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The EcuaAssist Team

Minimum Stay Requirement for Applying and Length of Stay to Keep the Residence

Ecuador is a beautiful country, and it is not surprising that many visitors wish to opt for a permanent residence visa after visiting.

However, once you decide to apply for a residence visa it is important to completely understand the rules and regulations, in order to fulfill the requirements for this visa as well as the conditions to keep the residency.

Numeral 3 of Article 66 of the Regulation to the Organic Law of Mobility Human states, “Permanent Resident Visa: It is the authorization to remain indefinitely in the Ecuadorian State.”

When applying for a permanent residency visa it is required that the foreigner stays in Ecuador for 21 continuous months as a resident and applies for the permanent residency before the temporary visa expires.

The continuous residence means the foreigner should not be out of the country for more than 90 cumulative days during the entire validity period of the temporary residency visa.

For the application for permanent residence, a foreigner who has stayed in Ecuador as a resident for a minimum and continuous period of twenty one (21) months, can present the Ecuadorian criminal record certificate issued by the competent Ecuadorian government entity.

Continuity of residence

In contrast to the temporary residence visa, which allows multiple entries and exits during the time of the visa without a limit of time, the permanent residency visa states a limit of time to be out of the country during each year to keep the residency.

Article 65 of the Law of Human Mobility states, “The permanent resident may leave and return to the country, but may not remain abroad more than 180 days in each year starting from the date of obtaining the immigration status, during the first two years”.

This means the permanent resident can be outside the country for up to 180 days the first year and 180 days the second year. The days are not cumulative between the two years.

After the first two years, the permanent resident may not leave the country for more than two continuous years. This will cause the resident to lose their permanent residency.

Cancellation of the residency

Article 115 of Regulation to the Organic Law of Mobility Human states, “Cancellation shall take place when the permanent resident, after the first two years with his/her visa, has been absent from the country for more than two continuous years.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility will verify if the foreign person has overstayed their allotted days outside the country and if so, will issue the visa cancellation resolution.

The authorities will notify the resident within a term maximum of ten (10) days.

Once the resolution has been sent, the interested party may file an administrative appeal within ten (10) days.

The interested party can also follow the regularization procedure due to termination or cancellation of the visa provided.

Migratory regularization

In addition, Art. 118 of the same regulation talks about the time the foreigner has to regularize his/her stay in the country, if they have overstayed their visa.

It states “The foreign person … may initiate the procedure of regularization, by applying for a new migratory category, within thirty (30) days, counted from the next day of the expiration date or cancellation.”

It is important to mention that during this time the foreigner also needs to pay the imposed immigration fee.

In the event that the foreigner has not applied for a new migratory category, the application has been denied, or the visa has been revoked, the foreigner must voluntarily leave the country in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation to the Organic Law of Human Mobility.

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