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Visa Ecuador: The Best Way to Obtain a Residency Visa in Ecuador

By Charles Barrett

Summary: What is the best Ecuador visa to have? How do expats obtain a residency visa in Ecuador? Many expats obtain a retirement visa or investment visa, but there's another visa that will save you time and money.

Visa Ecuador - The Best Way to Obtain a Residency Visa in Ecuador

How do expats obtain a residency visa in Ecuador? What is the best Ecuador visa to have? Why do I have this travel restriction that I can't be out of the Ecuador for more that 90 days in the first 24 months? What is the least expensive way of obtaining a visa in Ecuador? These are some the questions that expats or soon to be expats in Ecuador ask themselves -- only to find later that they were not given the facts and nothing but the facts. In fact, facts are a hard thing to come by in Ecuador. It is like asking a politician a question -- one never gets a straight answer or the facts.

Retirement Visa Ecuador

Most expats in Ecuador come on a retirement or investment visa. There are problems with these visas. You can't be out of Ecuador for more that 90 days total in the first 24 months from the time you initially enter the country. Lawyers usually take up to three months to obtain it for you when it should be done in 45 to 60 days. It takes a lot of paper work and verification of your birth certificate, marriage license and a guarantee by the source of your retirement. The cost can vary from lawyer to lawyer -- it can cost a couple $2,600.

Investment Visa Ecuador

The investment visa looks easy -- just put $25,000 in the bank for the primary person and the $1,000 for the dependant. So, you now have $26,000 tied up perpetually. Lawyers usually take up to three months to get the investment visa for you. It takes almost as much paper work as the retirement visa. Oh, you say, I'll just buy an apartment. The real estate agent and the builder tell you, "no problem getting your deed," for without the deed you can't get an investment visa. However, two years later, you could still be waiting for your deed. This is more common than most expats are told when they go this route. Or, you buy a house in Ecuador or land only to find out that there is a problem with the deed. So, once again, your investment visa is in jeopardy and you're now running out of time legally reside in Ecuador.

You're worried, because Ecuadorian customs tells you that you only have six months from the time you entered the country for your shipment of household goods arrives in order to be duty free. It's four and half months now and your lawyer is telling you that you're almost finished. But, you ask when and get the run around. You're now looking for antacid pills and you don't know what you're going to do. Then, you finally complete one of those visa, only to find a year later that Ecuador really isn't the country for you. The money you have just spent for that visa is gone.

The Best Kept Ecuador Visa Secret - Corporation Visa and Work Visa

One of the best kept secrets is the corporation and work visa. It is the easiest and fastest visa to get in Ecuador. It usually takes about 45 to 60 days ands costs $1,480 for a corporation with a bank account and $750 for a work visa. There are no travel restrictions. It doesn't require as much documentation. You form a corporation where you own 99% and an Ecuadorian owns 1%. You have an accountant or your Ecuadorian law firm file the monthly required zeroed out tax form for around $30 per month. You pay a minimum wage to your manager; you or spouse pay the $49 a month minimum Social Security fee to the government. This fee entitles you to free dental, health care and medicine. You can supply your Ecuadorian lawyer with a copy of your passport, name for your company and sign a power of attorney just to form your corporation for you and they do the rest. It can even be waiting for you when you arrive. You have to pay a $200 annual renewal fee. Come on, Charles -- it can't be that easy. Yes, it is. And, foreign companies have been sending employees to Ecuador for over 50 years using this method. You can also bring your used household goods and office equipment, duty free. So, now you have a work visa, you can go back and pack your things, wait for your apartment to be finished and get your deed or what ever you need to do.

Can you switch to a retirement or investment visa later? Yes, you can. Or, if you decide that you don't like living in Ecuador, you can then sell your corporation visa to the next expat that needs one and recoup your investment.

Why haven't you heard of this before now? Why didn't your lawyer tell you about it? Maybe because it is the easiest and cheapest way to get a visa.

For a free 14 page Helpful Facts on Ecuador write me RelocationservicesEcuador@gmail.com.

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About the Author

Charles Barrett retired Political Consultant and Marketing Professional for 25 years. Charles is with Relocation Services of Ecuador (RSE), which specializes in the Manta, Cuenca, Loja and Quito areas of Ecuador.

