Ecuador Investment Immigration


Permanent Residency Visa through Investment Programs

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Investment immigration by definition is where a foreign individual invests a set amount of money into an investment project for the benefit of the country’s economy, for the sole purpose of obtaining a permanent residency visa. The country in which the applicant invests into must be the country he/she wishes to gain a permanent residency visa in. The residency visa is granted on approval of the individual’s investment plan and will enable the applicant to live and carry out business in that country along with his dependents. Generally, most jurisdictions provide the opportunity for the investor to sponsor his family to reside with him.

It is important to acknowledge that each jurisdiction provides for different requirements to be met in order to qualify for a residency visa through investment.

Why Immigrate to Ecuador?

Ecuador is a popular location for many foreign investors seeking permanent residency. It boasts a peaceful and environmentally friendly existence and features a high standard of living for its inhabitants. It is currently rated as the 3rd most desirable location to retire in, in the world. It has a strong political and financial infrastructure with a solid and prominent legal framework. Its geographical location enables it to be a hotspot for international business relations, particularly with America. Ecuador living expenses are relatively low, offering good health care and education standards while boasting excellent public and private services.

Ecuador Investor Visa

Ecuador investment visas (permanent residence visas) are applicable under a number of categories. Applicants are required to have a 12-IX visa upon applying for a permanent residence visa.

An applicant can obtain permanent residency through the following resident visas:
  • Retirement Visa(9-I)
  • Investment into Real Estate or Security (9-II)
  • Industrial Investor Visa (9-III)

Retirement Visa (9-I)

Retired Individuals seeking permanent residency in Ecuador may apply for the 9-I retirement visa. In order to be eligible, the applicant will need to receive at least $800 per month from their pension, however this amount may vary. Relevant documentation is required when applying for a residency permit under this program. This includes:

  • Proof of stable income of at least $800 from retirement documents
  • Certification by the Ecuadorian Consul that the funds are no less than $800 per month as well as an addition of $100 per dependent

Investment of Real Estate or Securities (9-II)

Investors seeking a permanent residency visa can invest in real estate or securities in Ecuador, provided their investment is a minimum US$ 25,000 with an additional fee of US$ 500 per dependent included in the residency application. Relevant documentation is required when applying for a residency permit under this program. This includes:

  • Proof of investment of at least $25,000
  • Certificate of title clearance of the purchased property
  • Certificate or titles including fiduciary documents including bonds, certificates of deposits, stocks and shares
  • Original plus one copy of the relevant instrument showing a term of at least one year

Industrial Investor Visa (9-III)

Under this category the investor has the opportunity to invest their funds into an exporting industry. The minimum investment must be at least USD$30,000 and can be invested into agricultural products, livestock or minerals. The required documentation for application under this category includes:

  • Certified proof of investment
For Companies
  • A Constitutive Contract/ Increase of Capital registered at the Mercantile Registry
For Partnerships/ Sole Proprietorships
  • Certified copy of the corporation’s or partnership’s commercial registration at the Mercantile Register and Registro Unico de Contribuyente (Federal Tax Registry)
  • Business license granted by the ministry of International Trade Industry and Fishing
  • Agreement to comply with the rules and regulations determined by the immigration laws of Ecuador (Article 32, numeral VII [7] )
For the Agricultural/ Livestock Industry
  • A License granted by the Ministry of International Trade, Industry and Fishing
  • Property Deeds and Titles, registered and indemnified
  • Chamber of Agricultural or Chamber of Livestock industry Membership
  • Federal Tax Registry (RUC)

Individuals eligible to apply for the Ecuador Investor Visa are:

  • Technicians or experts in a particular field who are working under contract with an Ecuadorian company
  • Professionals with degrees who wish to practice their profession in Ecuador
  • Individuals economically dependent on their spouse or family member
  • High net worth individuals

Required Documents

Regardless of which investor program the applicant wishes to apply for, there are certain relevant documents required. These include:

  • Completion of the correct visa application form
  • A visa petition addressed to the Director General of Extranjeria, signed by the applicant and an attorney
  • Completion of a data form for the identification card, “hoja de datos para la cédula”
  • 2 x Notarized copies of passport with notary attesting current legal status
  • 2x current coloured passport photos

Limitations of the Residency Visa

It is important to acknowledge that all foreign investors who obtain the residency permit are liable to have it revoked when they spend more than 60 days per year away from Ecuador within the first 2 years of residency.

Ecuadorian Citizenship

Foreign nationals may obtain Ecuador citizenship through naturalization. In order to be eligible to apply, the applicant will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Provide proof of residency of at least 3 years. This time period may be reduced to 2 years if the applicant is married to an Ecuadorian citizen or have at least one child born in Ecuador
  • Must not spend more than 90 days out of the country during the legal residence period