Moving to Ecuador 2021 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.
Many potential emigrants, considering Latin America as a place of residence for retirement or for business, most often pay attention to countries such as Panama and Ecuador.
These countries have earned attention due to the high ratings of residence, which are researched by various international organizations. Panama and Ecuador are two beautiful countries with an amazing tropical climate, where you can move your whole family, open a business, invest or just live for a while enjoying the nature and culture of the country.
Each person evaluates in his own way the benefits of this or that state and determines his own evaluation criteria that are most suitable for him and meet his preferences. Of course, your own observation and comparison is the best definition.
To understand this better, you need to plan trips to these countries and see for yourself what you have read or heard. This comparison will touch upon the main categories to which emigrants most often pay their attention.
As you do not have that opportunity now, we will try to organize a virtual trip to Ecuador, tell a little about this country and review all the possible options of moving there.
Everyone knows that the equator is a conditional line that divides our planet into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This strip is more than 40 thousand km long. crosses 2 continents and passes through 14 states of the world. But only one thing made it its main attraction, and its very name borrowed from it. This, Ecuador – “the center of the world”, as the locals call it.
Ecuador as a country to relocate has its advantages and disadvantages. There are several more of the first, otherwise how to explain the high flow of immigrants to this state. Consider all the pros and cons of living in Ecuador, shown below.
What do we know about this beautiful land of mountains and volcanoes? Ecuador is a small and poor state, which is the world’s largest exporter of bananas. The main income of the country comes from oil production and export. The majestic Andes grow from here, ancient medieval temples have frozen in time, and the amazing Galapagos Islands are hidden nearby.
Ecuador is like medieval Europe. And this is no accident, because historically, for almost 300 years it was a colony of the Spanish crown. The beauty of Ecuador is in all its diversity. The main state language here is Spanish, and the currency is the American dollar. Even after trying traditional Ecuadorian cuisine, you will immediately notice its special national flavor.
The advantages of living in Ecuador
Comfortable climate for living
For fans of stable hot weather, Ecuador will seem like a paradise. In this country, there is no difference between winter and summer, and there are no hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones or anticyclones. The average temperature in July is + 25 ° C, and in January + 24 ° C. In the mountains, of course, it is much cooler, on the coast it is hotter. In general, choose the temperature that suits you and enjoy.
Housing affordability, low prices
It should be said that the price of real estate in Ecuador is quite affordable for an ordinary European. The average price per square meter of housing in large centers (Quito, Guayaquil) is about $ 500. In small towns, of course, it is much lower.
The amazing diversity of the natural world
It is enough to say only about one amazing place in Ecuador and everything will become clear. Since 1832, the Galapagos have been part of Ecuador.
The Galapagos Islands is a huge nature reserve in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it is a unique nature, rare exotic animals that can be found only here and nowhere else in the world. Here, only 3% of the territory is inhabited by people – there are only 10 small villages on 19 islands. Everything else belongs to the animals, and no one has the right to enter their territory without special permission and a personal guide.
The cons of living in Ecuador
There are also disadvantages of living and working in Ecuador, and in our opinion, they still outweigh the advantages.
Low living standards
The standard of living in Ecuador is low. According to the United Nations, the country ranks 74th in the world in terms of living standards. The average monthly wage in Ecuador is $ 550 per person.
Ecuador is prone to natural disasters – volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. This country is home to one of the highest active volcanoes on the planet – Cotopaxi (height 5,911 meters), and their total number reaches 40. Every year, about 200 earthquakes of various strengths occur in the country.
Suffice it to recall the 2016 disaster in the city of Muisne, when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 killed 660 people, 32 went missing, and more than 51 thousand were injured of varying severity.
High crime rate
Latin American crime is known in Europe, the Colombian drug mafia is famous all over the world. It must be said that the Ecuadorian is not far behind her. The rate of violent deaths in this country is well above the European average. The underworld is organized and has a significant impact on some decisions of the current government.
In conclusion, it should be recognized that the disadvantages of living and working in Ecuador are significant and, of course, in general, prevail against the background of the existing advantages.
Methods of immigration to Ecuador
Emigration to Ecuador begins with a visa. It is renewed every year. When you have lived in the country for 3 years, you can apply for citizenship. There are more than 50 visas in total, consider the most popular.
Marriage. The migration authorities will approve a residence permit when concluding a non-fictitious marriage with a citizen of the state.
Work. You can apply for citizenship regardless of qualifications. Even workers in unskilled industries can count on a national passport.
Investments. Investors – those who bought shares of a local company, land, real estate. You can also deposit at least $ 1,400 into your local bank account. If you want to take your family with you, the amount increases by $ 400 for each relative.
