Quick Visa Facts
Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa Overview
The digital nomad visa is a temporary residence visa for foreign citizens who want to work remotely in Ecuador for up to two years, renewable in two-year increments. The application costs $50 USD; if accepted, the visa will cost $400. This new program, launched in June 2022, has already been popular among nomads.
Who Can Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Ecuador
Anyone who presents documentation showing that they own a business or company registered and domiciled abroad may apply for this visa. Citizens from 183 countries and territories are eligible to apply. Therefore, you can apply if you are a citizen of the United States, EU, a US green card holder, or a citizen from Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.
If You Reside in Another Country
If your country is not listed, you are unfortunately ineligible to apply for the digital nomad visa. However, there might be other visas that you are eligible for. To check out all Ecuador’s visas, head to the official website and review the eligibility requirements.
Types Of Visas in Ecuador for Digital Nomads
Nomads can apply for the digital nomad residency visa or just use the traditional tourist visa. Each has pros and cons, so deciding which works best for you will depend on several factors.
Visa de Residencia Temporal Rentista Para Trabajo Remoto
The digital nomad visa for Ecuador is for all foreign citizens who intend to settle in the country to carry out remote work, who own their own company or work for one or more legal or natural persons domiciled abroad, and which to carry out professional or business activities.
This visa allows you to stay in Ecuador and work remotely for up to two years, which can be renewed for another two years. This visa would be best for remote workers that want to settle in Ecuador rather than travelers who wish to visit the country.
Traditional tourist visa
Citizens of many different countries can get a tourist visa on arrival, allowing them to stay for 90 days in Ecuador. If you want to stay longer, you can go to a migration office and extend it for another 90 days. Be sure you do not overstay your visa, as this can result in hundreds of dollars in fines and a potential two-year ban from the country.
Traditional tourist visas do not let you open bank accounts, lease apartments, or conduct business in Ecuador. Weigh precisely what you want from your experience before deciding which course of action you want.
What Ecuador Visa Type Is The Best For Digital Nomads?
The digital nomad visa is the best option for digital nomads that want to set up a home in Ecuador for any time longer than a few months. However, you have to consider that it costs money and time, so this is for people serious about staying in Ecuador, setting up bank accounts, and integrating themselves into the culture.
If you are visiting Ecuador for the first time, it might be better to get a tourist visa to see how much you enjoy living there.
Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
Average Prices in Ecuador
There are a few different requirements when applying for and using your digital nomad visa for Ecuador.
Document Requirements for Paying Taxes in Ecuador
Even for those with temporary residence in Ecuador, money earned outside the country is not taxed. Only money earned within Ecuador is eligible for income tax. However, you will not need to worry about this, as the digital nomad visa does not allow you to earn money within the country.
Ecuador Bank Account Requirements
You can only open a bank account in Ecuador if you are a resident. Once your visa application has been processed, you will receive an Orden de Cedulacion, which is used to obtain a Cedula (Ecuadorian Identity Card). Once you have the Cedula, you can open an account with your chosen bank.
Bring the following documents with you:
- Deposit, typically around $300
- Physical passport as well as copies in color
- Proof of address
- Proof of address
- Copy of work contract or income statements
It would be best to go in person to the bank of your choice to open an account. Banking hours are typically short, and many banks do not reopen after lunch, so research before heading out. There are different requirements for checking accounts versus savings accounts at different banks, so shop for the bank that meets your individual needs.
Proof of Financial Self-Sufficiency
You will need proof that you are self-sufficient. This proof needs to include yourself and any dependents you are traveling with. Financial proof must be lawful and include copies of international account statements where the income requirements are reflected.
You must demonstrate a minimum income of at least three Unified Basic Salaries per month for three months before submitting your visa application. The Unified Basic Salary in Ecuador for 2022 is $425 per month, so you must prove that you made at least $1,275 per month for the previous three months. You can also prove financial self-sufficiency by showing 36 Unified Basic Salaries yearly, coming to an annual salary of $15,300.
