The Professional Visa is a popular option for foreigners to obtain temporary, and eventually permanent, residency. The main distinguishing feature of this visa is that the applicant must have a university degree.
The laws pertaining to the Professional Visa can be found in:
This visa permits professionals to live in Ecuador for up to two years as a temporary resident. This can be converted into permanent residency at the end of the 2 year temporary residency so long as the applicant has spent less than 90 days outside of Ecuador during this time.
If the applicant has spent more than 90 days outside of Ecuador during their temporary residency, they can renew the temporary residency visa for another 2 years.
The main requirements when applying for a Professional Visa are:
Some of these documents need to be apostilled or legalized. Where the issuing country is a party to the Hague Apostille Convention they will be apostilled. Else, they will need to be legalized if issued in a country that is NOT a party to the Hague Apostille Convention.
In the event that the original document was issued in a language other than Spanish, it must be translated by an authorized professional.
Once your temporary residency visa has been approved, you'll be eligible to apply for a cedula (or national ID card). For this, you'll need to obtain an 'Orden de Cedulacion' and follow the process for obtaining the cedula.
Note, foreigners can only obtain cedulas at the following Registro Civil locations: Cuenca, Quito and Guayaquil.
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