Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa: How to Get One in 2024
Ecuador boasts a low cost of living, reliable internet infrastructure, and some of the most unique and stunning natural beauty anywhere in South America. Though it may not be the most popular destination for digital nomads, but it's certainly one to consider if you're looking for a new and refreshing adventure in South America.
If you're considering setting up in Ecuador as a digital nomad, you'll need a Rentista for Remote Work, which acts as the Ecuador digital nomad visa.
Here's a guide to the features of this permit and how you can qualify and apply for one as a foreign remote worker.
The Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa
While Ecuador doesn't explicitly offer a digital nomad visa, it does have a temporary residence visa called the "Rentista for Remote Work," which provides many of the same privileges as digital nomad visas from around the world.
If you're able to apply for a Rentista for Remote Work successfully, you'll be able to enjoy:
- The ability to legally stay and work in Ecuador for up to two years. This is up from the 90 days you'll be given as part of a standard tourist visa entry.
- The option to bring your spouse and dependents into the country with you, although this will come at an additional minimum income requirement of $250 USD per month per person.
- The option to renew your visa for another two years after the initial two years is up. After this, you'll need to look into other options to remain in the country, like applying for permanent residence.
- There is no tax on income made outside of Ecuador, thanks to the nation's territorial tax system.
How to Get an Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa
To acquire an Ecuador digital nomad visa and ensure your stay in the country is legal, you'll need to make sure you meet certain eligibility requirements and complete the application steps set out by the Ecuadorian government.
Here are the five steps to getting your Rentista for Remote Work.
Step 1: Confirm You're Eligible
Ecuador maintains certain criteria that people will need to meet if they want to live and work in the country as digital nomads.
Before you apply for the Rentista for Remote Work, you'll need to make sure you:
- Have a passport with a remaining validity of at least six months from the date when you plan to make your application.
- Have an income of at least $1,275 USD per month.
- You are a remote worker, with all your income being earned through activities outside of Ecuador.
- Hold a nationality that's eligible to apply for an Ecuadorian visa without pre-approval.
- Have health insurance that's applicable in Ecuador.
Step 2: Gather the Required Documents
Applying for the Ecuador digital nomad visa will require you to submit originals or copies of several official documents.
Before you move further with the application process, make sure that you have:
- A passport with a minimum validity of six months from the date when you intend to file your visa application.
- Two passport-sized photographs.
- A certificate proving you have a clear criminal record issued by your country.
- Proof of employment through foreign economic activity. This can be an employment contract or a contract with one of your clients if you're a freelancer or business owner.
- Evidence that you meet the minimum income requirements in the form of bank statements.
- Proof of health insurance, e.g., a copy of your policy.
Step 3: Fill Out the Application Form
Once you've gathered all the necessary documents, you'll be ready to start the Ecuador digital nomad visa application process.
To do this, visit Ecuador's official immigration site and create an account, then navigate to the "Consular Procedures" tab and select the visa service. This part of the website will give you a set of instructions to follow, including entering your personal information and details about your intended stay.
At the end of this process, you'll be prompted to book an in-person visa appointment with your local consulate and submit digital files of your collected documentation.
Once you've completed all these steps, you'll receive an email with a processing number, which you can use to pay a registration fee of $50 USD online.
Step 4: Submit the Application
Though a large part of the Ecuador digital nomad visa application process can be done online, you'll need to attend an in-person visa appointment at your local Ecuadorian consulate to finalize your application.
On the day of your appointment, be sure to bring all the physical documents that you were required to submit digitally as part of your online application process, including your original passport, a copy of your health insurance policy, etc.
Once your application is submitted, you should receive the resolution by email within seven working days. However, this can be much higher depending on the workload of your specific consulate.
Step 5: Pay the Visa Fee
The Ecuador digital nomad visa requires you to pay a visa fee of $400 USD. This will be requested upon the approval of your application and can be paid for using an online portal.
Pros and Cons of the Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa
Ecuador is just one of the many nations that offers a legally-sanctioned route for foreign nationals to live and work in the country. To help you weigh this visa against other potential options, here are some of the key pros and cons of the Ecuador digital nomad visa…
- Ecuador's low cost of living is reflected in the affordable minimum income requirements set for the digital nomad visa.
- The ability to stay legally in Ecuador for up to two years, with the possibility to extend this for a further two.
- No taxes on income made outside of Ecuador.
- The option to bring your spouse and dependents into the country with you, provided you meet the minimum income requirements.
- Ecuador requires some nationalities, such as India and a number of African nations, to have pre-approved entry before they can apply for a digital nomad visa. This can make it hard to attain for some nomads.
- The visa fee of $400 USD is fairly high compared to many other digital nomad visas.
- Processing times can vary significantly from one consulate to another, potentially making it hard to plan.
We hope this guide has given you a better understanding of the Ecuador digital nomad visa and whether this South American destination is right for your plans as a nomad.
If you're looking for insurance for your visa application, be sure to check out some of our global insurance plans for digital nomads.