USA and the UK
- What Is the Ecuador Retirement Visa?
- Who Can Apply for the Ecuador Retirement Visa?
- What Are the Requirements to Retire in Ecuador As a US Citizen?
- How to Retire in Ecuador as a US Citizen
- What Documents to Include in Your Ecuador Retirement Visa Application?
- Retire in Ecuador as a US Citizen Permanently
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Ecuador Retirement Visa?
The Ecuador retirement visa (also called Jubilado or 60-III pensioner visa) is a residency visa for foreigners wishing to retire in Ecuador. Of Ecuador’s 13 residential visa options, the Ecuador retirement visa is the most common choice among foreign retirees.
If your visa application is successful, you can reside in Ecuador for up to only two years because the visa is temporary. However, you can either renew the visa for another two years or convert it to a permanent residence visa if you wish to stay in Ecuador long-term. Find more details about the permanent residence visa later in this article.
With the retirement visa, you can travel in and out of the country as you please (new law). Likewise, an Ecuador retirement visa for foreign retirees means they have equal rights to Ecuadorians.
As a US citizen retiring in Ecuador, you get a chance to do the following conveniently:
- Start a business
- Work as a freelancer or be self-employed
- Purchase properties.
The Ecuador retirement visa application process requires you to pay a $50 basic fee for your application and another $400 for your visa approval. Note that these rates don’t include VAT. Above all, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility handles the visa application and approval processes and issues visas.
Who Can Apply for the Ecuador Retirement Visa?
Foreigners from numerous countries can apply to retire in Ecuador using a retirement visa. However, your country of citizenship determines whether you need a visa to enter the country. For instance, if you are a Canadian, Australian, or US citizen, you don’t need a retirement visa before entering Ecuador.
It implies that you can quickly enter the country for a tourist visit as a US citizen. However, you will need a US passport, which guarantees you a tourist stamp valid for three months (90 days) within a single rolling year. It means you can stay in Ecuador for 90 days within a year (starting from your entry date and ending 365 days after your entry).
For instance, if you entered Ecuador on 20 Jan. 2022, you will have till 19 Jan. 2023 to complete the 90 days. You can come and go as you please till the 90 and 365 days elapses. On the other hand, if you are a citizen of countries like Egypt, Nigeria, and Afghanistan, you must get an Ecuador residence visa before entering the country.
Nationality aside, for a successful visa application, you need to earn the minimum income stated by Ecuadorian laws by your application time. More importantly, there is no age requirement to apply for the visa, but those aged 65 and above can enjoy tercera edad (elderly) benefits. Later, you will see more requirements foreign retirees must fulfill to ensure a successful visa application.
Minimum Income Requirement
The first requirement of the Ecuador retirement visa for US citizens is proof that you earn a minimum monthly income of $1275 and an extra $250 per dependent.
Bear in mind that these values are subject to change due to the change in laws. For instance, the minimum retirement income recently changed from $425 (1 basic salary) to $1275 (3 x the basic wage).
You don’t necessarily have to be retired, but you must be able to show proof of your income. Alongside this, the Social Security Administration site is the most common way to secure and prove your social security income.
Another option may include income evidence from the military, a private corporation, or a government program. Ensure that every document is apostilled, translated, and notarized before submitting them.
Fingerprints and Background Check
As a US citizen retiring in Ecuador, you must undergo an FBI background check to prove that your criminal record is clean. You have to provide an original document that shows your criminal record from the US and other countries you resided in the last five years.
The document(s) would need to be apostilled from its respective country and later translated and notarized. Aside from the FBI background check, US citizens may be required to provide a police clearance certificate from their residency state in the US.
During the background check, you will need to have your fingerprints taken. Visit the nearest police station to get it done and have your background checked.
Insurance for Health Care
For a successful application, you should purchase private health insurance to retire in Ecuador. A travel health insurance letter should suffice as proof and be valid for at least 90 days upon entering the country.
Completed Application Form
A successful application starts with completing and signing your visa application form. Additionally, you should have a valid passport and pay the visa fee.
Marriage or Birth Certificate
If you are applying for a retirement visa with a dependent, you must get your marriage license (if married to dependent) or birth certificate (for children and other dependents). It is advisable to have a fresh copy of your documents (under six months old) to have them apostilled.
How to Retire in Ecuador as a US Citizen
The following are the three methods of applying for the Ecuador retirement visa for US citizens:
1. Apply in Ecuador
Since you can enter the country with just your valid passport, you can apply for an Ecuador retirement visa when you arrive there. You should have prepared your required documents before traveling to Ecuador — find these documents in the next section.
One of the necessary documents you must provide is the certificate of protocolization, which guarantees your social security income. You are required to get this certificate from the Ecuadorian consulate, located in the country where your guaranteed income originates.
If your income source is from the US, you can get this done by mail or from Ecuador. You will need the following documents if you are mailing the consulate:
- A genuine apostilled social security letter to show your income
- Two colored copies of your passport (must be notarized)
- A $40 money order to make payment
- A return envelope and cover letter
Once the protocolization certificate and other documents are ready, you can visit Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility offices.
