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Work Permit in Ecuador: Guidelines on How to Get Work Visa For Ecuador


Are you a citizen of a foreign country who just got a job offer to work in Ecuador? Or still, seeking an employment opportunity in the country? However, you will need to obtain a work permit in Ecuador in other to work legally in the South American country. There are chances that you may not need to apply for a work visa in order to enter the country. This is because citizens from most countries can enter and stay in Ecuador without a visa, but only for 90 days.

Work Permit in Ecuador

Moreover, Ecuador is a country located in northwestern South America. It is bordered on the east and south by Peru, on the north by Columbia, and on the west by the Pacific ocean. Also, the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific are about 1,000 kilometers west of the mainland.

Work Visa in Ecuador

However, just like we said earlier there are some citizens that can enter the country without a visa. Upon their entry into the country, they will get a T-3 tourist stamp on their passport. This allows them to stay in Ecuador for only up to 90 days. Staying over 90 days means applying for a tourist or non-resident visa. Which can let you stay in the country for extended periods but not on a permanent basis.

Furthermore, if you want to stay and work in the country on a permanent basis you will have to get a work permit in Ecuador which gives you a residence status. Therefore, in this article, we provide information in detail about work permits in Ecuador, their eligibility requirement, various types of work permit visas in Ecuador, how to apply, and other important information pertaining to work permits in Ecuador.

Understanding Work Permit in Ecuador

A work permit in Ecuador otherwise known as a work visa is an authorization in form of an official document to take employment or job offer in the country as a foreigner. Every employee who is a citizen of a foreign national needs to obtain a work permit in Ecuador in order to work legally in the country.

However, a work permit visa in Ecuador known is as a visa type (12-VI). This type of visa is for highly skilled technical workers, professionals, and trained specialized workers which are invited by companies, institutions, or persons established in the country for employment opportunities, a temporary task in their area of specialty or industrial training, as well as their family members.

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Types of Work Permit Visa in Ecuador

However, the South American country offers a variety of visas to citizens of foreign countries with the intention to move to the country. These visas are broadly classified into two categories which are resident and non-resident visas. The non-resident visas can only let stay in Ecuador for extended periods, you will need a residence visa status to stay in the country on a permanent basis.

Moreover, one of the types of non-resident visas is the tourist visa (12-IX) allows foreigners to stay in Ecuador for only up to 90 days. Staying more than 90 days means applying for another type of non-resident, which is a special tourist visa. It extends the foreigner’s stay to 180 days. Also, you can only be issued a 180-days special tourist visa once every five years.


Furthermore, foreign workers who are moving to Ecuador for business or other temporary professional purposes will need a type of resident visa which is generally a work visa (12-VI). The resident visas are valid for only 2 years and the holder needs to renew them afterward. Other types of resident visas for foreign workers include professional visas (9-V), which allow foreigners with degrees to stay in Ecuador and practice their profession.

Also, the technician visa (10-IV) which is for technical experts that are invited by companies that are established in Ecuador with whom they have contracts.

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Eligibility Requirements to Get a Work Permit Visa

Moreover, the requirements for obtaining a work permit visa in Ecuador vary and it depends on the specific type of visa you apply for. But however, the general document required are as follows:

  • You will need to provide a copy of your CV to prove your professional experience
  • A passport valid for at least six months
  • Two copies of your most recent colored passport photos with white background
  • Certificate showing your medical status
  • A completely filled visa application form
  • Proof of visa application fee payment
  • Police clearance or criminal record
  • A copy of the employment contract
  • A copy of academic transcripts or proof of advanced technical skills
  • You must also provide a marriage and/or birth certificate in case of your dependents (family members)

Click here for the full list of the requirements for a work permit visa in Ecuador

How to Apply For Work Visa

However, follow the step-by-step guidelines outlined below to apply for a work visa or permit in Ecuador. There are as follows:

  • Firstly, as a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to live and work in Ecuador, you will need to contact the Ecuadorian Embassy or Consulate nearest to you in your country.
  •  Secondly, you will have to confirm and gather the necessary documentation required for the work permit application. Most of them are listed in the aforementioned eligibility requirements. But ensure that you confirm from the Embassy and Consulate website.
  • The next step is the payment of the visa fee, we recommend that you also visit the Embassy or Consulate website to confirm the amount. However, the consular fees are as follows: Visa – $400, application fee – $50, and also $200 for each dependent.
  • Then, you submit the required documents including proof of visa application fee. After submitting all the necessary documentation required for the application. You remain in your country and wait for the Ecuadorian immigration officials’ decision.
  • Upon your application approval, you may begin preparation for your travel documents to move to Ecuador.

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Additional Notes

In conclusion, when moving to Ecuador the type of visa you’ll need depends on what you intend to do and its duration in the country. Moreover, foreign workers may choose to bring their family members or dependents along with them to Ecuador. The process will also depend on the type of visa the employee holds. Therefore, we recommend that you confirm with the Ecuadorian Embassy or Consulate in your country for specific requirements and application process.


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