Editor's note: This article has been contributed by our friend, Ian. Whilst this guide specifically focuses on how to extend your tourist visa in Cuenca, it's a very similar process if applying at other migration offices around Ecuador. You can download the extension application form.
Having issues extending yourself or just want a professional to take care of it for you (minus the legal fees)? Ecuador Visas is offering tourist visa extensions with no service fees for YapaTree cardholders - view the offer here.
Ecuador may not be a big country but there is definitely plenty to see. With beautiful cities, mountains, jungle, and beaches, 90 days in Ecuador may just not be enough to see it all. But did you know how easy it is to get a visa extension in Ecuador?
Well, don’t worry. For a small fee and just a little paperwork, the Ecuadorean government will let you stay for another 90 days if you wish.
As I had been enjoying Ecuador so much and traveling rather slowly, I decided I was going to get a visa extension in Ecuador for another 90 days. I happened to be in the city of Cuenca when my 90 days were up. This turned out to be a great place to take care of things.
I will walk you through the process of how to get a visa extension in Cuenca. But I can’t guarantee it will be this easy everywhere. To be honest, if you have survived 90 days in Ecuador already then you are probably smart enough to figure out this process without too much help.
If you can speak Spanish, a quick visit to the government of Ecuador's website will tell you most things you need to know. The most important thing on this page is the list of immigration offices that you can go to, to extend your visa.
Supposedly you can extend your visa online, and also download the paperwork you need on this site. When I applied for my extension, neither of these features were working. As long as you are not staying too far from an immigration office, I think a quick trip there is probably the easiest way to take care of things.
My closest immigration office was at the airport in Cuenca. This was an easy bus ride from the house I was staying at. If you are staying in downtown Cuenca, the Tranvia will drop you right at the front door for only 30 cents. You can even walk there in about 30 minutes, or just a 5 minute walk from the main bus terminal.
I arrived at the immigration office on the morning of my 90th day in Ecuador. Well, that was a mistake. You actually have to wait until your visa has expired and you are in the country illegally. Only then can you apply for an extension! You don’t have to actually extend your visa on your 91st day in the country. I was told there is a 30 day grace period for you to take care of things. But as I was close by, I did it on the morning of day 91.
Luckily the women at the Cuenca office were very friendly and helpful on my first visit and let me know everything I needed for the next day:
The lady gave me the correct form to fill out for the next day. It is such a simple form you may not find it worth downloading and printing ahead of time.
To obtain the color copy of my passport, she directed me to one of the restaurants in the nearby food court of the airport. Lomos Restaurant has a copier under the counter and will give you a color copy for just 50 cents.
The most helpful part of visiting a day early was that she gave me a payment slip for the bank. She filled out all of the details for me and gave me the address of the nearest bank.
You can make the payment at any Banco del Pacifico. But I chose to pay at the one she told me was closest. The fee for 2021 is $133.33. Why this amount you may ask? It is based on the minimum wage in Ecuador and the fee is a third of that amount.
The lady was very, very specific in that the fee must only be paid on the same day that you plan to extend your visa. Do not go into the bank and pay the day before!
So on my 91st day, I headed back into El Centro. I headed straight to the Banco Del Pacifico that I was told about. It is about a 15-minute walk from the airport, or a quick Tranvia or taxi ride if you prefer.
Now if you have been in Ecuador for 90 days already, then you have probably noticed the huge lines outside the banks every day. I showed up, fully expecting to be waiting for an hour or more in one of these lines. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Shocked. No line at all! After a quick temperature check at the door, I was directed straight to the counter. The bank teller knew exactly what I was there for. Within a couple of minutes, I was walking back to the airport to get my visa extension.
The immigration office is on the second floor of the Cuenca airport. It’s just to the right of the stairs leading up there. Cuenca airport is very quiet and you should have no problem finding it.
It is open Mon – Fri from 8 am to 4.30 pm. Both times I visited, I walked straight up to the counter with no waiting. That’s probably something to do with how few tourists there are in the country at the moment. During normal, non-covid times, I expect things might take a little longer.
The lady at the counter remembered me from the day before. She took my passport, completed form, color copy of my passport, and the bank receipt. Within less than 5 minutes I was out of there with another 90 days in Ecuador in my hand. Getting a visa extension in Ecuador really is that easy!
Your visa extension just comes printed on a piece of paper. Nothing is actually put in your passport. Be careful not to lose this expensive piece of paper.
