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Complete guide to obtaining an Ecuador digital nomad visa, the required documents, the application steps, and FAQs

We live in a fast-changing world, and it is likely that the post-pandemic world will adopt many of the habits we developed during the early lockdown of 2020. The rise of remote working has certainly sparked a wave of digital nomads over the last two years.

If you’re looking for a place in Latin America to set up as a digital nomad, Ecuador has a lot to offer not only to travelers but even more to digital nomads.

Those who want to spend about two years in Ecuador are now able to apply for the Rentista visa, which opens up some more avenues for entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and remote workers.

Benefits of Working as a Digital Nomad in Ecuador

In Ecuador, you will have many benefits while working as a digital nomad.

  • Travel opportunities. The Galapagos, the coast, the mountains, and the Amazon are all readily accessible regardless of your location, making weekend trips easy and affordable. You can enjoy all of Ecuador in a little time. 
  • Outdoor activities. Natural beauty and biodiversity, adventure sports, and world-class trekking are all hallmarks of the country. There are countless things you can enjoy. 
  • Co-working spaces. There is an emerging coworking culture in Ecuador, especially in the major cities of Quito, Cuenca, and Guayaquil. In Quito, you can choose from a wide range of new space rental options, from small offices to shared houses and small companies to full-blown companies like IMPAQTO.
  • Diverse cuisine. There is a great deal of diversity and abundance in Ecuador’s cuisine. Even though Ecuador is a small country in size, it has four distinct gastronomic regions: coast, highlands, Amazon, and Galapagos. Ecuador’s highlands offer a wide variety of traditional cuisine, including soups, main dishes, and desserts. Pork and beef are some of the traditional foods of the highlands, along with potatoes and corn grains.
  • Low cost of living. Since Ecuador’s cost of living is quite low, expats, digital nomads, and retirees from around the world find it to be quite attractive, given that it is quite easy to live comfortably there. As for prices, they are significantly lower than in the United States, despite Ecuador’s official currency being the US dollar

How to Apply for an Ecuador (Rentista) Digital Nomad Visa?

The application process for an Ecuador (Rentista) digital nomad visa is as follows:

  1. Gather the required documents. The required documents need to be translated into Spanish and notarized. You can find the list of the documents in the section “Requirements for Ecuador (Rentista) Digital Nomad Visa”.
  2. Set an appointment at the Ecuadorian embassy or consulate. After preparing the list of the documents, you have to set an appointment at the local Ecuadorian embassy or consulate.
  3. Fill out the application form. First, download the application form and then fill it out. 
  4. Attend the appointment. You must submit the filled-out application form and the required documents at the appointment at the Ecuadorian embassy or consulate. 
  5. Pay the application fee. You have to pay a $50 non-refundable application fee.
  6. Wait for approval. Obtaining Ecuador’s (Rentista) digital nomad visa takes about two to three months. 
  7. Pay the visa fee. After your visa is approved, you must pay a $400 visa fee.

Requirements for Ecuador (Rentista) Digital Nomad Visa

The documents required to apply for an Ecuador Rentista visa for digital nomads are:

  • Filled out and notarized application form. 
  • A valid passport. You need to have a valid passport for at least six months. 
  • Two passport photos. The dimensions of the photos must be 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm). The head must be between 1 -1 3/8 inches (25-35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
  • Health insurance. You need health insurance designed especially for digital nomads working remotely, with coverage in Ecuador.
  • Certificate of a criminal record. You can get your clean criminal record at the local police department. 
  • Proof of employment. You need to provide your job contract, which states your position and confirms that you are allowed to work abroad. 
  • Proof of relationship to dependents. A marriage certificate, a birth certificate apostilled in the past six months, can be used to prove your relationship to dependents.
  • Proof of income. You will need to show 3x the basic salary to be eligible. For example, in 2022, one basic salary is $425, so the monthly salary you will need to show is $1,275. You also need evidence that this income will continue for the next two years.
  • Rental agreement. The rental agreement needs to be apostilled in your country and translated into Spanish. 

Note: Your documents need to be apostilled for less than six months. This is a relatively new visa, and the requirements might change in the future. 

How Long Can I Work in Ecuador as a Digital Nomad?

An Ecuador digital nomad visa has a two-year validity period that can be renewed. 

Processing Time For A Digital Nomad Visa in Ecuador

It takes about two to three months to process Ecuador’s digital nomad (Rentista) visa . 

How Much Does Ecuador (Rentista) Digital Nomad Visa Cost?

The visa cost includes:

  • $50 non-refundable application fee
  • $400 visa fee payable upon approval

Paying Taxes as a Digital Nomad in Ecuador

Currently, Ecuador taxes its citizens and foreigners primarily on their Ecuador-sourced income, defined as anything derived from activities conducted in Ecuador, regardless of where that income is derived from.

Foreigners in Ecuador are liable for income tax that comes from Ecuador. The income that comes from abroad is not liable for taxes. This is the case of digital nomads, who usually work remotely for clients or companies abroad from the place they decide to stay.

  • The income tax rate is progressive, ranging from 5% to 35%, and the first $11,310 of an individual’s income is not taxed. 
  • The sales tax rate is 12%, which is added to most purchases.
  • The capital gains tax rate is based on the percentage of the municipal value between the time it was bought and sold. Between the times it was bought and sold, the percentage is usually 10%.
  • Property tax is based on a percentage of the municipal value. 
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