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.
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.
First Published: Aug 09, 2010