highlands
  • The Amazon
  • The Galapagos Islands


FLORA AND FAUNA

Ecuador is one of the planet's 17 most biologically diverse nations. The nation's drastic geographic and climatic variations have led to the evolution of thousands of species of flora and fauna, most of which thrive in habitats protected by the State and by private organizations. Despite its tiny size, Ecuador is home to rain forests, jungles, mountains, islands, deserts, valleys, and snow-capped peaks. One of the main attractions is the Galapagos Archipelago and its marine reserve, which contain endemic species unique to the area.

Due to geographic differences in altitude, longitude and latitude, and the climatic effects of the Pacific Ocean, the Amazon, and the Andes, the various regions and sub regions of Ecuador have very different climates and microclimates. The Pacific coast has rainy season between December and May and dry from June to November. Temperature oscillates between 73 and 79 degrees °F. The climate in the Highlands, on the other hand, has a rainy season from November to April and a dry season from May to October. Temperatures range between 55 and 65 degrees °F. In the Amazon, the climate is rainy and humid between January and September, with temperatures between 73 and 97 degrees °F, and dry between October and December. The Galapagos has a temperate climate with temperatures ranging between 71 and 90 degrees °F.


IMMIGRANT VISAS- ECUADOR

GENERAL INFORMATION FOR IMMIGRANT VISA APPLICANTS

Moving to a new country implies a great amount of stress and hard work. To help you out in the process we have prepared a list that focuses on key points and terms you should become familiar with. If you are planning on moving to Ecuador, the following information will be useful to you.

A visa applicant may choose to apply for the type of residence visa that best fits their interest and personal situation. Immigrant visas are approved in Ecuador only. This means that an Ecuadorian consulate cannot accept immigrant visa applications. Specific information for each kind of visa can be found below.

All public documents that you intend to use in Ecuador must be legalized with an Apostille. In this regards, documents such as, but not limited to: birth certificate, marriage certificate, criminal background check, letter of income, professional degrees, etc. must be legalized with an Apostille. For further information on how to get an Apostille contact our office.

All documents written in English must have their corresponding notarized translation into Spanish and legalized with the Apostilled as well.

Criminal background check is one of the documents required to apply for an immigrant visa. You must get one from all the places where you lived in the last five years. We recommend to get the criminal background check no more than a month prior to your scheduled trip to Ecuador.

The first step of the application process is to register the diploma in Ecuador. The following documents are required:

  • Color copy of the title page of the passport.
  • Color copy of the apostilled or legalized diploma.
The process takes from 45 to 50 business days. Once the process is complete we will need the following documents to apply for the professional residency visa:


REQUIREMENTS

  • Color copy of the title page of the passport
  • Color copy of the last entry stamp to Ecuador
  • Original legalizad or Apostilled criminal record
  • Color copy of the Apostilled University Degree
  • Power of attorney
  • A passport size photo with white background

Visa Validity: Indefinite
Entries: Multiple
Government Fees:
Professional Visa application fee: $30.00 dollars
Visa fee on approval: $320.00 dollars
Resident permit/Cedula: $9.00 dollars.


For your information there are 6 types of Residence Visas you may be interested in or qualified to obtain:


9-I: Pensioner Visa

This visa is intended for retired persons who receive pensions from their native countries (pension from a stable source, at least $800 per month).


9-II: Investor of Real Estate or Securities Visa

This is for real estate and securities investors who are investing at least $25,000 or a Certificate of deposit in an Ecuadorian Bank for $25.000 an additional $500 per dependent.


9-III: Industrial Investor Visa

For investors in industry or investors who wish to export agricultural products, livestock, or minerals, provided they bring capital the equivalent of at least $30,000.


9-IV: Legal Representative, Work Visa, or Religious Visa

Intended for foreign local agents who possess unlimited power of attorney to represent a company in Ecuador, provided that 80% of the company’s local personnel are Ecuadorian. Also technicians or technical experts under indefinite work contract with a company established in Ecuador, and members of religious organizations. (An indefinite work contract is one that does not have a specified term.)


9-V: Professional Visa

For professionals with university degrees recognized by the SENESCYT, it is a government institution which authorizes to use foreign degrees if the university accomplishes all the requirements the government asks for.