Minimum Stable Recurring Income Requirement (2022)
|Per month||Per year|
|Per married couple||$2,550||$30,600|
|Per additional minor dependent||$250||$3,000|
|Per other adult dependent||$250||$3,000|
|Per family of 4 (2x adults, 2x dependent minors)||$3,050||$36,600|
You can demonstrate these income requirements through bank statements, investment documents, or other financial paperwork. There are currently no savings requirements for the digital nomad visa.
Proof Of Accommodation
You might be asked to provide proof of accommodation along with your visa application. You can use hotel or Airbnb conformations, letters from friends or family members saying you will stay with them, or a rental agreement/contract. The digital nomad visa for Ecuador is relatively new, so it is unclear what they want to see now. It is best to be over-prepared rather than underprepared, so ensure you have accommodation for at least a few months before starting your visa application.
Information that your proof of accommodation should include:
- Full name
- Entry date
- Contact information
Make sure the accommodation has been translated into Spanish when submitting.
Full Health Insurance
You must present valid national or foreign health insurance for the same period of the visa, in this case, two years. The policy or contract must indicate its coverage in Ecuador if contracted with a foreign company. Both the primary applicant and dependents should be covered.
Clean Criminal Record
You need to demonstrate a clean criminal record, which will include:
- Not having obtained an enforceable sentence for crimes such as murder, manslaughter, rape, kidnapping, or others sanctioned with a custodial sentence of more than five years, as established by current criminal law.
- Not be considered a threat or risk to public security and the structure of the State, according to the information available to the competent authorities.
You can demonstrate your clean criminal record through a background check or police clearance certificate.
Minimum Stay Requirement
There is no minimum requirement for the digital nomad visa, and you are free to enter and exit the country as often as you wish. However, if you hope to apply for permanent residency in Ecuador, you cannot leave the country for more than 90 days in 21 months.
Once you have permanent residence, you cannot leave for more than 180 days during your first two years of residency. After that period, you cannot spend more than two years outside Ecuador. If you break these rules, your permanent residency will be canceled.
How to Apply for the Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa – Step-By-Step Instructions
Step 1 – Acquire All The Necessary Documents
It is important to prepare all necessary documents before beginning your application. These will be needed throughout your application, so have photocopies and printed copies of important paperwork so you can breeze through the process.
Some documents that you will need:
- Color photograph in JPG format, maximum of one MB, 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 inches), updated, with white background, the facial expression must be neutral (preferred), or have a natural smile, with both eyes open.
- Valid passport with a minimum validity period of six (6) months.
- Copies of international bank account statements where income requirements are met.
- Documents that demonstrate that you work or provide services for a foreign employer, client, or company, domiciled abroad to carry out autonomous or dependent professional activities remotely, digitally, or telecommuting.
- Valid national or foreign health insurance for the same visa period. The policy or contract must indicate its coverage in Ecuador if contracted with a foreign company.
- A completed application form.
- Background check.
Step 2 – Fill Out The Application Form
If you go the online route, you must follow the following steps:
- Contact the Consular Office closest to your residence
- Register through the online consular office.
- Choose the procedure and upload the requirements in PDF according to the migratory category.
- Pay the visa application (Consular and Diplomatic Fee), and choose the payment method once authorized by the Consulate.
- The consulate will authorize the visa payment according to the Consular Fees.
- Choose the shift date to comply with the interview and receive the visa. The date may be changed according to the availability of consulate care.
- Provide your personal email;
- Verify in your email the receipt of the issued visa.
- Once the procedure is finished and the electronic visa is issued, the foreign person will physically submit to the administrative body that granted the visa, within one (1) month, all the documents that motivated its issuance. Failure to comply with this obligation will be understood as the facts that justified granting the visa have disappeared. Therefore, the human mobility authority may cancel it ex officio.
