Preparing for your move to Quito


Preparing to go abroad includes securing important documents, making copies, and a lot of planning. Ideally, you should make 3 copies of your passport, visas, and other important paperwork. Keep one with you, one in an accessible, but safe place (like a safe deposit box), and one that is with a trusted relative of friend that can give you the information if something were to happen to you or the other copies.

A checklist of other things to consider:

  • Passports: Check expiration as it must not expire within 6 months of your arrival, but should preferably be valid for a longer period of time. Make at least 2 copies and keep one in a safe place separate from your original passport.
  • Get legalized copies of your birth certificate, marriage certificate and other important documents. These are necessary for obtaining a long-term visa.
  • Secure medical insurance and possibly travel insurance to prevent unmanageable medical bills and enable entry into other countries.
  • Research and apply for a visa. This can take several months to obtain before you leave.
  • Save enough money to support your cost of living and lifestyle plus travel costs with enough of a buffer to be prepared for the unexpected.
  • Bring things to facilitate transition like a universal electric plug adaptor, any medications you take, or anything else to make you comfortable during the transition.


Before you leave, find a way for all bills to be paid or have a means of being paid back home.

If you are retaining a residence while abroad, make sure the rent/mortgage is taken care of and that utilities are being paid while you are away. Insure that important institutions like your bank are able to reach you. If you are not sure for how long you will be gone, make sure you have your expenses at home covered for as long as possible, or somebody else taking care of it.

If you are retaining a bank in your home country, ask about fees for overseas transactions and research the easiest way to transfer money between your accounts. If you have a credit card, find out if there are additional fees or any changes you need to make with your account. Inform banking industries that you will abroad so as to not arouse suspicious activity on your account as anti-theft systems can see this activity and put a most inconvenient hold on your account.


It is best to inform tax offices of any change in residency. Some countries have reciprocal tax agreements, and others may require you to pay some form of taxes both in your home country and aboard. Most National Tax Administrations are an excellent resource for exactly what steps to take when moving away. For more information, refer to our section on taxes.

For example, UK nationals should refer to the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for details of managing their taxation payments and National Insurance contributions in the UK while living abroad.


Ecuador has both public and private hospitals and other health institutions. The public health section has improved a lot over the last years, but the waiting list are long. If you are officially employed in Ecuador, public health care is for free. However, many expats choose for a private insurance to be sure of good health care. This is especially important if you do not speak Spanish, since good private hospitals have more English-speaking doctors than public hospitals.

For concerns about your health when abroad, the World Health Organization (WHO) publishes International Travel and Health which is revised annually and is available free online. Another excellent resource is MD Travel Health. It provides free, complete travel-health recommendations for every country and is updated daily.

Update 24/01/2019


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