9-VI: Economic Dependence Visa

This is for individuals economically dependent on a spouse or a blood-related family member with an approved immigration visa


9-V Professional

Requirements:
1. Visa Application Form
2. Valid passport minimum six months that justifies the current regular permanency in the country when the process begins.
3. Updated criminal record certificate issued in the foreign country or the country where he/she has lived for the last five years, duly apostilled or legalized at the Consulate of Ecuador in the country granting it with a validity of up to 180 days since the date it was issued in relation to the last entry of the applicant to Ecuador.
In the case of countries with Federal authority, these certificates shall be issued by the State or Provincial authority of the place of residence of the applicant and the Federal or National Authority during the past five years.
Requirements will be verified by an official of the Foreign Ministry and will not be submitted by the person who requests the visa.
The ministry official will verify through internal procedures the following information:
Migratory Movement Certificate issued by the Interior Ministry
Document certifying registration at the National Secretariat of Science and Technology (SENESCYT) done via webpage of that institution.
IMPORTANT
Any document in a foreign language must be translated and have the recognition of translator’s signature before a public notary. When the translation has been done abroad, it must be apostilled or legalized by an Ecuadorian Consulate in the country of origin, the translation may also be done at the Consulate of the country of origin in Ecuador. The translator may not be a stakeholder in the process.
Documents issued by the National Directorate of Civil Registry and Identification must be certified by the institution, in any case before a notary.
Visa Validity: Indefinite
Application Fee: $ 30.
Visa Fee: Regular Price $ 320 dollars.
Visa fee: Ecuadorian immigrant sponsor Visa or foreigners that sponsor visa to other foreigners: sponsor consanguineous visa, if seniors is $ 25.
Visa fee: Ecuadorian immigrant or foreigner that sponsors visa to other foreigners: under affinity sponsor visa, if seniors is $ 160.
Visa fee: Persons with disabilities or CONADIS card or under 18 years old: Exempt


Annuitant Visa 9-I Foreign Pension

Requirements:
1. Visa Application Form.
2. Original passport minimum validity 6 months and justify the regular permanency in the country when the process begins.
3. Updated criminal record certificate issued in the foreign country or the country where he/she has lived for the last five years, duly apostilled or legalized at the Consulate of Ecuador in the country granting it with a validity of up to 180 days since the date it was issued in relation to the last entry of the applicant to Ecuador.
In the case of countries with Federal authorities, these certificates shall be issued by the State or Provincial authority of the place of residence of the applicant and the Federal or National Authority. Documents issued by local authorities and Municipalities, Counties, etc. are not accepted.
4. Document issued by the institution that pays or provides retirement, pension or permanent income coming from abroad, duly certified at the country of origin or authenticated by the Consul of Ecuador in that place. The amount should be not less than $ 800 (eight hundred dollars) as monthly rent to the owner, and will increase by US$ 100 (one hundred dollars) extra per month for each family member that is a dependent of the immigrant.
Requirements will be verified by an official of the Foreign Ministry and will not be submitted by the person who requests the visa.
The MREMH official will verify through internal procedures the following information:
In the case of a refugee, he/she must submit a notarized copy of refugee card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility to justify his/ her regular legal status in the country.
Migratory Movement Certificate issued by the Interior Ministry
NOTE:
Any document in a foreign language must be translated and have the recognition of translator’s signature before a public notary. When the translation has been done abroad, it must be apostilled or legalized by an Ecuadorian Consulate in the country of origin, the translation may also be done at the Consulate of the country of origin in Ecuador. The translator may not be a stakeholder in the process.
Documents issued by the National Directorate of Civil Registry and Identification must be certified by the institution, in any case before a notary.
Visa Validity: Indefinite
Application Fee: $ 30.
Visa Fee: Regular Price $ 320 dollars.
Visa fee: Ecuadorian immigrant sponsor Visa or foreigners that sponsor visa to other foreigners: sponsor consanguineous visa, if seniors is $ 25.
Visa fee: Ecuadorian immigrant or foreigner that sponsors visa to other foreigners: under affinity sponsor visa, if seniors is $ 160.
Visa fee: Persons with disabilities or CONADIS card or under 18 years old: Exempt


9-II – Real Estate Investor Visa

Requirements:
1. Visa Application Form
2. Valid passport minimum six months that justifies the current regular permanency in the country when the process begins.
3. Updated criminal record certificate issued in the foreign country or the country where he/she has lived for the last five years, duly apostilled or legalized at the Consulate of Ecuador in the country granting it with a validity of up to 180 days since the date it was issued in relation to the last entry of the applicant to Ecuador.
In the case of countries with Federal authority, these certificates shall be issued by the State or Provincial authority of the place of residence of the applicant and the Federal or National Authority in the past five years.
4. Original letter from property tax, stating the value of the property for a minimum amount of USD 25,000 (TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND US DOLLARS), and will increase by USD 500 (FIVE HUNDRED US DOLLARS) for each family member dependent of the immigrant.
5. Certificate History Certificate and levies domain name of the applicant, issued by the Registry of Property of the respective canton.
Requirements will be verified by an official of the Foreign Ministry and will not be submitted by the person who requests the visa.
The MREMH official will verify through internal procedures the following information:
In the case of a refugee, he/she must submit a notarized copy of refugee card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility to justify his/ her regular legal status in the country.
Migratory Movement Certificate issued by the Interior Ministry
IMPORTANT
Any document in a foreign language must be translated and have the recognition of translator’s signature before a public notary. When the translation has been done abroad, it must be apostilled or legalized by an Ecuadorian Consulate in the country of origin, the translation may also be done at the Consulate of the country of origin in Ecuador. The translator may not be a stakeholder in the process.
Documents issued by the National Directorate of Civil Registry and Identification must be certified by the institution, in any case before a notary.
Visa Validity: Indefinite
Application Fee: $ 30.
Visa Fee: Regular Price $ 320 dollars.
Visa fee: Ecuadorian immigrant sponsor Visa or foreigners that sponsor visa to other foreigners: sponsor consanguineous visa, if seniors is $ 25.
Visa fee: Ecuadorian immigrant or foreigner that sponsors visa to other foreigners: under affinity sponsor visa, if seniors is $ 160.
Visa fee: Persons with disabilities or CONADIS card or under 18 years old: Exempt


