Tips for Living or Retiring in Ecuador

Visiting or future living in Ecuador, list of items that you should bring with you:

Technology:

 All gadgets (electronics) are far more expensive in Ecuador, almost double the price or more. It is best for your personal or business use to bring them along with you, iPhones, cell phones, tablets, lap tops, games, GPS, digital cameras.  Once you decide to make Ecuador your place of residence, you could bring all your household goods and work equipment free of tax.

Brand-name clothes and shoes:

Adidas, Gap, Nike, all original brands are about double the price in Ecuador, since the originals are so expensive, there is a lot of fake brands manufacturing which will not provide you with the same quality.

Just be aware, local vendors will offer you original brands which are not and over charge you for it. Now a good none expensive option can be some knock-off clothing from Chinese owned street stores in Ecuador, and some of the local manufactures (maquilas) clothing. Jeans, pants, leather shoes are good quality items that you can buy in Ecuador for a good price, let me know if you like details on where to shop.

Outdoor sport accessories:

For all your sports and outdoor activities like fishing,  mountain climb, biking, Kayak, Golf, camping, bring your own; yes, you can find all those sports and more in Ecuador, but their accessories cost double, sometimes triple of what you’d pay in the States and they are not always available.

Now one great thing that you will be able to buy it is The PAJA TOQUILLA HAT, or internationally known as the PANAMA HAT, you should not miss this opportunity, they last for ever and are great for all outdoor activities. If you will like to buy one, let me know, maybe I can ship you one.

Cars:

Cars are very expensive in Ecuador, for example, a new Honda Civic with automatic transmission costs over $30,000 US. And regularly importing cars into the country can be costly due to the high import taxes and restrictions. Your best option will be, once you decide to move to Ecuador, to try to bring a car.

A car can be brought to Ecuador without import tax by following these tips:

The car must be 4 years old or less on the day it enters the country

The value of the car must not exceed $20,000 US. This value will be established by Ecuadorian Customs.

The car must be sent in the same container as all the other household items imported.

Cosmetics, perfumes and personal care products:

You should pay careful attention to this brand-name cosmetics and perfumes are far more expensive in Ecuador than in USA, you should bring all the items that you will need and use, and enough supply to last.  There are some great local and natural products to try. Just until you adapt to the climate and everything else, you should use your personal brands.

Also if you have special med or allergies bring everything with you, enough quantities to last you until you get familiarized with local doctors to get a prescriptions for you. At local pharmacies, you will find over the counter med, still bring always a small emergency kit while you travel. One thing for sure it is that medicine it is a lot cheaper here in Ecuador than overseas.

  1. Do you know anything about obtaining Ecuadorian Visas? Thanks!

    • Sure I can help you with that info, Ecuador welcomes people from all over the world who wish to visit for a short period of time or to establish permanent residency. If you come to Ecuador as a tourist or on a business trip, you do not need a visa for a stay up to 90 days on a 12 month-period (chronological year), you must present a U.S. passport with at least six months remaining validity. When you first enter Ecuador, you will receive a T-3 tourist stamp in your passport, allowing you to stay in the country for 90 days. Ecuadorian immigration officials also sometimes request evidence of return or onward travel, such as an airline ticket.

      If you are planning a visit longer than 90 days, you must obtain a visa in advance of your arrival. More detailed information and requirements for visas in Ecuador can be found at the Ecuadorian Consulate nearest you, or you can also visit the website http://www.ecuador.org/nuevosite/serviciosconsulares_visas_e.php.

      Would you like to become a resident in Ecuador?

      There are a number of ways to become an Ecuadorian resident and the process is fairly straightforward. First, you will submit your immigrant-status visa application at the Ecuadorian consulate nearest your former residence, then it will be approved through the Ministry of Foreign Relations, so expect the approval process to take four to eight weeks. Visa applications for your dependents, however, can be processed directly by the consulate once your application has been approved. You may hire an Ecuadorian immigration attorney to help you navigate the visa process.

      At the Ecuadorian consulate in your home country, you have to apply for the 12-IX visa; often referred to as the Tourist, Commercial or Sports Visa, this allows you to stay in the country for up to 180 days in a year. If you are planning to apply for permanent residency, you are required to have the 12-IX visa when you file your application.

      While both non-resident and tourist visas can keep you in the country for a while, only the resident visa will allow importation of your goods duty free. Also, the tourist visas given upon entry have cumulative time limits per calendar year that cannot be reset by leaving and entering the country. Resident visas can be obtained while in Ecuador on a tourist visa, but the process can be much simpler at consulate back home if you’re doing it yourself. If you’re using an attorney, the process is even easier, and they can deliver your visa to you here in Ecuador, or have it sent to you in your home country (via the consulate) before you depart.

      Let me know if you need more details on the type of visa that you are inquiring.

      • Wow Thanks very much! I was actually looking into teaching English over there, through a company not in a school. I would be required to stay for 6 months, or a few weeks longer. I wasn’t sure which kind of Visa would be required for this type of work.

        Thanks again for the information!!

      • Can you advise how I can apply for resident visa in Canada (Toronto). I made a trip to Ecuador in Feb 2014 and love the place. My boyfriend and I would like to buy a property in a small costal village. however, before doing this we would like to apply for a resident visa and also open a bank account. Please advise how to proceed and the website link to get started. Please respond to my email at chrisraj11@yahoo.co.uk
        Thank you
        Christa

      • Hi Christa, I have mailed you few immigrant visa details to your email, meanwhile here you have some info: There are a number of ways to become an Ecuadorian resident and the process is fairly straightforward. Although you submit your immigrant-status visa application at the Ecuadorian consulate nearest your former residence, it is, in fact, approved through the Ministry of Foreign Relations, so expect the approval process to take four to eight weeks. Visa applications for your dependents, however, can be processed directly by the consulate once your application has been approved.

  2. Can you provide any concrete information about the T-3 90 day tourist visa, please?

    The Ministerio Interior site says it is 90 days per chronological year, but I have been told by different people that they’ve been given more than 90 days per calendar year doing a border run at Tulcan, or others have received 90 days per calendar year.

    Does it really just come down to luck on the day? As I exhausted my 90 days in September 2014 and need to return to pick up my suitcase.

    • The T-3 visa is not per calendar year, from the initial day that you get your T-3 stamp you can stay up to 90 days for the next 365-day period. About in land border crossing, many things can happened and luck can play a role; first not all info is systematized locally. Many may take the chance of border crossing if they have missed their time limit with the hopes of getting over to the other side without an exit stamp. And in the long term future, they will be able to come back with a new visa option. Most of them are success stories, crossing over either direction can provide you options in the future.
      Hope everything works out for you, if you need anything else contact me linalandivar@ecuadorservices.org

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