2. Apply Abroad (in Person)
In this case, you will need to prepare all your documents and submit them at the Consular office closest to you. After submission, you should pay the application fee. Following the approval of your application, you are to pay the approval fee to get your visa.
3. Apply Abroad (Online)
You can register on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility site, submit the required documents, and pay the application fee. After confirming your payment, you should select an interview date you will attend in person (at the closest embassy).
What Documents to Include in Your Ecuador Retirement Visa Application?
After submitting your application at the ministry office (within Ecuador) or the Ecuadorian consulate (abroad), you will have to wait for its approval. Due to changing laws and delays, the waiting period can take about three months or more.
Suppose you are in Ecuador on a tourist visa, and your retirement visa isn’t granted within the valid 90 days — you can stay by extending your tourist stamp till your visa is granted. You must pay an extra $133.33 to prolong your stay for another 90 days.
Once you have received your retirement visa, you should go to a government office in your city to get your cedula (Ecuador ID card). It takes a few hours to get the cedula, if not less, and it costs $15.
The following are the documents you need to complete and verify your application:
- Completed application form
- Certificate of protocolization
- Proof of health care insurance
- Original passport
- Certification of your criminal record
- Police clearance certificate
- Your marriage and birth certificate and that of your dependents (if you have).
Important note: your birth certificate is not a required visa document if you don’t have dependents, but you will need it to get your cedula in Ecuador. Furthermore, ensure you have them all apostilled, translated, and notarized.
What Is the Ecuador Permanent Residency Visa?
Ecuador permanent residency visa, short for PRV, is a visa that allows you to live in Ecuador for life if you wish. Foreign retirees usually apply for a permanent residency visa 21 months after they receive their Ecuador retirement visa and start living in the country.
What Are the Eligibility Criteria to Retire in Ecuador Permanently?
Once your retirement visa is 21 months old, you must have only stayed outside Ecuador for at most 90 days to be eligible for the permanent residency visa. Note that the 90 days can be non-consecutive.
If you have spent more than 90 days out of the country and still want to apply for a permanent residence visa, you should renew your retirement visa. You are allowed to renew your retirement visa indefinitely. Many retirees prefer to keep renewing their visa as the process is similar to the initial visa application but much more straightforward.
How to Apply for a Permanent Residence Visa in Ecuador
There are many similarities between the requirements of permanent residency and retirement visa applications. For example, you must provide a police clearance certificate, health care insurance, and social security income proof during your permanent residence visa application.
Furthermore, any recent changes to the law concerning the permanent visa will only apply to incoming temporary visa applicants. For instance, if you were already residing in Ecuador via a retirement visa before the law changed by March 2022 — you can apply for a permanent visa under the old law.
If you have more questions regarding the old and new laws, our immigration lawyers can put you through them, so you can be sure where you stand. Reach us at +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.
Important note: If your application gets rejected, you should consider filing for an appeal ten business days after (online or at the closest ministry office).
At IAS, we are equipped with qualified immigration lawyers who can help handle and warn you of the possible challenges during your retirement visa application. With the help of our lawyers, you can get the exact visa fee and income requirement you are to fulfill.
Our lawyers are experts in handling Ecuador’s immigration laws and can help you file and submit your visa application. They will handle your application process to the highest standard to avoid dealing with the undue stress and anxiety of a rejected application.
If you are worried about your eligibility due to your criminal record, we will help you choose the right approach, depending on your criminal history. Another point of concern for most people is the application interview process. You can be assured that with our help, you will learn to avoid common mistakes that people make. We will prepare you to feel confident with your answers.
Above all, our lawyers are willing to explain the conditions of the Ecuador retirement visa, so you don’t violate any. If you have further questions regarding how to retire in Ecuador, our lawyers are enthusiastic about giving answers.
To find out how our lawyers can help you, contact us at +1 844 290 6312.
Last modified on February 27th, 2023 at 7:19 am
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Yes, Ecuador is a great country to retire from because the cost of living is about 64% below the US. According to the Living Cost, Ecuador is the 109th ($705) most expensive country in the world against the United States ($2112), which is 6th place. The weather condition is also excellent for people over 65, and house purchase or rent in Ecuador is cheaper than in the US.
It costs a minimum of $450 to apply for a visa. Other costs to consider would be the $40 paid to receive the certificate of protocolization, your direct flight ticket, the cedula cost of $15, and other minimal additional costs.
Yes. You can purchase properties in Ecuador because Ecuadorian Law grants equal property ownership rights to foreigners and nationals. The law allows you to buy property in your name or business name.
Yes, you can bring your dependents to Ecuador if you have met every criterion for the retirement visa. But, you will need proof of an extra $250 income per dependent.
The visa application process involves many necessary steps, so the application processing time can take up to 3 months. Also, the background check can take 2 to 3 weeks, so you should start preparations now if interested.