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Ecuador Online Visa Applications Now Available

Last Updated: 10th July 2024
Written by Jason Scott
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Ecuador is widely regarded as one of the best places to choose to retire. It has one of the most organized migration systems in the region, and every year updates and improvements are generated around the migration policies it manages.

The newest change expands the electronic process to include online visa applications, further positioning Ecuador as a leading country in the region to welcome new residents from all over the world.

Recently, the government has updated the visa application process to include more online options.

Application Process

Until July 5th, 2024, Ecuador processed all its visas with physical documents in the various offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, from requesting an appointment to going to the office and waiting for a response, which could take around 30-45 days.

Thanks to the recent update, all visas can now be applied through the Ministry's virtual platform, so you can obtain a digital visa from anywhere in the world, making this process much more agile and faster. In the digital era, e-visas introduce an elegant, efficient, modernization to the age-old practice of travel documentation.

Through e-visas, Ecuador's hand of approval is nothing more than a series of precise forms, necessary attachments, and the silence of anticipation before the arrival of the email: the modern welcome reel. Ecuador's application process is now an invitation to the world: come, stay, contribute, and prosper within our borders, respecting the structured path to residency as a dance of responsibility and opportunity.

General Requirements

Although 2024 brought various changes to the visa application process, Ecuador still preserves the same requirements for each of the various types of visas,

With an array of temporary resident visas, including Professional, Investor, Pensioner, Rentista/Digital Nomad, and Dependent, Ecuador extends a warm welcome to future residents from different walks of life. These visas, each catering to specific circumstances and qualifications, enable foreigners to live, work, study, or retire under the Ecuadorian sun for up to two years, with eligibility for renewal.

After holding temporary residency for at least 21 months, with limited time spent abroad, one can seamlessly transition towards applying for permanent residency. This pathway represents Ecuador's recognition of the profound connections that can be formed with the land and its people over time.

Moreover, the government has streamlined the visa application form, ensuring the entire process is more accessible and less daunting for applicants. The vast majority of temporary visas, such as the popular Work, Student, and Retirement visas, not only facilitate engagement in respective endeavors but also truly embed individuals into the community fabric of Ecuador.

What are the General Requirements for Visa Applications?

The following documents need to be included when applying for any temporary residency visa:

  1. Passport
  2. Health Insurance
  3. Income Requirements
  4. Background checks / Police Report ( Criminal Record)

1. Passport Expiration

A noteworthy aspect of the visa process is the synchronization of one's passport with the electronic visa system. Given that your passport number is a crucial anchor for visa issuance, mindful planning around passport expiration dates is essential. If your passport is set to expire within the 2-year visa duration, it is prudent to renew it beforehand to avoid any disruptions. Should a passport renewal be necessary post-visa application, a fee of $100 and a return trip to the visa office are required to ensure a smooth transition of the electronic visa to your new passport number. This shift to electronic visas reflects Ecuador's dedication to modernizing its systems, prioritizing convenience for applicants.

2. Health insurance

Ecuador's permanent and temporary residency visa requirements mandate health insurance for everyone embarking on this journey, excluding those on a short 90-day tourist visit. This prerequisite ensures that all are protected during their stay. Whether opting for private health insurance, approximately $100 per month, or awaiting the opportunity to join the public health system upon cédula acquisition (IESS), this requirement helps ensure sustaining well-being while in Ecuador.

3. Income Requirements

Financial stability is key to thriving in a new environment, and Ecuador's income requirements for visas reflect a reasonable and approachable threshold. Depending on the visa type, the minimum monthly income requirements range from USD 460 to USD 1380.

4. Background Checks or Criminal Records

Lastly, Ecuador's diligence with safety is personified through meticulous background checks, signaling respect for the community's integrity. The process, while thorough, taking approximately 2 to 3 months including apostille, translation, and notarization steps is a demonstration of Ecuador's commitment to ensuring the safety and security of its residents.

Application Process and Fees

  1. Application form online: Complete the application form online and upload the documents, pay the application fee of USD 50, and pay this fee online with your debit or credit card Visa or Mastercard. Don't forget all documents need to be translated into Spanish
  2. Visa Fee: Upon acceptance, you will need to pay the visa fee, it depends on each type, but the common fee is $270.
  3. Processing Time: Before the presidential process takes around 30-45 days, now it may take less, possibly 7-15 days. It's still early days in the new process so it's premature to say how much time the new process will save.

Still Necessary to Hire a Professional Visa Facilitator?

In my experience, yes, it will still be necessary for many applicants to have outside assistance because the requirements remain the same and the only thing that changes is the method of applying. You still need to understand each requirement and this automated process potentially removes some of the quick, personal feedback you'd receive from a migration agent if applying in person.

A professional will be able to guide you through the process and ensure that everything is in order and that you can have a positive result.

If you have patience and aren't under time pressure and are ok with potentially repeating the process until you get it right, then it may be worthwhile considering the DIY approach.

PROS and CONS of the new E-VISAS system


  • Ease of hiring your professional advisor so that he can take care of your procedure no matter where in the world you are.
  • Speed ​​in the application and reduction in waiting time to obtain your visa.
  • Constant monitoring and easy access to each visa applicant.
  • Potentially reduced prices for hiring visa specialists. For example, Expat Law Group is in the process of changing their pricing to reflect the reduced work due to limited in-person meetings that are now required at the ministry.


  • The process is expected to be more meticulous, which implies a greater investment of time in checking that each document meets all requirements. Otherwise, your visa will be denied.
  • There is no possibility of speaking in person with an agent from the Ministry to clarify doubts, everything will be done through a robot SAMI - the chatbot that works with artificial intelligence will guide you, and will be able to provide you with the list of requirements that you must present. Human assistance will be provided by phone call. Therefore, you will need a good Spanish level and know the law very well, or the best option is to contact a professional visa facilitator.
  • Ecuador's government doesn't have a strong track record of delivering digital projects like this. If there are failures in the platform, the applications or processes will be delayed. You must be doubly cautious. 

Benefits of Obtaining Ecuadorian Residency

Ecuador is a country of allure for a wide array of individuals, from retirees seeking a sanctuary with a low cost of living to investors ready to tap into potential opportunities in a market that operates in US Dollars.

Temporary residency visas bless foreign nationals with the freedom to dwell for two years, along with the liberty to roam outside the country for up to 90 days annually - a perfect blend for those who wish to balance their time between homelands.

Ecuador's visa portfolio is bustling with variety, just like its vibrant culture. Tourist visas for visitors, temporary and permanent resident visas, work and student visas for professionals and scholars, and retirement visas for those looking to unwind.

For a smooth experience, remember to check the most recent updates on the type of visa process when planning your journey to ensure compliance with the Ecuadorian consulate guidelines.


Can I apply for a visa to live in Ecuador if I am outside of Ecuador?

You can, you just need to get advice to know what type of specific documents you require. Although the virtual platform provides information on the requirements, you must make sure of the exact format in which the documents must be provided.

If I travel to Ecuador as a tourist, can I apply for a visa while there?
Yes, you can apply for a temporary visa as long as you are still legal. Make sure you have enough time on your tourist visa.

Are visa prices still the same in Ecuador in 2024?

Yes, they remain the same, until now the government has not issued any information on price updates.

If I obtain my visa through the new platform, will I still need to go to an office to obtain my ID?
Yes, the in-person ID-obtaining processes remain the same. A visa facilitator will be able to help you follow the entire necessary process.

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