Ecuador/Visa question


QUESTION: Dear Jess,
I'm a U.S. citizen in Thailand on a Retirement Visa.  I like it here but the air pollution bothers me and the language is very hard to pick up.  I'm thinking of Quito as an alternative. I have good pension income.

Can you tell me if I can come to Ecuador on a Tourist Visa and apply for long term residence while in country or do I have to leave Ecuador and make the application from the outside?


ANSWER: Hi John,

Yes you can come on a tourist visa, but you need to apply for the 6 month tourist visa at the nearest Ecuadorian Consulate/Embassy. It cost me $200 USD two years ago. If you come on the regular 90 day visa you can't apply for residency until you get the 6 month visa, so you might as well get it first.

I will warn you that the pollution in Quito can be bad. It's the only city in the Ecuadorian Andes that causes me to have allergy problems. If you are sensitive to pollution there are lots of other options such as Cuenca or Ambato in the mountains.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Jess,

Thank you for the response.  A follow up?

Unfortunately the nearest Ecuadorian Consulate is about 600KM from here and I'd rather not make the trip if I can avoid it.

Can I come to Ecuador on a 90 Visa On Arrival and apply for a 6 month Visa while in Ecuador?  

I'm also considering Argentina and Uruguay as they both seem to have an easier path to residency.


Hi John,

Years ago you could get the 6 month visa after you got here. I'm unsure about now. We know of someone who was able to get it just recently, but we're not sure if it's a normal thing or if it was just her lawyer paying someone off.

Most information you read says you can't. It would be worth calling the consulate and asking.

Sorry I can't give you a definite yes or no. But that's typical here...everyone you ask has a different answer.



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