First Entry in Ecuador
This is a very common question asked on several online forums, blogs and Facebook groups. Some people like to come and stay in Ecuador for 90 days each year to enjoy of a visa-free visit. Immigration office (Migración del Ecuador) does not count days as simple as saying that tourist have 90 days between Jan, 1st and Dec. 31st of any year.
Whenever visitors enter for the first time to Ecuador is more important than most people might think, from that very same day and onwards, each and every subsequent year that first entry is going to be the date that starts the new count of tourism days in this beautiful country.
Before Feb. 2017, people counted their calendar days from the date of their first visit ever to Ecuador. So, if for example, someone traveled for the first time to Ecuador on Aug. 7th, 2011, then, every Aug. 7th of the following years it would be the start of a new calendar year. After February 2017 all the clocks reset and the first entry to Ecuador is considered since then, even if a person visited Ecuador as tourist before February 2017.
The “anniversary first entry date” changed with the new Ley de Movilidad Humana on Feb. 6th, 2017, and it is especially true for people that had visited the country previously. Now, the new anniversary date, will be counted from the first visit made to the country after the Law was issued. For example, a person that had already been in Ecuador on Jan. 2014, but came to Ecuador on July, 2017, had their anniversary date changed from January to July from that moment on.
A first entry is not only going to dictated how much a tourist is able to stay, but to design the best approach for obtaining a brand new visa, it is imperative to have days lefts to apply for a Visa in Ecuador.
This first entry grants access to 90 days of free stay in Ecuador, which with a little bit of planning might permit up to 180 full days of stay in Ecuador, this last bit is perfect for people wanting to explore their options in the country even further before buying real estate for example or maybe for someone who wants a long season of tourism in the territory.
This date is particularly useful in avoiding been fined for overstaying in the country which is a regular occurrence for people that are not aware of this very simple detail. To avoid a high fine of $ 800,00 USD (2x Ecuadorian Minimum salaries) at the time of this piece, it is best if people planning on visiting Ecuador, check again their new anniversary date.
Only when tourists come and stay in the country is when the 90 days are used, leaving it stops their usage.
As a side note extending the 90 days is possible in the same year for an extra ninety days, in this case is not free, the cost is one third of a minimum wage (The minimum wage is 400$ in 2020 and is subject to change usually each new year).
The EcuaAssist Team
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