Ecuador! The home of the Galapagos Islands. Although Ecuador is the fourth-smallest South American Nation, it thrives on its rich culture and natural beauty.
As a Cuban citizen, I have always wanted to visit Ecuador to see the beautiful islands. At last, when I got the chance, I had to research the Ecuador Tourist Visa and everything to it.
This post will cover everything you need to know about the Ecuador Tourist Visa application process and the required documents.
Let's get started:
What Is The Ecuador Tourist Visa?
Before I get started on the required documents and the application process, I will tell you what the Ecuador Tourist Visa is. You're reading this post because you are probably planning a tourism trip to Ecuador.
The Ecuador Tourist Visa allows you to stay in Ecuador for 90 days. However, this is only permitted for tourism. Example purposes when applying for an Ecuador Tourist Visa are:
- Visiting friends
- Attend sports activities
What You Need To Know About The Ecuador Tourist Visa?
Now that you have oversight about the Ecuador Tourist Visa, I will explain all the essential details. Later in the post, I will cover the required documents and the application process. Please feel free to use the navigational links at your disposal.
Should US Citizens Apply For An Ecuador Tourist Visa?
If you are a US citizen planning a trip to Ecuador, you're lucky. You do not have to apply for an Ecuador Tourist Visa if you only plan on a 90-day trip.
Alternatively, suppose you are planning a trip for more than 90-days. In that case, you must apply for a temporary resident visa or an extended Tourist Visa at the Ecuadorian Embassy or Ecuadorian Consulate.
Later in this post, I will explain the Extended Tourist Visa.
Who Needs The Ecuador Tourist Visa?
Before starting the application process, you must determine if an Ecuador Tourist Visa is required for your country of origin. US citizens don't need a visa to enter Ecuador, as I mentioned earlier. However, please remember that this is not the case for all citizens.
Luckily Ecuador has a very lenient visa policy. Therefore citizens from most countries do not need an Ecuador Tourist Visa. However, citizens from countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gambia, etc., must apply for an Ecuador Tourist Visa.
If you're unsure whether or not you have to apply for an Ecuadorian Tourist Visa, please feel free to use the Ecuador Minister of Foreign Affairs website.
How To Enter Ecuador Without A Visa?
Because Ecuador has a lenient visa policy, many countries are exempt from needing an Ecuador Tourist Visa. Suppose you are exempt from needing an Ecuador Tourist Visa.
In that case, you will need to present the following travel documents to the immigration officers upon entering:
- A valid passport. It must be valid for at least six months from your entry date.
- A round-trip or a ticket proving you will be leaving Ecuador for another trip.
- Travel insurance that must cover the duration of your stay.
How Long Is The Ecuador Tourist Visa Valid?
The Ecuador Tourist Visa is only valid for stays up to 90-days. This does not apply to other visa types, such as permanent residence and business visas.
Can You Extend Your Ecuador Tourist Visa?
I know you would want to stay longer than 90 days if you are like me. In that case, you can apply for a Special Tourist Visa. The Special Tourist Visa allows you to stay an additional 90-days. This means that your initial 90-day trip can be extended to 180 days. Please keep in mind that you cannot carry out work activities during your trip.
The only downside to the Special Tourist Visa is that only certain special regime countries can apply for this type of visa. These countries include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Senegal, Cuba, and the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea.
Suppose you want to apply for the Special Tourist Visa. In that case, you must apply through Ecuador's Diplomatic Mission or Consular offices. On the other hand, suppose you enjoy your trip to Ecuador and want to extend your trip. In that case, you must use the Zonal Directorates in Ecuador.
What Is The Ecuador Tourist Visa Fee?
Like all visa applications, you must pay a fee. With the Ecuador Tourist Visa application, you must pay 2 fees: an application fee and an approval fee. If you are a senior citizen, you only have to pay 50% of the costs.
The fees are as follows:
- Application fee: USD 50 (Excluding VAT)
- Visa approval (granting): USD 150 (Excluding VAT)
What Is The Processing Time Of The Ecuador Tourist Visa?
The processing can be between 4 and 6 weeks. Typically processing times can differ depending on certain factors. These factors include the location of your submission.
