Which type of visa do I need?
Immigrants are foreigners who enter the country with the intention to settle there and carry out authorized activities. They may stay indefinitely as long as they are engaged in the activities permitted by their visa. Once their visa is registered, they need only renew their censo yearly.
Non-immigrants are foreigners who reside in other countries and who enter the country to perform authorized activities without the intention of settling there. Non-immigrants are only allowed to stay while their visa remains valid. Extensions may be granted, and by law a visa category may also be changed. To do this you must apply no later than 30 days prior to expiration of your visa.
Tourists may stay the length of days granted by their tourist permit: up to 10 days with the T-1 or T-2 permit and up to 90 days with a T-3 permit.
Renewing your Tourist permit
If your T-3 card only allows you to stay for 30 or 60 days, you may get it extended to 90 days at the "Retén Policial de la Jipijapa" (Av. Isla Seymour & Río Coca). Hours are 8:30 to noon and 3-5 pm weekdays.
If your T-3 card has expired, you may be able to get a 30 days extension, at the immigration officer's discretion (applicants have been succesful). This process can only be performed three times, giving you a maximum of 180 days per year. Go to the Oficina de la Policiá Nacional de Migración (Av. Amazonas & República) to do this.
Another easy way to get 90 more days is to leave the country and then re-enter, which you might want to consider if it fits into your travel plans.
Registering Your Visa
**For those persons not on a tourist visa, this process must be completed within 30 days of your arrival.
1 Purchase a file folder with a clasp and a manila envelope to hold your documents
2 You will need to include in the folder:
- Copy of your passport including photo page, visa page, and the page with your Ecuadorian entry stamp
- The original copy of your certificado de visación (the form that confirms the granting of your visa from the Ecuadorian consulate)
- Documentation that you are in fact doing the activities authorized by your visa (for students, a letter from the university stating you are a student; if unsure about the type of documentation needed, ask in the Immigration office)
3 Take the envelope and folder with documents and your passport to the Dirección de Extranjería , (Av. Juan León Mera y Patria, Edificio de la Corporación Financiera Nacional), between 8:00 and 11:00 AM. The process there is the following:
- They will check your documents and let you know if you need to include anything else.
- If your folder is complete, you will receive a receipt for the amount of $5.00
- To pay the $5 fee, take the receipt along with the money to the Banco Internacional (located just down the block at Av. Patria y Paez).
- At the bank, you will fill out a deposit slip and deposit the $5.00
- Make three separate photocopies of the receipt from the Dirección and the deposit confirmation.
- Go back to the Dirección de Extranjería, and turn in two of the copies. Keep the third one as your own documentation.
- You will leave your passport and documents there for a few days. They will tell you when to come back and pick it up (in the meantime, be sure to keep a copy of your passport with you!)
- Once you receive your passport with its new stamp, you are ready to get your censo.
Getting the Censo (your Ecuadorian ID)
**Non-tourists need a censo in order to obtain their departure permit!
You will need three small photos, your passport, copies of your passport photo page, visa page, Ecuadorian entry page, and page with stamp from Dirección de Extranjería. In addition you will need various other documents in order to get your censo. Getting the card made costs $4.
The office is located just in front of "Retén Policial de la Jipijapa" (Isla Seymour and Río Coca St.). Hours are 8:30 to noon and 3-5 pm weekdays. Expect to wait in line for at least 15 minutes, the best hour is 9h00 pm the people doesn´t arrive yet, to complete the process.
Right after you get your censo, you can get it laminated (plastificado) outside. You should make a color copy of your censo in case you lose it.
If you lose your censo:
Get a "Denuncia por pérdida " from the Polícia Judicial main offices, white and blue bulding in the corner of Juan León Mera and Roca.
Take the Denuncia , one photo, your passport and $3 to the Policía de Migración on Avenida Río Amazonas and República across from the mall El Jardín, 2 nd floor.
Leaving the Country
There is a $25 departure tax in the airport, payable only in CASH.
Tourists should keep the immigration card they filled out on the airplane while arriving as well as their tourist card in order to leave the country.
Those with immigrant and non-immigrant visas (excluding tourists) must obtain the permiso de salida from the Oficina de la Policia Nacional de Migración prior to leaving the country. The office is located on Avenida Río Amazonas and República across from the mall El Jardín. Bring your passport with visa in it, your censo, and $5. The salida is a slip of paper that is valid for one year, no matter how many times you use it.
Immigrants will lose their visa if they stay out of Ecuador longer than 90 days per year during their first two years and longer than 18 months beginning their third year after the visa was granted.
Sources: Editorial Research Getquitoecuador.com/ Cámara de Comercio Ecuatoriano Americana. Living in Ecuador . Quito: June, 1998. Imprenta Jumandí/ Oregon University System Handbook Quito-Ecuador 2001
Last updated: 2006-01-23