By Marcos Chiluisa
Ecuador is a developing country, and because of this it is a country that is constantly looking for changes, improvements, and updates to its laws. No country has perfect laws, but at least in Ecuador it is evident that we are dedicated to improving. Ecuador has ranked as the second most popular country for North American retirees according to the latest edition of International Living magazine. This recognition is beginning to signal to local authorities that
being a destination country for retirees brings with it many benefits, but also many challenges, especially regarding immigration.
Since 2008, Ecuador has presented itself to the world as a country with open borders and free mobility. At the same time though, it has been adapting to the reality that we have been experiencing in recent years. This is why in 2017, for the first time, Ecuador published a Human Mobility Law that regulated all types of visas and gave a complete description of the migratory requirements for each type.
After two years of the pandemic there is no doubt that human mobility has changed, and Ecuador has not been blind to these changes. In the last five years Ecuador has had five important changes to immigration regulations and more than 50 internal resolutions granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador. In the region, Ecuador is considered one of the countries with a relatively simple and efficient immigration system, but at the same time, it is hard for all applicants to keep up with the changes.
On February 18, the regulations for the Organic Law on Human Mobility were updated again, which brought some interesting changes such as the temporary residence visa for self-employed workers (services) and the digital nomad visa. The latter being an invitation to those people who can do their work from home, so that they can come live in Ecuador.
Although sudden changes to the immigration laws in Ecuador can be deterring to North American expats, we can say with full confidence that the Ecuadorian government, even with limited resources, is always prioritizing the increase and retention of this community in our country. It is with the utmost importance that the government both prioritizes the invitation of North American expats, while also complying with internal security protocols which ensure the safety of all.
Below you will find a description and the requirements for each of the visas that are most popular within the North American expatriate community: