Residency Visas and Cédulas
Obtaining your Ecuadorian Residency Visa
When you first enter Ecuador you will receive a T-3 tourist stamp in your passport, allowing you to stay in the country for 90 days for free. However, if you wish to stay more than 90 days within a year, we can help you apply for the Special Tourist Visa, which allows you to stay in the country for up to 180 more days. If you are planning to apply for a Temporary Residency Visa or Permanent Residency Visa, we advise that you start the process right away so you do not waste money and time on a tourist visa extension.
Once you have your legal Temporary Residency Visa (TRV) you are allowed to be out of the country up to 90 days, and no more than 180 days within 2 years to keep this migratory status without any fines or cancellation from the government. The Temporary Residency Visa is only valid for 2 years and can be renewed just once.
After 21 months of being a temporary resident of Ecuador, you can apply for a Permanent Residency Visa (PRV). Under the Permanent Residency Visa, you are allowed to stay out of the country up to 180 days during the first two years, each year. After the second year, you can be out of the country up to 5 years to keep Permanent Residency Visa status. There are heavy economic fines if you don´t follow these rules.
With residency status, you must get an Ecuadorian ID Card called a cedula. You can use your cedula to enroll in the national healthcare system (IESS - Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social), and if you are over 65 years of age you can qualify for senior citizen discounts on a wide range of services from municipal taxes to airline tickets to household utilities. Read more about those benefits here.
The most popular types of resident visas are as follows:
For individuals who receive a stable pension or another form of consistent income of at least $800 per month. You do not have to be 65 years of age or older to qualify for a Pensioner’s Visa. As long as you have an income of $800/mo (and $100/mo for each dependent) coming to you in perpetuity, and you can prove it, you qualify for the Pensioner’s Visa.
For individuals who invest at least 100 minimum wages at an Ecuadorian bank or 100 minimum wages in a real estate property. This is perhaps the most common method of achieving residency., The minimum wage in Ecuador in 2020 is $400,00 USD.
For professionals with university degrees recognized by the Ecuadorian government, who wish to practice their profession in Ecuador. To read a comprehensive list of the types of visas you can apply to get a residency visa in Ecuador click here
Residency Visa Pricing
For our professional guidance and legal advice to obtain a residency visa we charge a fee of $700. Our fee includes legal counseling throughout the process, the compilation of all paperwork, interpreting/facilitating services at notaries, going to government offices, submission of your visa application, and follow-up and troubleshooting every step of the way. It also includes 12% tax.
That fee does not include Translation Fees (we charge $20/page), Notary Fees, or official Government fees. With those fees included, a Residency Visa process usually ends up costing between $1,500 and $1,700, depending very much on the individual's situation and personal paperwork needs.
Contact us for a detailed and personalized estimate of expenses.
Still have questions about visas and residency?
Take a look at some FAQs.
Cedula: Resident's ID Card
The cedula is not the same as the visa, but it is another necessary step in your Residency process. After receiving and registering your visa, you must apply for you cedula within 30 days. Currently, we take care of all Cedula services out of our Manta office. The EcuaAssist fee for Cedula facilitation is $150 per person. As with the visa, this fee includes taxes but not expenses.
Expenses like Notary Fees, Government Fee, and Transportation Costs generally add up to about $20-$40.
Facilitation means compilation of your application by our experienced staff in Quito, Cuenca and Guayaquil, interpretation services at the notary and then at the Civil Registry. We will be there to submit your application, interpret all communications with registry staff, address any questions they may have regarding your application and generally help you navigate the process.
Visitor's Cedula Package:
If you are coming from somewhere else in the country to complete your cedula process, for an additional $50 fee we can
Reserve you a room at one of several client-approved hotels, according to your preferred price range and style
Provide you with a packet of information on tours and other fun local activities
Help you coordinate your bus or plane travel to and from the city