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Comments about this Article

Aug 19, 2010 01:40

Hi can you give me your opinion of relocating from Floirda to La Libertad, Salinas, Manta, or Bahia de Caraquez?? Which one do you recommend?? Gracias Joe joe.gomez2009@yahoo.com

Oct 1, 2010 12:47

Would like to obtain your booklet on Ecuador. Tried to contact you on Outlook Express but it wouldn't go through. Please send me a different address to communicate with you. Thank you. Bill

Oct 30, 2010 06:45

Hello Charles: This does sound so much better than the other ways for visa. Im was trying to get visa using U$675.00 per month Soc Sec plus a smaller bank deposit, but lawyer never responded to me. If I go this corp. way, can my Indonesian fiancee be included? Would I need to marry her first? Pay manager minimum wage? How much is that? Could it be my Indonesian wife after she has her work permit? Thanks for great wtite up. Sounds too good to be true. Look forward to your reply................ Gary

Oct 30, 2010 06:47

I also tried to email but no one will accept that email address. Gary

Nov 7, 2010 18:04

thanks for you info Charles

Nov 14, 2010 12:47

Hello, My wife and I are going to Ecuador on a holiday in March for three months. Not sure if we'll be in country that long or try other destinations? I'd like to retire sometime in 2011 and was curious about the Corporation Visa. This sounds like a good option for a person who doesn't want to wait for the retirement visa. My wife is lucky and has a good sized pension from the Federal Govt of Canada. Is there any problems living in Ecuador with this type of Visa? Would a person still receive the pension discounts that the Ecuadorian Govt. offer? You also mentioned free dental, medical. Is this only with the Corporation Visa or all Visa's??

Nov 27, 2010 12:42

Please please send me info on the corporation and work visa... My husband is Ecuadorian with Cedula, and I his wife am Canadian, we live in Canada but want to move to Ecuador partime... We currently have a canadian corporate business in the building restoration field, and want to buy a home in Ecuador this year coming. Please refer me to a lawyer, and provide me with more ino. I appreciate this greatly. Joanne Erazo (joanne@ecorestoration.ca)

Dec 18, 2010 21:32

Is this visa available to workers coming in from Africa? Can you direct me to legal counsel who can expedite the forming of corp. and getting of visas? Thank you. Jim9er@gmail.com

Dec 19, 2010 12:01

Hi. I still cann't believe that it's that easy to obtain this corporation & working visa Guys really. It sounds to good to be true ! But if this is really ( 100% ) true , it's certainly cheaper and much more convinience for someone to try this option out first , and later still apply for your retirment visa! Thx's again for this wonderfull news , I'm very excited right now , and cann't hardly wait to start to whole process in the Summer next year ! I'll be contacting you Sir for your expertise , experience in helping me out with the paperworks o.k! God belss you , I remain , Mr. Ralph Sobers

Jan 18, 2011 23:42

Charles thanks for the visa information. We'll definitely use this service with our attorney. My husband & I are planning a move to Ecuador from US. Do you relocate household goods from North Carolina to Ecuador? Do you service the Yunguilla Valley area? We will stay in contact with you for more of your experience.....thxs!

Feb 4, 2011 17:35

Would like the info, posts seem to indicate issues with getting contact info. I am buying property thru my IRA LLC in San Clemente and Mindo. Need accurate info.

Mar 21, 2011 19:08

great info...thanks

Apr 6, 2011 01:52

I am trying to get more information on using a retirement visa and dependant visa to bring my children and their spouses and kids. Someone help! Thanks

Jun 11, 2011 13:00

The Corporation/Work Visa you mentioned, I want to see if I am understanding this the way that I read it. If someone hires an attorney to draw up papers of corporation, has a corporate bank account and has the attorney (or another Ecuadorian) listed at having 1% interest. One only has the minimal costs, as listed, and all of the benefits. Does this need to be a legitimate business in operation, or can it formed to side-step the legalities of the other visas? Also, how much needs to be in the Corp. bank account? It sounds too good to be true. Thanks! Joanne

Aug 29, 2011 20:00

can i ask again just to be sure im reading this right we are retirees.we do not have a big bank acct.we get about 2500.00 a month.can we get acorporate visa?we have all the paperwork done and aposiled by the state. what is our next move? patrcia

Sep 24, 2011 12:35

Charles, Sence I now own property in Ecuador,I find your article on corporation and work visa more then interesting. Is this something that oneself can work through, or to be safe get a lawyer.I need all the facts,what goverment agency to start with. Gracias,saludos, Clarence

Oct 11, 2011 06:08

I need advise about which visa to get.I am an American English teacher currently in shanghai teaching at a university.I will retire to Quito(possibly Philippines) next July 2012.Am not sure which visa to get for Ecuador.With tourist visa good for 90 days I can at least see if I like Ecuador.I will have 800 USD a month from retirement so I am eligible for Immigrant Resident visa but I also wanna at least find a part time job(prefer full time) teaching English so I dont know if I can live and teach there on a Immigrant Resident Visa.If anyone has knowledge please email me jlewellen2003@yahoo.com and my name is Jimmy.Thanks for your time.

