If you want to visit Ecuador, chances are you will not have to apply for a visa at all. Ecuador has a very lenient visa policy, and citizens from most countries can enter and stay without a visa – but only up to 90 days.
Fun fact about Ecuador: Did you know that there’s a spot in Ecuador where you can stand with one foot on the northern hemisphere and one foot on the southern hemisphere?
This article will detail the Ecuador visa: who needs it, the types of Ecuador visas, how to apply for one, and what documents you have to submit.
Do You Need a Visa to Go to Ecuador?
If you want to visit Ecuador as a tourist for up to 90 days, then you very likely do not need an Ecuador visa. Only passport holders of the following countries need a visa to visit Ecuador as tourists:
|Cameroon||The Democratic Republic of the Congo||Cuba|
If you want to visit Ecuador for longer than 90 days, then you have to apply for the appropriate Ecuador visa.
Do US Citizens Need a Visa for Ecuador?
No, as a US citizen, if you only want to stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days, you do not need a visa. If you want to stay for longer than 90 days, you must apply for a temporary residence visa or extended tourist viss from one of the Embassies or Consulates of Ecuador in the US.
How to Enter Ecuador Without a Visa?
If you are exempt from an Ecuador visa, you have to present the following documents at the immigration officers at the port of entry:
- Your passport, which must be valid for at least another six months.
- A round-trip or onward trip ticket
- Travel health insurance covering the duration of your stay
You will receive a tourist stamp in your passport, which allows you to stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days.
Note: It is up to the immigration officers at the port of entry to decide whether to allow you to enter Ecuador, regardless of whether you need a visa or not.
What Are the Ecuador Visa Requirements?
When you apply for a visa for Ecuador, you have to submit several documents which will support your visa application. The documents change depending on your nationality and the type of visa you apply for, but they include:
- Your passport. The passport has to be valid for at least another six months from the day you intend to enter Ecuador.
- The Ecuador Visa Application Form. It has to be completed and signed. You can download it and complete It online, as mentioned above.
- Passport-size pictures, with the following specifications:
- Dimensions: 2 inch x 2 inch
- White background
- You must be staring straight ahead at the camera with a neutral facial expression
- Your entire face must be visible
- Headgear is not allowed, except for religious purposes. Even in this case, it cannot cover the face
- Glasses should be removed – although some may also accept a picture if you are wearing prescription glasses, as long as they do not obstruct the view of your face.
- Proof you have the necessary financial means to fund your stay in Ecuador (for yourself and your dependents, if you have any).
- Certificate of criminal records, obtained from police authorities in your country. Not necessary for minors.
- Proof of health insurance. You must get health insurance (private or public) to cover the duration of your stay in Ecuador. This applies to tourist visas as well as temporary and permanent resident visas.
- For minors:
- Birth certificate.
- If travelling unaccompanied: Letter of consent from the parent/s or legal guardian/s.
- For Ecuador Business Visa: Letter of invitation from the inviting company in Ecuador.
- For Ecuador Work Visa:
- Work contract with the public or private company.
- For a public company: Proof the company has no outstanding obligations with SRI ( Servicio de Rentas Internas del Ecuador) and IESS (Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social).
- For a private company:
- Proof the company has no outstanding obligations with SRI ( Servicio de Rentas Internas del Ecuador) and IESS (Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social) and the Superintendence of Companies
- Registration Certificate. It must be issued by the adequate Ministry.
- For Ecuador Student Visa: Proof of enrollment in the educational institution in Ecuador.
- For Ecuador Retirement or Pensioner Visa:
- Proof of retirement, from the relevant government body in your country as well as proof of the pension you will receive from abroad.
- Proof of any other income you will receive from abroad or in Ecuador, such as from investments, savings, etc.
The documents have to be Apostilled before submission or legalized by the Ecuadorian Embassy or Consulate.
They may also have to be translated into Spanish; make sure to ask the Embassy/Consulate staff where you will apply.
Different Consulates or Embassies will have different requirements.
How to Apply for an Ecuador Visa?
You can apply for Ecuador visas through one of the Embassies or Consulates of Ecuador in your country. The process is as follows:
- Find the nearest Ecuador Embassy/Consulate. See a list of diplomatic missions of Ecuador here.
- Contact the Embassy/Consulate to make an appointment, learn about their requirements and the documents you have to submit. You may also be able to make an appointment through the online service (here).
- Collect the required documents.
- Complete and print the Ecuador Visa Application Form.
- Submit the application and the documents at the Ecuador Embassy/Consulate
- Pay the Ecuador visa fee
- The Embassy/Consulate will notify you through email about the outcome of your visa.
- You can print the visa through your email.
If you are already in Ecuador, you can also apply for a visa through the Coordinaciones Zonales in Ecuador, which operate under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility. See the locations of the Coordinaciones Zonales in Ecuador.
Keep in mind: This is a general outline of the Ecuador visa application process, and there are different requirements in every country. This is why it is important that the first thing you do is contact the nearest Ecuadorian Embassy or Consulate. They will provide you with the necessary information on how to proceed.
Can You Stay in Ecuador for More Than 90 Days?
Yes, you can. To stay in Ecuador for longer than 90 days, you either have to:
- Apply for a special tourist visa which allows you to stay in Ecuador for up to 180 days. You can do this from your country of residence before you travel;
- Extend your 90-day visa once you are in Ecuador. You can apply for a visa extension at one of the Coordinaciones Zonales in Ecuador; or
- Apply for a Temporary Residence Visa (if you want to work, study, retire, etc.)
What Are the Ecuador Visa Types?
There are three types of visas for Ecuador:
- Ecuador Tourist Visa
- Ecuador Temporary Resident Visas
- Ecuador Permanent Resident Visas
Ecuador Tourist Visa
Citizens of most countries do not need to apply for a tourist visa for Ecuador at all. They can simply enter with their passports. However, citizens from countries where visa requirements are enforced do have to apply for an Ecuador tourist visa. The tourist visa for Ecuador allows the holder to stay in the country for up to 90 days for tourism and leisure activities.
Special Tourist Visa for Ecuador
There is another type of Ecuador tourist visa which has a longer duration (180 days). Even the nationals who are exempt from a normal tourist visa can apply for the 180-day Ecuador tourist visa from an Embassy or Consulate of Ecuador abroad if they want to more than 90 days.
You can only receive the 180-day Ecuador tourist visa once every five years.
Ecuador Temporary Resident Visa
The temporary resident visa for Ecuador is a type of long-stay visa. It is issued to foreigners who want to live, study, work, or retire in Ecuador. They can be issued for up to two years at a time, and can be renewed before they expire.
The types of Ecuador temporary resident visas include:
- Ecuador Work Visa, for foreigner who have found a job with a company in Ecuador.
- Ecuador Student Visa, for foreigners who have been accepted in a university or other academic program in Ecuador, and wish to pursue their studies there.
- Ecuador Retirement visa, for foreigners who want to retire in Ecuador and have the necessary financial means to do so.
If you are in Ecuador as a tourist, and you want to change your residence status, you can apply at the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility (Coordinaciones Zonales) before your visa/entry stamp expires.
Ecuador Permanent Resident Visas
You can only apply for a permanent resident visa for Ecuador if you have already lived there for at least 21 months under a temporary resident visa.
According to the information on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, the fee for Ecuador visas is:
- USD 50 for visa processing
- USD 400 for the Ecuador visa (if the application is successful)