Ecuador

Visiting Ecuador visa-free

Johan Klok | Last update: November 13, 2021

Introduction

Visitors from most countries don't have to apply for a visa to visit Ecuador. Every year you can stay in Ecuador for 90 days without having a visa.

If you want to stay visa-free in Ecuador for up to 90 additional days, you can apply for a visa-free stay extension of 90 consecutive days.

Requirements for visiting Ecuador visa-free

To visit Ecuador visa-free, you have to comply with two requirements:

  1. Your passport must be valid for at least six months.
  2. You need proof of an onward travel arrangement.

Keep in mind that Ecuador also has special entry requirements because of COVID-19. See Entry requirements for traveling to Ecuador for the exact requirements.

Note: as a visitor, you don't need health insurance. Travel insurance isn't obligatory either.

180-days visa-free period

The visa-free period is 180 days for citizens of Russia and several Latin-American countries.

No visa-free period

Citizens from the following countries always need a visa to visit Ecuador: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burma, Cameroon, North Korea, Ivory Coast, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Philippines, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, India, Iraq, Iran, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Syria, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen.

If you are from one of these countries, you can apply for a visitor's visa at a nearby Ecuadorian consulate.

How the visa-free system works

When you arrive in Ecuador for the first time, you will receive a permit stamp in your passport. From this day, you can stay visa-free in Ecuador for 90 days during one year (the following 366 days).

Every day you are in Ecuador, you consume one of these 90 visa-free days. You can visit Ecuador without having a visa as many times as you want as long as you haven't finished all 90 visa-free days.

Every subsequent year on the date that you got the first permit stamp, the unused visa-free days will expire, and you will receive 90 new visa-free days to visit Ecuador during one year (the following 366 days).

An example

You arrived in Ecuador for the first time on February 8, 2021, and you left the country on February 15, 2021. This means that you have used eight days of your 90 visa-free days and that you can still visit Ecuador for 82 days until February 7, 2022, without having a visa.

Let's assume that you revisit Ecuador from July 4 to July 10, 2021. Now you have used another seven visa-free days. The result is that you can still visit Ecuador for 82 -/- 7 = 75 days until February 7, 2022, without having a visa.

Now let's assume that you want to visit Ecuador for the third time in March 2022. At this time, you will have 90 visa-free days to spend in Ecuador until February 7, 2023, because every subsequent year, you get 90 new visa-free days on February 8.

Staying visa-free in Ecuador for 90 additional days

If you want to stay visa-free in Ecuador for longer than the regular 90 visa-free days, you can apply for an extension of your visa-free stay by 90 consecutive days. During these 90 straight days, you can leave and revisit the country as many times as you want.

How to apply for a 90-days extension?

Obtaining a 90-days extension to stay visa-free in Ecuador is a relatively straightforward process.

Step 1: download and fill out the application form

To obtain the extension, you will first have to fill out this form (pdf): formulario de solicitud de prórroga para el permiso de permanencia autorizada.

Step 2: visit a migration office

As soon as you have consumed all first 90 days of your visa-free stay, you can visit a nearby migration office (officially: Servicio de Apoyo Migratorio (SAM) office) to apply for the extension.

Bring with you:

  1. the application form
  2. your passport

You have 20 days to apply for the extension after consuming all first 90 days.

Note: many people want to arrange the extension before consuming all first 90 visa-free days, but the immigration officers cannot help you until the first day after having finished all first 90 visa-free days (day 91, so to speak).

Step 3: pay the fee

A migration officer will give you a small piece of paper with payment instructions at the immigration office. With this paper, you need to go to a branch of Banco del Pacífico to deposit the fee of $ 133.33 (2021). Keep the receipt, because you will have to show it at the migration office.

Banco del Pacífico

You can only pay the fee at a branch of Banco del Pacífico, a large state-owned bank. To find the nearest office of Banco del Pacifico: type in Banco del Pacifico in Google Maps or a similar service.

Step 4: receive your extension

After paying the fee, you need to return to the immigration office. Here, an immigration officer will grant you a 90 days extension after giving him or her the payment receipt. The extension will be sent as a pdf-document to your e-mail address.

Staying in Ecuador after the visa-free period

If you want to stay longer than 180 days in Ecuador, you will need to apply for a visa. At this moment, only temporary resident visas are available.

Tourist visa

Until February 2021, it was possible to apply for a 180-days tourist visa to stay 180 additional days in Ecuador after the visa-free period. This visa doesn't exist anymore.