Ecuador Rentista Visa: Everything You Need to Know

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By Expat Law Group

June 20, 2024

Embark on a journey to Ecuador and experience its rich culture and captivating charm without the constraints of work obligations. Ecuador’s Rentista (or Rentier) Visa presents an enticing proposition, allowing you to turn this dream into a reality. Once considered a hidden gem in South America, Ecuador has now emerged as a sought-after destination for expats who seek a rewarding lifestyle without breaking the bank.

This option allows individuals with a consistent income to reside in this biodiverse country without the need to invest or retire. Many are drawn by its simplicity and the potential it offers for a tranquil lifestyle. To open the door to this opportunity, one must navigate the requirements and application process, which can be complex.

What is an Ecuador Rentista Visa?

The Rentista Temporary Residence Visa, allows individuals to reside in Ecuador for an initial duration of two years, with the possibility of an extension.

What truly defines it is the requirement for candidates to have a reliable, foreign-source income outside of Ecuador. This could come from a pension, investments, or consistent rental earnings. As of 2024, the set monthly minimum income requirement needed to qualify for the visa is $1380 monthly. This stipulation ensures that applicants possess sufficient financial means to sustain themselves without taking from Ecuador’s economy.

Another feature is that it opens the door to a permanent residency visa. After a satisfactory temporary residency term, holders may pursue a longer-term stay. Additionally, this kind of visa is family-friendly, allowing immediate relatives to be a part of the resident's new chapter in Ecuador. It does not bind the primary visa holder to stay within the country for a specified amount of time each year, which presents a flexible living arrangement compatible with the lifestyles of digital nomads or world travelers who generate income from properties or other investments back home.

How does the Rentista Visa work in Ecuador?

The process of relocating to a new country can be complex, but this option is designed to provide a straightforward path for individuals seeking to make Ecuador their new home. This visa is primarily intended for those who wish to sustain their stay in Ecuador without seeking local employment. This passive income can be derived from investments or more commonly, rental income.

The operational framework permits the inclusion of family members within the application process, though each additional person means that you will need an additional income. 

Precision in documentation is fundamental- the Ecuadorian government will scrutinize proof of the required income along with the validation of other essentials such as the applicant's criminal record and a valid passport.

Those who have received a steady $460 per month in passive income over this period can also explore the eligibility for permanent residency status - deepening their roots in this increasingly popular expat destination.

This visa type is not just a permit but a potential pathway to a new life, offering a combination of flexibility, stability, and opportunity that's highly appealing to many looking to make Ecuador their home away from home. With careful financial planning and adherence to the visa requirements, this option has the power to turn the dream of Ecuadorian living into a reality.

Can I extend past my initial 90 tourist days if I don’t apply yet?

In case you're in Ecuador with a tourist visa already and need more time to start your application, extending it is the best and safest option. Then, yes, you can easily extend your stay in Ecuador for another 90 days. However, it's important to note that you can only request this extension between days 80-90 of your tourist visa. The extension carries a fee of 153.33 USD. If you request the extension after day 90 and before day 120, you will be required to pay a fine in addition to the extension fee.

Rentier Visa Requirements

You will need meticulous preparation to meet stringent requirements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ecuadorian authorities set clear guidelines to ensure that prospective residents are economically stable and have a reputable background. You may be able to make an online appointment.

What you need to have ready:

  1. Monthly income requirement
  2. Criminal Record
  3. Valid Passport
  4. Apostille Birth Certificate  or  Marriage Certificate (if bringing dependents)
  5. Immigration certificate
  6. Health Insurance

These documents serve as the pillars to apply for your visa and pave the way for a new chapter in Ecuador.

1. Proof of Monthly Income

Be ready to prove your financial sufficiency with unwavering clarity. The monthly income requirement is at least $1,380, stemming from a legitimate and reliable source. This proof usually takes the form of bank statements or documents reflecting pension benefits, rental agreements, or investment earnings. The key is to provide a three-month trail of consistent income at the specified level, showcasing your capability to support yourself (and any dependents) without burdening the local economy.

Your documents should consistently show deposits that are at least 3x the basic salary in Ecuador ($460 in 2024) plus an additional $460 for each dependent and an extra $250 for the primary visa holder. This rigorous proof of legal income ensures you are economically self-sufficient.

Proof of Income Example 

Who is Applying?Income per month
1 Person (Visa Holder)1380 USD (Minimum)
1 Dependent + 18 y.o460 USD (Minimum) + ADD 250 to the visa holder

2. Criminal Record

Navigating through the application process for being a temporary resident involves presenting a certificate of a clean criminal history. Acquire this from the pertinent law enforcement agencies in your place(s) of residence from the preceding five years. If you are a U.S. citizen you will need to add a state police report.

Ensure your documents are properly translated, apostilled, or legalized to meet the Ecuadorian government's requirements. This step is non-negotiable and is part of the robust vetting process to maintain a safe community within the country's borders.

3. Valid Passport

A cornerstone of international travel and visa applications is a valid passport. For those aiming to obtain the visa, ensure that your passport not only has a minimum of six months' validity left but also adheres to the ten-year issuance limit. Additionally, your passport should contain at least two blank pages to accommodate immigration stamps and the visa itself.

4. Apostille Birth Certificate or Marriage Certificate (Dependants) 

Family is important. If you are the primary visa holder bringing dependents, like children or a spouse, you’ll need to validate your relationship through official documents such as an apostille document from your country of origin. These certificates, alongside corresponding marriage certificates if applicable, should be officially certified copies, ensuring their recognition by the Ecuadorian authorities as you include your loved ones in your residency plans. Remember, each dependent's inclusion is pegged to the income requirement, shaping your financial threshold for the visa.

 5. Immigration Certificate

Any immigration office in Ecuador can provide you with this document, it's not required in your application but the Ministry can ask for it if they need an extra.

6. Health Insurance

Health insurance from Ecuador or a foreign health insurance. You must ensure that the company that provides this service is approved by the Ministry.

Residency Visas Types in Ecuador

Navigating the multitude of visa options in Ecuador can seem daunting, as the country offers over 30 different types to cater to the varied needs of its cosmopolitan visitors. From professionals and technicians seeking work opportunities to explorers looking for temporary stays, Ecuador's visa spectrum is broad and inclusive.

1. Temporary Residency Visas

Temporary residency visas are the gateway for those planning to experience life in Ecuador for up to two years, offering enough flexibility for travel and exploration. Applying for this type of visa necessitates documentation such as a valid passport, showing that the applicant poses no threat to the country, background checks, and evidence of a legitimate income source. There are several temporary visas to choose from, based on one's purpose in Ecuador, including:

Investment, Work (employment contract), Digital Nomad, Retirement (pensioner visa), and professional visas, with each requiring distinct qualifications that align with the applicants' intentions in Ecuador.

2.  Permanent residency Visa

For those who have firmly planted their roots in Ecuador after holding a Temporary Visa for a period of 21 months, the next step is transitioning to a more robust visa. This is the key to unlocking the door to an indefinite stay in the allure of Ecuador. Individuals must adhere to the stipulation of not exceeding a total of 90 days spent outside Ecuador during their temporary residency. 

Those who meet this requirement and maintain clean background checks can have the freedom to call Ecuador home for as long as they desire. Among those eligible for this leap to permanence are expatriates married or in a civil union with an Ecuadorian citizen - granting them a status to stay alongside their loved ones..

Visa Application Process

The Rentista Visa begins with a structured application process tailored to assess the applicant's eligibility based on income and background. The procedural steps are designed to ensure that applicants are well-informed and fully prepared for their transition to life in Ecuador.

Initially, applicants must fill out the application form carefully in Spanish. This step underscores the importance of attention to detail and adherence to official guidelines. Following the form completion, gathering the requisite paperwork is crucial, as this will be inspected during the application process.

Applicants must then schedule an appointment with the nearest Ministry office in Ecuador. This is where personal assistance comes into play, requiring applicants to come prepared with all necessary documents in physical format, including a valid passport. If you have professional assistance they can apply for you.