- Once the original documents have been received and if irregularities or lack of any document are evidenced from the review and contrast, the facts that justified the granting of the visa will be considered as having disappeared, and the cancellation will be initiated ex officio, without prejudice to civil actions and penalties resulting from the said act.
Step 3 – Submit Your Documents
If applying online, you will likely be asked to submit electronic copies of your important documents. Once the visa has been issued, you must physically submit your documents to the embassy or consulate. If you do not do that within one month, your visa will be canceled.
Step 4 – Pay the Fee
You have to pay the $50 application fee and then the $400 visa fee, which includes the consular and diplomatic fees.
Step 5 – Attend the Interview
You must attend the interview with the Ecuadorian consulate. In this interview, they will look over your documents and ask questions about your job and plans for Ecuador. It seems as though you can attend the interview in person or virtually. However, this will be clearer as you go through the application process.
Step 6 – Wait for Approval
Once all documentation has been submitted, fees have been paid, and the interview is complete, all you have to do is wait for your visa. Once you have that, you can go to Ecuador and set yourself up with a bank account, long-term apartment, and whatever else you want.
Timeline for Applying for Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa
The timeline for applying for the remote work visa will be anywhere from two to four months. As this is a new visa, you should expect some delays or difficulties that are getting worked out, so be patient with the process.
How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa In Ecuador?
Visa application: USD $50*
Visa granting: USD $400*
*Does not include tax VAT.
A 50% discount applies to seniors (65 years and older). A 100% exemption is applied at the national level for people with a disability equal to or greater than 30%, presenting the disability card issued by the Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador.
Other costs would include the approximate $300 deposit for opening a bank account and the price of hiring a service like Citizen Remote to walk you through the process.
Taxes for Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa
Digital nomads will not need to pay income taxes to Ecuador. Only taxes earned within Ecuador are subject to tax, which is impossible for digital nomads, as they are only authorized to earn money outside the country.
Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa Denial
Ecuador is one of the easiest countries to obtain a visa. Suppose you get denied for the digital nomad visa. In that case, you might not make enough money, your health insurance might not be valid in Ecuador, or you might have submitted an incomplete application.
If you are in a time crunch and need to get to Ecuador, you can always enter on a tourist visa and then reapply for the digital nomad visa after a couple of months. You can also go to other places in South America, like Colombia, another easy place to get a visa.
Living in Ecuador as a Digital Nomad
Ecuador is on South America’s west coast and borders Colombia and Peru. You can find some of the highest peaks of the Andes Mountains while also visiting some of the best beaches on the continent. Ecuador is for nature and adventure lovers, as you can experience the jungle, Incan ruins, and the Galapagos Islands.
Life in Ecuador as a digital nomad is full of possibilities.
Attractions and best places to visit
The Galapagos Islands
Hang out with tortoises, iguanas, and other incredible wildlife in the world-renowned Galapagos Islands.
Baños de Agua Santa
Visit the active Tungurahua Volcano and hot springs, commonly referred to as the gateway to the Amazon.
Middle of the World City
You can visit the exact middle of the world at the equator in Ecuador, as well as visit the planetarium, shops selling artisanal handcrafted goods, and tour the museums.
These ruins are about 50 miles north of Cuenca and should not be missed on your trip to Ecuador. You can see panoramic views of the countryside and learn all about its incredible history.
Enjoy the beaches
No trip to Ecuador is complete without enjoying the tropical paradise that makes the country so well known.
Digital nomad hotspots
Benefits Of Working In Ecuador as a Digital Nomad
For digital nomads that are just starting or are not making much money, Ecuador is where you can get a lot of value for a small amount of money. There are not many cities in the United States where you could have the same quality of life for even remotely the same amount of money.
The location of Ecuador is ideal for nomads that want to explore more of South America. Colombia and Peru are right next door and are hugely popular among digital nomads. A little bit farther away are Chile and Argentina, both of which have massive digital nomad populations. It is effortless for U.S. citizens to get to various international airports.