Business. You can register a company with a minimum amount of authorized capital – $ 2,400 for yourself and $ 400 for each family member.
Standard. Just living without working or studying will be allowed with passive income. To do this, you need to prove that you have income or savings in the amount of $ 600 for yourself and an additional $ 130 for each family member monthly. If you provide savings, they should be enough for 3 years of life in the country.
Visas to Ecuador
Residents of a few countries can leave for Ecuador without a visa. This requires only an internal civil document. At the same time, you don’t even need to pay anything – upon arrival, a small form is filled in and a tourist visa to Ecuador is automatically purchased for a period of 3 months.
Sometimes, in order to control those who come to the country, they put a 2-month permit to stay in Ecuador. A tourist, if there is a need to stay longer, can extend it for another month – free of charge. If there is a need for an even longer stay, then you will have to contact the migration police for this with a compelling justification. In this case, there is a fee of $ 10.
It should be borne in mind that such a stay in Ecuador does not allow doing business or work. For this, you can easily end up behind bars for a whole month. For these cases, long-term visas are provided, there are more than 50 of them, but consider the most common:
- “Inversionista de Polizas de Bonos; de Bienes raices ”or 10-II, is suitable for those who do not want to start their own business and generally work. It is drawn up by investors of bank policies, owners of securities and real estate. After 3 years of living in Ecuador and having invested $ 1,400, plus $ 400 for each person who comes with him, a citizen becomes a full-fledged Ecuadorian. But all this time he should not work and run a business, but only withdraw interest from the deposit. The restrictions are lifted as soon as permanent residence with citizenship is acquired.
- Inversionista industrial or 10-III. Emigration with such a permit will be available to people who wish to conduct their business in the country. This visa gives a person all civil rights, except for voting in elections and the opportunity to work for an employer for 3 years. Such a visa requires a deposit of 1,000 dollars in the beginning, and 20,000 for 3 months, already living in Ecuador.
- Especialista or 10-IV. Such a visa is issued to people who have already concluded an agreement with an employer or if they are partners of a firm in Ecuador. For 3 years, a citizen cannot run his own business and work in another company. If the contract is terminated or lost, the visa will be canceled.
- 12-IX operates for only six months and allows you to work temporarily. After this period, it is reissued, which can be done 2 times, no more. With such permission, it is good to come to Ecuador to get to know the country and make a decision – to move here for permanent residence or stay in your country.
- 12-IV – issued for a year to refugees. It allows you to temporarily work, start your own business, enter and leave their countries. And a year later, it is reissued.
Arrival to Ecuador in refugee status, according to numerous reviews, is the easiest one, which does not require financial investments and the need to provide a contract with an employer. Two weeks after arriving in the country, an interview is held, and after 3 months the status of a “refugee” is acquired. And after two years of life, you can become a full citizen of Ecuador.
It should be kept in mind that the migration rules have tightened a little. For example, citizens who entered on an investor visa and did not confirm their investment on time face deportation. Those who have a residence permit are required to stay in the country for the first 2 years 275 days without a break. And obtaining any migration visa, if a temporary one has not been issued before, will be considered illegal.
The time for obtaining permanent residence is reduced to two years for those who have married an Ecuadorian woman and have a child. To obtain Ecuadorian citizenship, you need to pass exams in subjects such as history, as well as the law and geography of the state. You can also change the last name and first name given to you at birth.
Obtaining a residence permit in Ecuador
So, in Ecuador, there is practically no separation of concepts like “visa” and “residence permit”. All perpetual (immigration) visas shown in the table above are residence permits.
When emigrating, it is received at the Ecuadorian Embassy in your country or a visa center. To make an appointment at the embassy, it is recommended to go to the official website. When deciding to apply to the visa center, they choose the most convenient option.
You can also apply for a visa after arriving in Ecuador – at the department of the migration service. But at the same time, all the necessary documents must be on hand. The authorities put forward a small list of requirements that must be met by a candidate for a residence permit. First, a person should not be judged either in their home country or in Ecuador. This item is checked especially carefully. Secondly, it is compulsory to obtain medical insurance – public or private.
Required documents for emigration to Ecuador
Below is a general list of required papers to obtain an Ecuadorian residence permit. Additional documents will be required depending on the grounds.
- Passport with a copy.
- Photos of 3.5×4.5 size – 2 pieces.
- Birth certificate and internal passport.
- Marriage / divorce certificate (if available).
- Police clearance certificate in the home country.
- Diploma or any other document confirming the availability of education.
- Visa application.
If you plan to move with a child, then you will also need:
- his birth certificate;
- international passport;
- consent of the second parent (if he remains in his country).
All documents must be apostilled and translated into Spanish (together with apostille). In addition, translations of papers must be notarized.