Apr 8, 2012 13:46

Hi Charles, Would you email a copy of your Ecuador facts? I am a duel US/Canadian citizen currently in Vilcabamba on a 90 day tourist visa. I would like to secure a work or student visa which will allow me to travel back and forth from Ecuador to surrounding countries over the next 2 years researching other South American cultures for the writing of my book. Can you recommend a Quito attorney (if it is necessary for me to be physically present in Quito) to secure a work or student visa which will meet my travel/research needs and meet visa requirements for maintaining a base at my rented house in Vilcabamba? Saludos, Theron

Jun 23, 2012 05:08

My family of my wife and a 4-year-old baby is going to go to Equador as soon as possible. we are korean. Can all of us get the visa that you said? If so, how much and how long will it cost? Please let me know via my email. email: llbbhh@daum.net

Jul 3, 2012 00:32

how do my wife and I obtain a work visa for Ecuador and once we get there do we have to work or just search for work or maybe teach english. do we need a certificate to teach

Jul 4, 2012 11:19

to all those NOT getting replies to messages left here. check with this organization for help and to get questions answered for relocation, visas, Dr.'s, etc. they will help you with all you need to know and answer questions for you as well....tell them Jody sent you... www.internationallivingec.com

Feb 23, 2013 09:30

Hello Charles, I wish to thank you for this valuable insight! I am a consultant in the pharma industry and have already relocated to Quito, Ecuador. I can work from anywhere in the world, since I am a decentralized resource for my company, meaning, I can work from home via the internet. I did obtain my tourist visa which granted me a stay for 90 days, which is about to expire. Please provide additional insight of how to obtain this corporate visa. Also, I am open to your recommendation of obtaining any other visa to extend my stay. I have a gross monthly salary of $7,000. My email is pharma_consulting@hotmail.com or pharma_consulting@outlook.com Finally, please send me your 14 page brochure of Helpful Facts on Ecuador. Many thanks in advance! Cheers, Mike

Apr 8, 2013 08:27

I was told by immigration I could be out of country 3 months per year for the first two years on my residency visa. Is this information incorrect?

Apr 10, 2013 05:21

It's a little difficult to figure out what the total fees and costs are to do the corporate/work visa. Any chance someone can provide a more detailed breakdown of the actual bottom line numbers?

Apr 10, 2013 07:08

Thank you, Please let us know the way we can contact you (email?). Many Thanks R

Jul 16, 2013 11:43

Thank you for providing this information.

Aug 19, 2013 15:49

The title says "RESIDENCY VISA" so why is it about corporation and work visas? If you want to advise people concerning the "benefits" of those types of visas, more power to you. However, please don't entitle it "Residency", I am looking for information on the step by step process of obtaining Residency, a ,9-I: Pensioner Visa. I intend on doing the process myself. I need to find a translator in, or very near, Loja, I also need a reasonably priced Notary there. If there is anyone who has done the process with, or without, a lawyer and thus knows the process step by step and could answer a few questions for me I would be truly grateful

Sep 6, 2013 12:02

This was a great article in 2010 - however the laws have changed regarding the corporate visa and many other things. Our company has also restructured. For up to date information, contact me at Relocationservicesecuador@gmail.com. Thank you. Karen Kuenzel

Feb 13, 2014 13:15

I would like to get more information, please give me another address for contacting you. Thanks,

Feb 25, 2014 18:17

I would like to hear from someone who has gotten a Corporation visa. Is it really that easy ?? Lynn Kelley Sailhorse@me.com

Jul 16, 2014 22:55

Hmmm... I didn't even know it was that hard to get a visa for Ecuador. Shows how much I know.

Aug 3, 2014 20:48

Hi Charles Barrett, Great article and a tip that resolves many issues. Do you happen know of anyone, in possession of the kind of corporate visa you describe, who is willing to sell it and, if so, at what price? Kind regards Goran Bockman (prospective buyer of such a visa)

Aug 31, 2014 19:12

From experience, I recommend visiting several different cities in Ecuador before even thinking about, making a down payment/registering/signing up for or taking advise from someone living in Ecuador - regarding obtaining a residency visa. These people will ask for a down-payment of $500.00 to do nothing. Because you have already paid for and gotten all the documents needed from your state, and brought them with you to Ecuador. Then you visit a few cities and decide Ecuador (for some reason) may not be for you. You may not get your $500.00 back.

Mar 4, 2015 13:04

I am applying for a retirement VISA. The requirements seem somewhat confusing. To my understanding, I need a State Police Criminal check and a FBI fingerprint. Is this correct??? Thank you

Apr 8, 2015 14:31

Hi Charles What identification and any other papers are needed for the Corporation Visa and Work Visa?

Aug 25, 2015 22:00

brilliant info; what is the minimum amount you would have to pay to a manager? could it be a part time job?

First Published: Aug 09, 2010

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