Once the application and accompanying physical presence requirements are submitted to the Ministry's office in Ecuador, the next step is to wait. Applicants usually endure a waiting time that revolves around the evaluation of the application presentation and the communication of the final ruling.

This process is not just a mere formality - it is the gateway to a potential lifetime in Ecuador and, therefore, demands a level of engagement and accuracy from the very start.

Application and Visa Fees

Financial preparedness is a key component of the application process, as it involves specific application fees and visa fees. Prospective visa holders must initially pay:

  •  $50 Application fee (non-refundable)
  •  $270 (paid only when application is approved)

Process Time

Patience is an asset for applicants, as the processing time ranges from two to three months. Those applying for residency visas as a family unit should anticipate an extended time frame. The primary visa holder's application must be approved prior to the issuance of any dependent visas, potentially stretching the overall process time to approximately five months.

Once the application appointment is completed, a further waiting period of approximately 15 working days is generally expected for the official visa validation. During this phase of the process, applicants are advised to plan accordingly and exercise patience as the Ecuadorian authorities work diligently to assess and finalize visa requests.

Benefits of the Ecuador Rentista Temporary Visa

This visa offers an appealing pathway to relocate to South America for individuals with a steady income stream. Notably, this type of visa is not limited to retirees. A major benefit of the visa is that it allows families to bring their spouses and children along via a dependent visa.

One of the significant advantages of this visa is the provision to convert it into a permanent visa holder after a period of two years. Moreover, it comes with leniency regarding your stay within the country, as it lacks stringent physical residency requirements. This flexibility is advantageous for those who may need to travel frequently or maintain ties in other countries.

Renewability is a further benefit. It can be renewed, ensuring continuity for those looking to extend their stay without hassle.

Key Features of the Ecuador Rentier Visa:

  • Family can be included as dependents
  • Path to permanent residency
  • Renewable after 2 years
  • Relaxed physical residency requirements
  • Suitable for all ages

Looking to get in touch with a specialist?

If you are considering applying for the Ecuador Rentier Visa and want more guidance or assistance throughout the process, it is recommended to get in touch with one of our specialists for an obligation-free chat.

The expertise of an immigration visa facilitator or lawyer can be invaluable in understanding the specific requirements, preparing the necessary documentation, and navigating any complexities that may arise.

Our specialists can provide personalized advice tailored to your unique circumstances and help ensure that your application is complete, accurate, and meets all the necessary criteria -  note that visa laws are always changing. We can also guide you through any additional steps or procedures that may be required during your visa process, such as obtaining a criminal record check or medical examination.

When choosing a visa agent, it is important to select someone with extensive knowledge and experience in Ecuadorian immigration laws and processes. Remember, the Ecuador Rentier or Rentista Visa is a significant step towards your relocation to Ecuador, and having the support of a specialist can help streamline the process and increase your chances of a successful application.


What is a Rentier Visa for Ecuador? 

Is a type of temporary residency visa that allows individuals to reside in Ecuador if they have a stable passive income, such as from rentals.

What are the income requirements? 

Applicants must prove a monthly income at least three times the basic salary in Ecuador, currently $460, in total the minimum wage is $1380, and the primary visa holder needs an additional income of $250 for each dependent.

Are there any background check requirements? 

Yes, applicants must present a criminal record check and have health insurance that is valid in Ecuador.

How long is the Ecuador Rentista Visa valid? 

Is valid for two years and can be renewed.

Does this visa lead to permanent residency? 

Yes, offers a pathway to be permanent without the need to meet physical residency requirements. From all over South America, this is the best and easiest country to get a permanent status.

What documents are needed for the application? 

Eligibility requirements include the basic documents:  bank statements with active income and acceptable income types, a valid passport, criminal background checks, private health insurance, and the completed form.

How much is the visa fee? 

Visa fees vary and are subject to change, so it's recommended to check the latest fee structure during the application process. We’ve also covered the current fees here

Can I obtain an Ecuadorian Passport with this visa?

No, any temporary status allows you to get a Passport, this is another step during your permanent residence, you need to meet different requirements.

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