Ecuador Citizenship Law interpretation got updated – October 2014.
You may get a second passport and dual nationality for tax, business or other personal reasons. Maybe you enjoy traveling freely in some countries like China, India, Brazil and Bolivia that charge Americans a stiff fee for entry visas.
The main requirement is you need to be a resident of Ecuador for a minimum of 3 years from the date in which you get your first “cedula (Ecuador ID card)” or 2 years if you have an Ecuadorian kid.
Just be aware of a new Naturalization Law interpretation by the new Director in charge of the Naturalization Department of Ecuador (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana, Departamento de Naturalizaciones – Dirección: Av. 10 de Agosto y Carrión)
If the resident wants to apply for citizenship he/she cannot leave Ecuador for more than 90 days in total for the first 3 years as Ecuadorian residents.
It used to be that the Ministry of Ecuador will issued citizenship to residents that follow the same absence guidelines of the residency visa:
Absences From the Country
The resident visas in Ecuador will grant you permanent residency. That means you’ll be allowed to come and go from Ecuador as you wish. However, you can’t be absent from the country for more than 90 days per year during the first two years of your residency, nor more than 18 consecutive months after your second year of residency.
This previous requirement will only apply to keep your resident visa active, if you are planning to go for dual citizenship and to carry a Passport of Ecuador, you can’t be absent from Ecuador for more than 90 days for the three years. This law has been on the books since 1976, just that the previous Naturalization Department Director have been interpreting the law the wrong way.
The Law: To maintain the residency visas: 90 days a year for two years and 18 months for the third year on.
If the resident wants to apply for citizenship: No more than 90 days for 3 years
Documents usually required for Ecuador Citizenship:
- Birth certificate apostilled (if from a country from within the apostille treaty like the US) or legalized by an Ecuadorian consulate abroad and then translated.
- Copy of passport notarized and the original with the current resident visa.
- Copy of cedula notarized and original.
- Certificate from both the SRI (Ecuadorian IRS) and the BIESS (Social Security) stating you have no outstanding debts to either, (Certificacion de no ser deudor).
- Movimiento Migratorio y Record Policial from Local Police.
- 4 passport photos.
Ecuador income is taxed by the Ecuador government, foreign income consider at all, regardless of if you are a citizen or not.