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Common law in Ecuador

In the last week we have received hundreds of questions at our account, regarding the new changes for health insurance in Ecuador, enrolling in IESS, and premium rates and duties. It was brought to our attention that there are many people living in Ecuador who can apply the law to their benefit under common law. Below you can find a brief explanation about common law in Ecuador, and how this might benefit your situation.

If you have a residency visa in Ecuador and you have been living in Ecuador for more than 2 years, the first paragraph of Article 68 of the Constitution of Ecuador defines as common law as “the stable and monogamic union between two people of legal age, free of any marital relationship who have created a factual common home”, the requirements to fulfill are:

1.- Having lived under common law for more than 2 years,

2.- Not being married,

After fulfilling the requirement you can be declared under common law in Ecuador, additionally same sex common law is recognized by the laws of Ecuador. The civil register of Ecuador is authorized Article 10.13, Article 56 and Article 57 of the Organic Law Of Control of identity and civil information to register a common law in Ecuador according to the description above.

Article 67 of the constitution states: “The family is recognized in all its forms,..” based on this Article 11 of the Common Law Regulations Act of Ecuador, grants the following rights:

A) Discount and reductions established for married couples regarding the Income Taxes Law;

B) To be benefits of Social Security;

C) Family grants and other established social benefits for the spouse.

Also Inheritance rights will be recognized by the ecuadorian governement, which has been in most of the cases the main reason of having duly registered a common law.

This means that if a person under social security still doesn't have a common law union duly granted before an Ecuadorian notary, they can have the union duly recognized in Ecuador and register as a dependent under the IESS public health insurance. The spouse will be paying a premium of 3.41% from the monthly income declared by the principal beneficiary (spouse) before the Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social (IESS).

If you were in a common law union before moving to Ecuador and you have been living in the country for less than 2 years, you should bring the declaration of the common law duly apostilled.

NOTE: The materials available on this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to the EcuaAssist Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between EcuaAssist and the user or browser.

If you have any specific questions regarding this or any other immigration topics, you can email us at

The EcuaAssist Team

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