Sitting right on the equator, Ecuador has a temperate climate. You will have to deal with a rainy season and a dry season. However, in the rainy season, it generally rains more in the evenings and at night than in the morning. If you are an early riser, you can still catch some sun.
Digital nomads thrive the most when surrounded by other nomads, so it is great to have a welcoming community. Ecuador has this and more, which also means that there is reliable internet and many of the same comforts as the United States or Europe.
The visa application is pretty straightforward, has low minimum income requirements, and does not cost much to apply for. Compared to other countries that might cost a few thousand dollars, the Ecuador visa is easy to get and lasts for a long time, which is enticing for those that want to set up a home base in South America.
Cost of Living
Average salary in Ecuador
- Per month: $496.37
- Per year: $5,956.44
Average Prices in Ecuador
|One bedroom in Quito||$445|
|One bedroom in the rest of the country||$245|
|Gallon of milk||$3.83|
|Loaf of bread||$1.44|
|A dozen eggs||$1.75|
|Meal at an inexpensive restaurant||$3.12|
|Meal for two at a mid-range restaurant||$30|
|Internet (60mbps or more w/ unlimited data)||$40|
How does it compare to US cities?
Quito (2 million) is roughly the same size as Houston, Texas (2.28 million). On average, consumer prices, including rent, are 57.5% lower in Quito than in Houston. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant is 78% cheaper than in Houston, so you can undoubtedly get a lot of value for your money.
Digital nomad essentials
- Internet (speed): median fixed broadband download speed is 43.19
- Time Zone: GMT-5
- Socket Type: 110 volts, 60 cycle electricity, which is the same as the US. Plugs are typically two-pronged and flat, so US travelers will not need a converter or adapter.
- How to get a phone (SIM card) + Calling Code: Conecel is Ecuador’s largest mobile phone provider. The calling code is +593. To get a SIM card, you typically need to go to the store and provide your passport and other personal information.
- Coworking Spaces: Ecuador has several coworking spaces throughout its significant cities at various price points. The best way to find a coworking space is to ask for personal recommendations from other digital nomads.
Ecuador is a great entry point to South America. For those that work in U.S. time zones, you will enjoy getting to work the same hours. You can easily navigate to other digital nomad hotspots like Lima and Medellín from the country. The digital nomad visa is easy to get and much cheaper than in some other countries, at only $450. The income requirements are manageable as well. Overall, Ecuador has a lot to offer, and Citizen Remote is here to help you navigate the process.
FAQs About Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Ecuador and its remote work visa.
Does Ecuador Have a Digital Nomad Visa?
Yes, Ecuador has a digital nomad visa that allows nomads employed or who own a business in another country to work remotely in Ecuador for up to two years, which can then be renewed.
What is the Difference Between an Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa and a Tourist Visa?
The most significant difference between the digital nomad visa and the tourist visa is the length of time you can stay in the country and what you are allowed to do while you are in the country. You will want the nomad visa for those wishing to live in Ecuador. A tourist visa will work perfectly for those taking a short trip to scope out the area.
|Digital Nomad Visa||Tourist Visa|
|For a period of up to 2 years, which can be renewed||For 90 days which can be extended up to another 270 days|
|Allows you to open a bank account in Ecuador||Many countries issue these visas on arrival, so you do not have to worry with fees or paperwork|
|Considered a temporary residence permit||--|
|Does not allow you to conduct business within Ecuador||--|
What is the length of the Ecuador digital nomad visa?
The length for the Ecuador digital nomad visa is two years.
Is it possible to extend the Ecuador digital nomad visa? (Yes/No)
Yes, you can renew your visa for another two years.
How Long Does It Take to Complete the Entire Process?
The entire process, from beginning your application to receiving your visa, can take around three months, so you should prepare for this timeline when determining when to arrive in the country.
Can You Apply For Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa While Abroad?