Also, remember that time doesn't stop if you leave the country and re-enter with this extension. This is different from your original 90-day tourist visa/stamp where time does stop if you leave the country. Once your additional 90-day extension expires, you'll either need to apply for a temporary residency visa or leave the country and re-enter one year after your original entry date.
How was your experience extending your visa in Ecuador? Was it as easy as mine? Did you do it in a different city. Let me know your experiences in the comments below.
This YapaTree Card offer from Ecuador Visas allows you to get professional help to extend your visa for you. They've removed all of their service fees, so you'll only pay the government fees. This means you get a professional attorney to complete your application but you'll pay exactly the same if completing the application yourself. Winner.
43 comments on “How to Extend Your Tourist Visa in Ecuador”
Hi there!~ This is extremely helpful, thank you!! I read somewhere else that you have to do the extension on day 91, I really hope the 20-day grace period is correct!
I'm looking for the link to do this online with no luck after much searching. Do you have it? I'd like to give it a try!
Secondly, if this doesn't work, do you know where to find a list of the offices where the tramite for visa extension can be done?
Lastly, the link to the govt website does not work, just an FYI;)
Hi Mika - happy to help. The list of migration offices can be found here.
I'm not sure whether you can currently do the extension online. Most find visiting the migration office to complete their extension is pretty straightforward. I wouldn't be mucking around trying to sort out an online appointment.
Thanks for pointing out the broken link to the government's site. I've updated it with one that is currently working. Let's hope they don't change the link again anytime soon 🙂
We were told by an officer at the Cuenca immigration office that the grace period is now 30 days.
Thanks for the clarification Andrew. It is indeed a 30 day grace period. I've updated the article to reflect this 🙂
Thanks for the great article. My wife and I are planning a 6 month mini-retirement to Ecuador, but we've been a little stumped on the visa process. It looks like a visa is not required to enter the country for 90 days. Does that mean we can travel there without a visa and then after the 90 days are up we can get an extension? Or do we have to apply for a visa before going and then get it extended when it ends?
Hey Andrew - appreciate the kind words.
You are most likely correct. Citizens of most nationalities do not need to obtain a visa prior to arriving in Ecuador & receive 90 days upon arrival. Once your initial 90 days are up, you can then extend this for another 90 days following the process outlined in this article.
You can also read this article as it has more general visa information that may be of use (including the nationalities that need a visa before arriving).
How can I confirm how many days I have left on my original 90 days? My Ecuatoriana atty told me a figure that I believe is incorrect based on simple math and the date stamps on my passport, but supposedly it was confirmed with the migrations office.
Hey Ericka, I believe Joseph has reached out to you already. But if not, then it's relatively straightforward to visit your closest Migración office and ask them to tell you exactly how many days you have left. It can be a little confusing working it out from stamps in your passport, and ultimately, all that matters is what Migración has in their system anyway. Feel free to let us know how you get on!
After reading many,many expat articles over the years, I have to say that your presentation here is the BEST and most up to date. It is most informative, clear and accurate. What a great job! Thanks a million for this great article.
Thanks Angel, it warms our hearts to see people recognize our efforts. Gracias 🙂
Very good information, I wanted to know that and it answer all my questions,thank you !
You're welcome Libuse. Good luck with your extension!
Great and helpful but I have a question, How many times can you extend the visa? If you want to stay longer than 180 days?
Hey Archie, you can only extend once. There are currently no easy to obtain visas after you've extended. Your best bet is to apply for temporary residency, but it takes considerably more effort to get your documents and process the visa. You can use our Residency Visa Calculator to find out which visas you may be eligible for.
If you’ve stayed your 3months then the three month extension can you then leave the country for 6mo and then return to start the process over again?
In other words, can you reapply annually?
Correct Jeffrey. You get 90 days every rolling year. Ask immigration on your way out for the exact date you can return as it can be easy to get it wrong by a day or two.
Thanks to your article that I follwowed step by step, the prorroga process was a breeze! I now have a doubt on the day I will be allowed in again once my 90days extension is over. When you state:
"Once your additional 90-day extension expires, you'll either need to apply for a temporary residency visa or leave the country and re-enter one year after your original entry date", do you have any gov reference for this? Other sources are stating that being allowed 90days per calendar year means that you can come back only one calendar year after your date of exit from the country (last day of your extension if staying until the end), and not from the original entry date. I would be extremely grateful if you have any back up reference to clarify my doubts 🙂 Bendiciones!
Hello, I am not finding anywhere where I can apply for the 90 day extension online. Any clue? I know you said better in person, but I wanted to try online.