Terms of obtaining a residence permit
The terms of consideration and issuance of the finished document depend on its type. For example, nonimmigrant visas are issued at the Ecuadorian consulate within 2 days, if there are no additional problems with the provided package of papers. Sometimes a visa (aka residence permit) is ready 7 working days after the application and documents are submitted.
Investor visas are considered separately. Processing times vary from 20 days to 3 months. You can find out about the readiness of the document by calling the Embassy of Ecuador (with direct contact) or at the visa center (if the application is submitted there).
To extend the residence permit, you must apply to the Ministry of Migration in advance (at least 1 month before the expiration of the document confirming your legal stay in Ecuador).
A permanent residence permit will cost 550 USD. Of these, $ 50 is the cost of filing an application, and $ 500 is directly the consular fee for registration of a permanent residence in Ecuador. A temporary permit will cost a little less than a permanent residence permit.
Benefits of permanent residence in Ecuador
Expats in Ecuador, live in a comfortable and calm environment, thanks to a very friendly attitude towards them. Moving to the country for permanent residence is encouraged and supported by the state itself. People with higher education received in European countries are in great demand and quickly find a decent job.
The salary of expats in Ecuador is an order of magnitude higher than that of the indigenous people of the country. According to reviews, Ecuadorian education is not appreciated.
Receiving in Ecuador an average of $ 400 per person, you can not deny yourself anything. And if the salary reaches 2,000, then there is an opportunity to rent a large apartment in the capital and hire a housekeeper. Pensioners also like to come to Ecuador for permanent residence.
How to get Ecuadorian citizenship?
Ecuadorian citizenship from the point of view of a visa-free stay in other countries is considered not the most liquid: you can use it to travel to Latin America, China, Russia, and to enter the Schengen countries, the USA and Canada, you will have to apply for a visa. Nevertheless, many seek to obtain second citizenship here.
The undoubted advantage of this procedure is the absence of the need to renounce your citizenship. It turns out that as a result, you can have two different citizenships.
Every candidate seeking a civil Ecuadorian passport must meet the following requirements:
- live for at least 3 years in Ecuador on a legal basis without leaving (you can leave only during the first year of stay for a period not exceeding 90 days);
- know the state language (Spanish) at an intermediate level;
- have a police clearance certificate in Ecuador;
- pass a special test for knowledge of history, geography, current laws of the country.
The list of required documents for obtaining citizenship in 2021 is relatively short.
- Internal passport of your country and international passport.
- Police clearance certificates: on the territory of your country and in Ecuador.
- Medical clearance from an Ecuadorian hospital.
- Registration book with the migration history of the candidate.
- Photos 3×4 – 6 pieces.
- For men – military ID.
A child born in the territory of Ecuador automatically becomes a citizen of this country, regardless of the citizenship of the parents. By the way, having a child significantly speeds up the process of obtaining Ecuadorian citizenship of a parent.
This applies to male immigrants who have had at least one child legally married to an Ecuadorian citizen. Then the standard terms are reduced by 1 year. If 2 or more children were born in the family, the spouse can become a citizen within 1 year. In these situations, when applying for citizenship, the list of required documents is supplemented with the originals of the birth certificates of children.
After obtaining a second citizenship, you must inform the migration service about the presence of a second citizenship. In theory, Ecuador does not recognize any other citizenship other than its own.
But a pure formality – the refusal of citizenship of the Russian Federation outside the territory – has no force in your country. Therefore, all those who received an Ecuadorian passport continue to remain citizens of your country. Thus, it is possible to maintain its citizenship and acquire a new one.
How emigrants live and work in Ecuador?
Almost all emigrants, judging by the reviews, are satisfied with life in Ecuador, which means that they have enough financial resources. It is not difficult to find a job in the country, there is quite a lot of it, and not only in the demanded specialties, but also for people with the most common professions. The most popular are the directions:
- oil production;
- IT technologies;
- mechanical engineering;
The highest salaries are received by highly qualified specialists with work experience and knowledge of Spanish and English.
Below are the approximate salaries depending on the type of work:
- Doctor – $ 3,500
- Teacher – $ 1,500
- Marketer – $ 800
- Programmer – $ 2,000
- Movers, maids, cleaners – $ 500
Many expats in Ecuador prefer not to work in existing firms, but to open their own business. Some are trying to open restaurants, stalls, shops, but the most promising areas are oil, banana and cut flowers trade.
In the latter case, we mean the import of flowers to other countries, for example, to some European countries. To do this, it is enough to buy out a flower plantation (they say that leasing is considered unprofitable and does not bring income).
Those who are unwilling or unable to start their own business for financial reasons, and lack the qualifications for a well-paid job, usually freelance and work remotely.