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Ecuador Visas and Residency Process

Ecuador Residence and Visa:

Obtaining your residency in Ecuador requires you to research and verify the accuracy of all information; also it might require some patience. The information below may be current at the present time but is always subject to change. For more up to date information you would need to contact your local representative of Ecuador Ministry of Foreign Affairs at your local Consulate of Ecuador.

It will be safe to hire a local Attorney if you do not speak Spanish; they will help you understand all the legalities required through the process while overseas or in Ecuador.

You would normally arrive on a Tourist Visa and get a T-3 stamp placed in your passport. This allows you up to 90 days in the country. If you are planning on staying longer than 90 days then seek advice from your local Ecuadorian Consulate. There you can apply for a 12-IX visa, or you could also apply for this visa while you are in Ecuador. Just don’t leave it until too late as these things take time in Ecuador, better get to it in the first 30 days after arriving in Ecuador.

You actually need the 12-IX Visa before you can apply for residency in Ecuador. It is a requirement that needs to be filed along with your residency papers. A resident visa allows you permanent residence and you can still travel outside of Ecuador. One really important issue is that you cannot leave the country for more than 90 days per year in the first two years of your residency; and after that you can only leave for 18 consecutive months while you have the Ecuadorian residency, by then you better apply for the Ecuadorian Citizenship.

There are several different visas that you can obtain and the one of the most used by retirees is the 9-I Pensioner Visa. For more details check the following link to Ecuador Foreign Ministry Office – Pensioner Visa Requirements

If you are considering investing at least $25,000 for one person then you can obtain a 9-II Investor of Real Estate Visa. Now this can be monies put into a CD or property.

Helpful links:

Embassies and Consulates of Ecuador in USA

Embassies and Consulates in CAN

Pensioner or Retirement Visa Requirements

The pensioner visa will entitle you too many of the retirement benefits in Ecuador except the right to vote.

For a 9-I Pensioner Visa, you will need to receive from a stable pension or trust fund a minimum income of $800 US. You will need to add $100 US for each dependent that you bring with you.

Senior Citizens Discounts and Benefits in Ecuador:

Ecuador still remains to be one of the best places in the world for retirees. It is one of the few countries in the world that allows you to enter with an automatic 90 day tourist visa, and it has great benefits for senior citizens.
The pensioner visa will entitle you too many of the retirement benefits in Ecuador except the right to vote.

For a 9-I Pensioner Visa, you will need to receive from a stable pension or trust fund a minimum income of $800 UD. You will need to add $100 UD for each dependent that you bring with you.

Under the 2008 Constitution, senior citizens receive prioritized attention, both in the public and private sectors, especially within the fields of social and economic inclusion. In accordance with Ecuadorian laws, senior citizens are those who are 65 years-old and over. (See Article 36 of the Constitution)

The Ecuadorian government guarantees to senior citizens the following rights:

  • Access to free health care and medication.50% discounts in public and private transportation services.
  • Discounts for special events such as galleries, theater plays and other related arts.
  • Tax exemptions.
  • Exempt from notaries and registration fees, in accordance with the law. (See Article 37 of the Constitution)
  • 50% off electric and water bills.
  • 50% off round trip international flights from Ecuador

Would these benefits/discounts be afforded to everyone, including American Citizenss whether resident or not?
The 2008 Constitution provides no distinction between foreigners and nationals regarding civil rights. However, according to “Ley del Anciano” (Law pertaining Senior Citizens), “the beneficiaries of this Act are those individuals who are 65 years-old or over, whether nationals or foreigners, who are legally established in the country (those who have Ecuadorian residency).”

If there are discounts/benefits, is there some sort of senior citizen’s card that is issued? If so, by whom?
According to the law pertaining Senior Citizens, Ecuadorian senior citizens are only required to present their National I.D. at the entity that provides the discount or benefit (such as a hospital, theater, when getting on a bus). In the case of foreigners, the rule is basically the same- required to present a form of I.D. (such as a passport, Ecuadorian National I.D., Ecuadorian Census card, etc.).

Who is the entity that is in charge of these benefits?
No particular entity, however a branch of government that is dedicated to raise awareness about senior citizens’ rights, among others, is the Ministerio de Inclusión Social y Económica.

Reference: http://ecuador.usembassy.gov/service/living-in-ecuador/senior-citizen-benefits-in-ecuador.html

Feel free to contact me for more references about Living in Ecuador: linalandivar@ecuadorservices.org

 

 

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