Hey Ashley - I don't believe the government offers an online service for this. If they did, then we'd be all over it too. Be sure to sing out if you do find they offer virtual visas.
haha okay thank you Jason! Everything is very helpful! 🙂 My 3 months is up August 15th or somewhere around there as I entered May 18th. I cannot renew it before the 15th but can up to 30 days after, is that correct? I remember the last time I did this it being very strange as well that I couldn't do it before.
You're correct Ashley. Do it on day 91 (ie one day after your initial 90 days is up). You can visit your closest migracion office beforehand to confirm the date you'll be eligible if you want 🙂
First, let me just say your article is exactly what I was looking for! I’m currently in Ecuador with my partner and about to extend our visas an additional 90 days. We were told it was a pretty straight-forward process, yet nobody we spoke to knew the exact process…now we do!
Second, I found a site that says they do everything online for you, for the same fee you mentioned. It’s not a government site, but seems valid. They commit to having the visa ready within 4 days of submitting the documents and fee. The site can be found here:
Have you seen this site? Does it seem valid?
Thanks for the kind words. We haven't worked with Ecuaassist, but they are a legitimate company. Can't confirm how their tourist visa extensions work.
If you're in Cuenca, then this 'fee-free' tourist visa extension might be of interest too. The visa company belongs to the discount card program we operate via our Cuenca site.
Hi ... thank you very much ... the information is very helpful ... my passport was not stamped on entry ... I suppose their computers will have a record of my entry
Is the firm to fill in for the 90-day extension available online?
Hey Paul, they should have a record, yes. Just go to your closest migracion office with your passport to find out your current status. The 90 Day Extension form is actually linked at the top of our article (but here you go).
Con gusto Paul.
a great article!
I stayed for 88 of my 90 days and then left Ecuador. Now (same year) I would like to go back for a month because I have a girlfriend there.
Do you know what to do in this case?
Hey Marco, if you're sure you still have at least 1 day left on your initial 90 days, then you should be allowed to enter provided you can convince airport immigration that you'll be getting a visa extension immediately.
Hi! Is the payment for overstaying 200$ or 400$ In Ecuador Right now? Have read about both. Also- if I do not apply for an extended visa- do I pay the “extended fee” at the airport?
I am thinking to do the same. I will exceed my trip for 7 months.
Did you quit the country ?
I have met 1 tourist who stay 2 years here. He left the country and didn t pay anything. (He said no money).
Can you confirm me ? How much they ask you at the airport ?
Do you know how does it work in border terrestre (ecuador to. Colombia ?)
Bests trip 🙏😊
This has been so informitive. Thank you Jason.
Just to confirm, I don't need to show proof of insurance when I arrive in Ecuador, is that true?
Correct Steven. They won't ask you for insurance on arrival. Enjoy your time here!
If you want to do the process sort of online, you can go to a Banco Pacifico and pay the third of the basic salary (currently USD 141,67, plus they charge you a small commission (it was 57 cents yesterday)) with code 4.6 (PRÓRROGAS).
You then email a scan/photo of the receipt and of your passport, and the form found at https://www.migracion.gob.ec/serv-emision-de-prorrogas-de-permanencia-en-el-pais/ and they'll then issue your extension. It's still a good idea to pay same day as submitting your application.
This is by far the best step by step tutorial which I have read regarding this procedure. Thank you for helping myself and others.
Thanks Pat, we appreciate the kind words. But, the real credit belongs to our friend Ian that contributed this article. He's a great photographer too (check out his site here).
I left the country and came back within my 90 day allowance. I have two weeks left but plan to stay only an additional two weeks. So I will still be within the 30 day grace period. Do I need to get an extension?
Hey Claudia, yes we always recommend staying within your legal visa duration. So yes, an extension in your case would be our suggestion.
Hello brothers my visa will be expired before the day I will get Quito airport. Will they allow me to enter? how?
Who knows? You may get lucky or you may not. You're obviously at their discretion as you're no longer legal.
Many thanks! Did you know if are still available the 30 days of grace ? I am in guayaquil and i need to ask for a prorroga ! Also is also possible to ask for a 180 days prorroga at the end of my first prorroga ?
Great post and thank you !
O.K., so one cannot apply for the visa extension until the visa is expired, and at that point you have 30 days grace period to apply for the extension. If one waits, say , 15 days, to apply for the 90 day extension, does the new 90 days begin when one applies? If so, you gain 15 days
Nice try Jim, but no, you won't gain some additional days by getting your extension later.