Yes, you can apply for the digital nomad visa online while abroad or in the country at a Zonal Directorate.
What Currency Should You Pay for an Ecuador Visa?
Ecuador uses the same currency as the United States, so you should pay the application and visa fees using your standard currency.
How Can You Pay the Visa Fee?
You can pay the visa fee with a credit card using the online portal.
Can You Pay the Visa Fee Online?
Yes, you can pay the visa fee online.
Will You Get a Refund for your Visa Application If You Are Denied?
It does not appear that you would be eligible for a refund if your application gets denied.
Is It Safe in Ecuador?
Overall, Ecuador is a safe country for digital nomads. You can find a large digital nomad community in cities like Quito and Cuenca. However, crime is relatively common, so you will want to practice standard safety practices to avoid falling victim.
Is It Expensive to Live and Work in Ecuador?
Ecuador is highly affordable, with the average cost of living being around 50% lower than the United States and average rents around 80% lower. For a hot desk, you can find a coworking space in major cities for around $100 per month.
How Much Money Do You Need per Month in Ecuador?
A person living in Ecuador should budget about $500 for monthly expenses outside rent payments. Including rent, you can likely live very well for approximately $1,000 per month.
Can U.S. Citizens Travel to Ecuador Without a Visa?
Yes, U.S. citizens can travel to Ecuador without a visa. They will be issued a tourist visa on arrival, with a duration of 90 days.
Is there a Digital Nomad Community In Ecuador?
Yes, there is a thriving digital nomad community in Ecuador, mainly in Quito, Cuenca, and Guayaquil. Nomads in Ecuador tend to gravitate towards the cities, as these areas will have more ex-pats, more robust wifi, and more to do. However, nomads still enjoy living in more rural areas and want to experience the serenity of nature.
Are People in Ecuador Friendly?
Ecuadorians are extremely friendly and quite welcoming to tourists. The culture in Ecuador teaches people to be respectful, courteous, and welcoming. The Ecuador locals are typically interested in learning about foreigners and want people to enjoy their time in the country.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Ecuador?
Assuming you prefer drier, warmer weather, the best times to visit Ecuador would be from June to September. However, you can find plenty to do year-round.
What Ecuador Neighboring Countries Issue Visas for Digital Nomads?
Ecuador borders both Peru and Colombia. Colombia has an excellent digital nomad visa that is worth exploring. Peru needs a digital nomad-specific visa, but nomads can still spend a few months exploring the country on a tourist visa.
Do You Need COVID-19 Test/Medical Certificate to Entry Ecuador?
What Are Ecuador COVID-19 Local Guidelines & Protocols?
As of October 20, 2022, Ecuador has no COVID-19 entry requirements. International travelers do not have to have vaccination cards or proof of negative tests.
Random testing at airports has been discontinued, but if a traveler shows symptoms of COVID-19, they may be requested to take a test. If they were to test positive, they would need to be isolated for five days and wear masks while symptoms continue. However, they would not be required to quarantine. For the most up-to-date information, check official websites.
It is no longer required by law to wear a mask in indoor or outdoor spaces, but private businesses may still enforce masks to enter. As such, you should bring masks with you on your trip. Always check with desired hotels, hostels, restaurants and bars, and public transport on individual policies regarding masks and vaccinations.
What’s the Situation with COVID-19 In Ecuador?
At the time of writing, the 7-day average for new cases in Ecuador hovered around 193. There was a peak in the summer months of 2022 when the 7-day average peaked between 2,000 to 3,000 new cases a day. However, the current trend is relatively stagnant.
The vast majority of the population is vaccinated against COVID-19. The situation in Ecuador seems to be under control, so you do not have to worry about traveling there during this time as long as you are vaccinated and follow standard precautions.
Can I Get Help Applying for Ecuador Digital Nomad Visa?
Yes! Citizen Remote can help answer any questions you may have regarding your application. Just fill out the form on our website, and a team member will contact you.