Departure to Quito

Passport, Visa & Permits to Quito

Home > Expat Guides > South America > Ecuador > Quito

This section is intended for reference only. Since visa applications can be complicated and rules can change, we strongly recommend that you contact the embassy directly for the most up-to-date information that pertains to your specific situation.


You must have a valid passport to travel abroad. A passport is an official government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship. The process and cost associated with getting a passport can be high, so start the process at least six months before you plan to leave. Your passport must be valid 6 months beyond your intended stay. Minors are allowed to travel on their parents' passports up until aged 15 years.


A visa is a stamp or endorsement placed by officials on a passport that allows the bearer to enter the country. This permission is called "entry clearance".

Who needs a visa?

With few exceptions, most people do not need a visa to enter Ecuador as a tourist and stay in the country up to 3 months. In this case, you receive a stamp allowing you to stay in the country for 90 days. Be aware that migration may ask for a return ticket. People holding a passport of one of the following countries do need a visa to enter Ecuador and should check the options with the nearest embassy at least a few months before departure:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Somalia
  • Senegal
  • Cuba
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)

Temporary Visitor – Tourist (12 X - Extension)

After the first three months, you can extend your stay as a tourist for another 90 days. Arranging this extension takes you no more than one day at the migration office at Avenida Amazonas (in front of CC El Jardin) in North Quito. This extension costs about $120 USD.

Temporary Visitor – Student (12 V)

If you come to Ecuador to study at a university or for an internship and you are registered at a university, you can apply for a Student Visa. Being subscribed as a student of some Spanish schools (not all!) officially recognized as educational institution, can also enable you to obtain a Student Visa. You also have to be able to show that you have sufficient savings to maintain yourself during your studies or internship in Ecuador. The minimum period for this visa is 6 months and the cost is $150 USD.

Temporary Visitor - Tourist/Commercial (12 IX)

In addition to the 90-days stamp and 90-days extension, this visa allows you to spend another 180 days in the country for tourism, commerce, arts, or any other reason (besides working under an Ecuadorian contract). The 12 IX Visa can only be granted once every five years, however. Costs: $450 USD.

Temporary Resident – Retirement (9 I)

Once retired, you have the possibility to stay in Ecuador on a Retirement Visa. Besides the basic requirements (proof of health care, application form, migration form, etc.), you have to show an official document proving that you are retired and your monthly income has to be at least $800 USD per month plus $100 USD per dependent. The cost of this visa is $450 USD (people of 65 years old and above pay 50%) and after 2 years it allows you to apply for permanent residency. *

Temporary Resident – Investor (9 II)

An Investor Visa gives you several investment possibilities:

  • Being in the position of a property in Ecuador with a minimum value of $30.880 USD
  • Having savings with a minimum value of $27.020 USD secured for at least two years
  • Holding shares in an Ecuadorian company with a minimum value of $27.020 USD
  • Have a proof of investment in your own company, with a minimum value of $27.020 USD

This visa has a cost of $450 USD.*

Temporary Resident – Professional (9 V)

If you are in hold of a degree (Bachelor or Master) of a university recognized by the governmental institution SENESCYT, you have the possibility to apply for a Professional Visa. In case your university is not on this list, you may also be able to obtain this visa, with extra paperwork. In first instance, this Visa is valid for 2 years, after which you can apply for permanent residency. The cost for the 2-year Visa is $450 USD.*

Temporary Resident – Work (9 IV)

If you are hired at an Ecuadorian company, they can assist you in applying for a Work Visa. This Visa is valid for 2 years and can be renewed afterwards. The cost for this Visa is $450 USD.*

* To apply for any type of (temporary) residence, you have to have a proof of a recognized health insurance. You can only apply for Resident Visa in Ecuador.

Permanent Residency

After being a temporary resident for 21 months, you can apply for permanent residency. You must meet the basic requirements, like showing a legalized version of your criminal record, and pay $550 USD to become a permanent resident of Ecuador.

Other options to become a permanent residence are by marriage or registered partnership with an Ecuadorian. The cost of this permanent visa is $250 USD and you do not have to comply with the 21 months-rule for the temporary resident visas.

More information can be found at the website of the Ecuadorian Ministery of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility.


After being a resident for at least 3 years, you can apply for citizenship. Besides the required paperwork, you have to show that you know the national symbols (like the anthem) and that you at least have a minimum wage to spend. To become an Ecuadorian this way, you have to pay a fee of $800 USD.

If you are married or have a registered partnership with an Ecuadorian, you can apply for citizenship 2 years after the date of the marriage or registered partnership was signed, which costs $150 USD. Ecuador allows its citizens, both born in Ecuador and abroad, to have dual citizenship.

Update 24/01/2019


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

International Movers

When you move internationally you are taking a big step. Lots of things are changing and you have a million things to think about and take care of. If you are able to select a top of the line moving company that moves for a modest price, it can take a big weight of your shoulders in busy times.

Our network of international removal companies can move your furniture & possessions to Ecuador and anywhere overseas.

Filling in the form at the bottom will allow you to request up to 5 quotes from various moving companies. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Go to the Forum to talk more about passport, visa & permits to Quito, departure.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).