Finding a Visa

It is useful to know the location of the closest Ecuadorian embassy or consulate because it may well be necessary to seek advice both initially and later in the application process. Details of the requirements for the obtaining of an appropriate visa is available at the web site of the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio e Integración. This site provides clear information in English and is unusual and refreshing in this respect. This does not mean that any of the required documents can be omitted or not translated into Spanish and apostilled in your country of origin. Other sites provide relevant information with particular readers in mind. The Manta Expats on Line site is directed particularly at residents or citizens of the United States of America.

Ecuador does provide a visa particularly for retirees. An optimistic view of the retirement visa and benefits accruing to retirees is given by the International Living publication. For most tourist visas are easily obtained and allow for visits of up to three months. Tourist visas can be acquired on entry. This makes the “Golden Rule” - visit before settling - easy to accomplish with sufficient research time available.

The usual documents need to be produced, translated into Spanish and apostilled. A peculiarity with respect to Ecuador is the need for a single person to provide proof of that status. For most this is not possible from any government authority in the original country of residence. A sworn statement will satisfy this requirement.

Ecuador also permits applications from with its borders from those wishing to change their current status, for example from temporary to permanent residency. There is no obligation to employ the services of a lawyer for the application. It may well be helpful and expedient to do so unless one is fluent in the Spanish language.

All of the above information is amplified via the links at the "Resources" tab on this site and in the book "How to Retire in Ecuador" by Les Johns which can be bought directly from this site.

Getting Help

As is stated above it is useful to employ a lawyer/attorney for dealing with government departments in Ecuador if Spanish is not your first language or if you are not fluent in that language. An estimate of the likely cost should be obtained before any work is done. A list of legal firms is available at the web site although only those available in Quito and Guayaquil are listed. It is possible to find legal assistance in Cuenca. As is clear from this last mentioned site the standard of service available varies from practice to practice.

The links provided at the "Resources" tab on this site and the information in the book "How to Retire in Ecuador" by Les Johns will save intensing retirees much time in their initial research