Although most people from the world don’t need a visa to visit Ecuador, some do need one. And many people who want to retire in Ecuador or immigrate for work or business, need to know how to get Ecuador visa and the application process.
The process to apply for Ecuador visa can be a little complicated sometimes depending on where you are applying and the requirements for that specific visa. For your Ecuador visa application, you can follow the underlined process no matter where you are.
Ecuador Visa Application Process
Except for a tourist visa for Ecuador, you can apply for any Ecuador visa either in Ecuador or in an Ecuador embassy in your home country.
1. Do You Need a Visa for Ecuador?
Before you apply for Ecuador visa, what you need to know is that whether or not you need a visa to visit Ecuador. Citizens of most countries from Europe, Americas and Asia don’t need a visa to enter Ecuador.
Right now there are 23 countries whose citizens need a visa to enter Ecuador. You can check if you need a visa to enter Ecuador on the official website of Ecuador’s foreign ministry.
Of course if the purpose of your visit to Ecuador is to work or retire or do business, you would need a visa.
2. Choose the Ecuador Visa Type
Since there are so many types of Ecuador visas, you need to understand the difference before you apply. Choose the Ecuador visa type you need for your purpose, and then only move forward with your application.
Here are some of the popular Ecuador visa types.
3. Check the Ecuador Visa Requirements
No matter which Ecuador visa you apply, you would need to submit an original passport and photos. You would also need to submit the Ecuador visa application form after filling and signing it.
That being said, Ecuador visa requirements can vary a lot depending on the visa type, where you are applying from, and other factors.
4. Get Your Documents Apostilled/ Translated and Notarized
Except for the tourist visa, almost every visa for Ecuador needs you to apostille and/or translate the document to Spanish and get them notarized. This is where many applicants make a mistake and come to Ecuador without apostilling their documents.
While researching how to get Ecuador visa, it is important to understand that only some documents need to be apostilled and some need to be apostilled, translated, and notarized.
A document such as a background check would only need to be apostilled, and not translated. However, documents such as diplomas, social security income letter would need to be apostilled, and then translated and notarized.
If you are planning to come to Ecuador and apply for the visa there, you must know the difference and plan accordingly.
An apostille is nothing but a way of notarizing on an international level, agreed by many countries. You can only apostille documents in your home country or where the document has originated. Each country’s procedure for this is different.
What’s official translation/notarization?
A certified/official translation must be carried out by translators registered or accredited to embassies or government of the country whose visa you are applying.
After getting your document and the apostille translated, if required, they can be notarized through the embassy of the said country or through a notary in the country.
5. Submit Ecuador Visa Application Online
It is possible to submit your visa application for Ecuador online, through the official website of Ecuador’s external affairs ministry. You can fill in your details and upload the documents.
After you submit the application, you can choose the consulate that should process your application and everything will happen step by step.
But if for some reason you have any issues with the website, you can send in your documents through mail or in person, by getting an appointment.
6. Get an Appointment for Your Visa
If you are applying for the visa in Ecuador, You can get the appointment for the Ecuador visa application on the website of Ecuador’s external ministry.
However, if you can’t get an appointment online or there is an issue with the website, you can call the migraciones office close to where you live or show up and get a date for your appointment.
You can also get an appointment by requesting one to the email email@example.com.
Once you get the appointment, you need to go to the required immigration office or migraciones Ecuador. Make sure to carry all the required documents in a file folder.
If you are applying through an Ecuadorian embassy, you can email or call them and set a date for your Ecuador visa appointment.
7. Attend the Visa Interview
While not everyone might be required to attend an interview for an Ecuador visa, you might be asked some questions during your interview. If you are in Ecuador, the interview will mostly be in Spanish. So make sure that you speak some Spanish or have someone who can translate for you.
8. Pay the Ecuador Visa Fees & Get the Electronic Visa
Once your visa application is approved, you would need to pay for the visa. The usual form of payment in Ecuador is in cash only.
From 2019, Ecuador has been issuing electronic visas that don’t need to be stamped on the passport. You will receive an email with the Ecuador visa PDF and you can take a printout of the same.
Do Visitors to the Ecuador Need to Purchase Health Insurance?
Having a travel health insurance is a must for anyone visiting or planning to live in Ecuador. Most of the Ecuadorian visas have it as a mandatory requirement. This means that you have to have the insurance at least when your application is under consideration.
A lot of expats choose to get a travel health insurance for 90 days or more when they apply for an Ecuador visa. You can use a reliable provider like Safety Wing that also covers COVID.
Ecuador Visa for US Citizens: Where to Apply?
US citizens can apply for an Ecuador visa in an Ecuador embassy in the USA. Ecuador has consulates in Washington DC, Miami, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Pheonix, Houston, San Francisco, and other places.
On the other hand, an Ecuador visa for US citizens can also be obtained in Ecuador. This is a route that many US expats choose.
Valerie’s experience on getting Ecuador temporary visa as a US citizen.
How to Get Ecuador Visa from Canada?
Ecuador has a consulate in Toronto and a consular section in Ottawa, in addition to honorary consulates in Vancouver and Toronto. Canadian citizens can apply for the Ecuador visa in the consulate of Ecuador or in Ecuador.
Ecuador Visa for Indian Citizens : How to Apply?
Indian citizens need a visa to visit Ecuador. So if you are planning to work or do business in Ecuador or immigrate, you must get a visa from a consulate of Ecuador first. However, if you decide to go to Ecuador as a tourist, you can very well convert it to another visa such as a volunteer visa or professional visa.
Is It Possible to Convert or Extend an Ecuador Visa in Ecuador?
Yes, you can extend or convert one type of Ecuador visa to another type without leaving Ecuador.