Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to Ecuador

Ecuador is a small South American country that includes the famous Galapagos Islands. It also contains the Andes Mountains and a section of the Amazon rainforest, making it an ecologically fascinating place. It is named after the equator, its geographic location, and its capital city is Quito. It is a very diverse country with a medium income standard. Its official language is Spanish.


As of 2008, anyone from any country is allowed to enter Ecuador and stay for up to 90 days under a tourist 12-X visa. Generally you can just get one by showing up to Ecuador with a valid passport and return tickets. You will have to fill out an application form and possibly prove your funding.

If you want to apply for a visa to stay for over 90 days, you must apply for this at a consulate or embassy in your home country. Each country has different requirements, which you can check with your consulate or embassy.

Work Permit

One popular work permit in Ecuador is the 12-VI, which is a temporary visa, and is granted to professionals, technicians, contracted personnel and specialized workers. The length of the visa depends on the length of the individual contract. You must have a job lined up, get a written contract, and then have that sent to Ecuador’s Court of Labor to be approved. You may also have to present a certification issued by the National Direction of Employment and Human Resources or the appointment letter of Power of Attorney, depending on your case.

You must apply for this permit at the Ecuadorian Consulate of your home country. You must submit the following documents:

  1. Application form
  2. Passport
  3. Criminal background check
  4. Roundtrip ticket
  5. Two passport photos
  6. Medical certificate, proving that you are free of contagious diseases like HIV
  7. Proof of legal status in country, if you are a third-country national
  8. Copy of the company’s by-laws

Click here for more details, and information about applying for a work permit as a company president or trustee.

Student Visa

Children of a work permit holder are qualified to study in Ecuadorian schools.

All others who wish to stay and study for over 90 days must submit the following:

  1. Two forms filled out with passport photos
  2. Visa application
  3. Document of enrollment in an Ecuadorian school
  4. Passport and copy
  5. Fees, which are different depending on your country of origin
  6. Resolución del Ministerio de Educación from language school or other center
  7. Proof of funds

If you are from Columbia, you must submit a criminal background report.

Click here for more details.

Moving Pets

In order to move your pet to Ecuador, you must have it microchipped and vaccinated against all appropriate diseases. You must present an International Health Certificate. You may also need to present a USDA endorsement document, which officially states the International Health Certificate, Vaccine Certificates and Microchip Records.

Click here for more details.

Other Information

Click here for a list of Ecuadorian embassies.

Click here for general facts about Ecuador.

Ecuador Real Estate listings can be found here.


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