If you become an Ecuadorian resident or citizen, you are able to obtain a cédula. You need this identification card to arrange matters at governmental institutions and also to register at IESS. The cédula come with a personal identification number.
Once you have obtained your resident visa, you can apply for your cédula at the civil registration office at Avenida Amazonas and will need to demonstrate a proof of health insurance, your passport, visa, and the reason why you got your visa (e.g. marriage certificate or registration of your university degree).
More information on how to obtain a cédula you find here.
If you hold a contract of employment at an Ecuadorian company, you are automatically subscribed at IESS, the country's social security system. This means that you are entitled to public health care for free (restrictions apply) and you accrue pension.
The contribution amounts to 9.45%, which is deducted monthly from your wages. For example, when you earn $1,000 USD per month, a wage above average, your IESS contribution is $94.50 USD per month. This is not the full IESS registration cost: your employer pays 11,15% to IESS on top of your $1000 USD salary.
If you are self-employed, you can also register for IESS. In this case, health care benefits and amount of pension you are building depends on how much you contribute monthly. The voluntary contribution amounts at least 17.6 % (since you do not have an employer to pay the other part) of the minimum wage, meaning $66 USD. Minors are automatically ensured with one of their parents until they reach the age of 18.
As an employee in Ecuador, you have certain benefits. The main benefits are:
If the company where you work has to fire you, for example because of layoffs, your employer is obliged to pay you three more months of salary, unless he or she has a good reason to fire you and has built proof for that.
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