As an experienced traveler, I always try and submit my application at least 2 months before my trip. Therefore, I advise you to submit your Ecuador Tourist Visa application 2 months before your departure date.
What Are The Ecuador Tourist Visa Required Documents?
With all the information I mentioned earlier, you should now understand the Ecuador Tourist Visa. This section will explain the required documents you will need to be included during your application process.
You must gather all these documents before you start with the application process. Here is a list of all the documents you require for your application:
- Completed application form (you have to submit a completed application form with your required documents).
- Passport-size photograph (ensure that you have a digital copy if you want to submit your application online).
- Valid passport (you must submit an original and a copy)
- Proof of accommodation (this can either be a hotel itinerary or proof of your hotel booking).
- Return flight ticket (you can submit a copy of your flight ticket or a flight itinerary).
- Original criminal record certificate from your country of origin or the country where you have lived for the last 5 years (it should be valid for a minimum of 180 days and must be apostilled).
- Proof of sufficient funds. You must prove that you have the financial means to support yourself during your trip (proof will be payslips, pensioners cheques, or bank statements).
- Health insurance (must cover the total amount of days you will be in Ecuador).
- Proof of paid application fee (this can be either a teller slip or online proof of payment).
What Are The Required Documents For Minors?
If you are applying for a minor, you must submit additional documents.
These documents are:
- Updated migratory movements of the applicant's parents.
- In the absence of one of the parents, you must present a special power of attorney or authorization, apostilled or legalized, and, if applicable, translated.
- The birth certificate of the minor, apostilled or legalized and, if applicable, translated, must be attached.
How To Apply For The Ecuador Tourist Visa?
Now that you are an Ecuador Tourist Visa professional and know everything about the Ecuador visa requirements, you can start your application. This section will outline the steps you must follow to complete the Ecuador Visa Application process.
Step 1 - Gather The Required Documents
Before starting with the application process, it is essential to gather all the required documents I mentioned earlier. I know I have said it before, but please note that it is crucial for the application process.
Professional traveler tip: Make copies of all your documents because you may misplace your documents, which will delay your application process.
To start with your application, you must complete the online application form. This document will require you to submit personal details, trip information, etc.
Keep in mind that you can complete it online, but you must print it before submitting your documents. Oh, and one last thing, ensure that you sign the online application form before submitting all your documents.
Step 3 - Book Your Visa Appointment
After completing, printing, and signing your online application form, you can now book your visa appointment.
There are two ways to book your visa appointment. The first way is to book your appointment online. Please note that not all Ecuador Embassies or consulates are applicable for online bookings. The alternative option is to book your appointment by contacting the nears Ecuadorian Embassy or Consulate general closest to you.
Quick note: You will receive your visa appointment booking confirmation via email, SMS, or phone call.
Step 4 - Attend Your Visa Appointment
You must attend your visa appointment because it is where you will submit your Ecuador Tourist Visa application. I can only assume that you might be stressed about the visa appointment, but keep in mind that there is nothing to fear.
As I mentioned earlier, the visa appointment will be for submitting your documents. You will also be required to conduct a short in-person interview with an embassy or consulate staff member. The staff member will ask you questions regarding your trip and can ask you to submit additional documents.
Step 5 - Pay Your Visa Application Fee
After your visa appointment, you must pay the visa application fee. The payment method can vary depending on the embassy or consulate you are applying from.
Step 6 - Wait For Your Visa To Be Processed
All the hard work is finally done. So, pour yourself a refresher because all you need to do now is wait for your application to be finalized and processed. As I said earlier, this can take between 4 and 6 weeks. In the meantime, you can search for extra Ecuador tourist attractions while you wait.
Step 7 - Collect Your Approved Visa
The last thing you must do is collect your approved Ecuador Tourist Visa. You will get a notification from the Ecuador Embassy or Consulate where you applied. As soon as you receive your approval notification, head over and collect your approved visa with an entry stamp.
You Are Ready To Travel To Ecuador
I hope you enjoyed a stress-free Ecuador Tourist Visa application process. The time has come, and you are ready to travel to the beautiful sites of Ecuador.