9-II Investor Visa – Insurance policies, bonds or mortgage bonds

Requirements:
1. Visa Application Form
2. Original passport minimum validity 6 months and justify the regular permanency in the country when the process begins.
3. Updated criminal record certificate issued in the foreign country or the country where he/she has lived for the last five years, duly apostilled or legalized at the Consulate of Ecuador in the country granting it with a validity of up to 180 days since the date it was issued in relation to the last entry of the applicant to Ecuador.
In the case of countries with Federal authorities, these certificates shall be issued by the State or Provincial authority of the place of residence of the applicant and the Federal or National Authority. Documents issued by local authorities and Municipalities, Counties, etc. are not accepted.
4. Original color and notarized copy of the policy title or certificate of deposit for a minimum period of 365 days. The minimum amount is $ 25,000 (TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND US DOLLARS) and at least $ 500 (FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS) for each additional family member dependent of the immigrant.
Requirements will be verified by an official of the Foreign Ministry and will not be submitted by the person who requests the visa.
The MREMH official will verify through internal procedures the following information:
In the case of a refugee, he/she must submit a notarized copy of refugee card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility to justify his/ her regular legal status in the country.
Migratory Movement Certificate issued by the Interior Ministry
IMPORTANT
Any document in a foreign language must be translated and have the recognition of translator’s signature before a public notary. When the translation has been done abroad, it must be apostilled or legalized by an Ecuadorian Consulate in the country of origin, the translation may also be done at the Consulate of the country of origin in Ecuador. The translator may not be a stakeholder in the process.
Documents issued by the National Directorate of Civil Registry and Identification must be certified by the institution, in any case before a notary.
Visa Validity: Indefinite
Application Fee: $ 30.
Visa Fee: Regular Price $ 320 dollars.
Visa fee: Ecuadorian immigrant sponsor Visa or foreigners that sponsor visa to other foreigners: sponsor consanguineous visa, if seniors is $ 25.
Visa fee: Ecuadorian immigrant or foreigner that sponsors visa to other foreigners: under affinity sponsor visa, if seniors is $ 160.
Visa fee: Persons with disabilities or CONADIS card or under 18 years old: Exempt


9-III individually owned business Visa

Requirements:
1. Visa Application Form
2. Valid passport minimum six months that justifies the current regular permanency in the country when the process begins.
3. Updated criminal record certificate issued in the foreign country or the country where he/she has lived for the last five years, duly apostilled or legalized at the Consulate of Ecuador in the country granting it with a validity of up to 180 days since the date it was issued in relation to the last entry of the applicant to Ecuador.
In the case of countries with Federal authority, these certificates shall be issued by the State or Provincial authority of the place of residence of the applicant and the Federal or National Authority during the last 5 years.
4. Commercial Registration legalized at the commercial registry.
5. The capital invested by the applicant shall be solely in activities of industry, agriculture, livestock or export trade for a minimum of $ 30,000 (THIRTY THOUSAND US DOLLARS). Requirements will be verified by an official of the Foreign Ministry and will not be submitted by the person who requests the visa.
The MREMH official will verify through internal procedures the following information:
In the case of a refugee, he/she must submit a notarized copy of refugee card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility to justify his/ her regular legal status in the country.
Migratory Movement Certificate issued by the Interior Ministry
Taxpayer Registration Number, requested directly to the Internal Revenue Service.
IMPORTANT
Any document in a foreign language must be translated and have the recognition of translator’s signature before a public notary. When the translation has been done abroad, it must be apostilled or legalized by an Ecuadorian Consulate in the country of origin, the translation may also be done at the Consulate of the country of origin in Ecuador. The translator may not be a stakeholder in the process.
Documents issued by the National Directorate of Civil Registry and Identification must be certified by the institution, in any case before a notary.
Visa Validity: Indefinite
Application Fee: $ 30.
Visa Fee: Regular Price $ 320 dollars.
Visa fee: Ecuadorian immigrant sponsor Visa or foreigners that sponsor visa to other foreigners: sponsor consanguineous visa, if seniors is $ 25.
Visa fee: Ecuadorian immigrant or foreigner that sponsors visa to other foreigners: under affinity sponsor visa, if seniors is $ 160.
Visa fee: Persons with disabilities or CONADIS card or under 18 years old: Exempt