US

Apr 12 2019

New Short-Term Visa Implemented for Business and Technical Visits

Ecuador

At a Glance

Foreign nationals are subject to the new short-term visa in the following two situations:

  • Those seeking to conduct business activities who are on foreign payroll who plan to remain in Ecuador for more than one month; and
  • Those seeking to conduct technical activities in Ecuador who remain on foreign payroll, regardless of the duration of their stay.

 

This adds an administrative burden since affected visitors will need to submit additional documentation to apply for this short-term visa after entry under a Tourist Visa. The visa is processed the same day all documents are submitted.


The situation

Foreign nationals seeking to conduct business or technical activities in Ecuador who remain on foreign payroll must now apply for a new short-term visa called the Visa de Excepcion de Corta Duracion.

A closer look

  • Application rules. Foreign nationals are subject to the new short-term visa in the following two situations:
    • Those seeking to conduct business activities who are on foreign payroll who plan to remain in Ecuador for more than one month; and
    • Those seeking to conduct technical activities in Ecuador who remain on foreign payroll, regardless of the duration of their stay.
  • Application process. Affected foreign nationals must enter as a tourist and change their status to the new short-term visa, which requires a personal appearance by the foreign national and is currently processed the same day that all required documents are submitted. There are no visa exemptions based on nationality.
  • Required documentation. To apply for the visa, foreign nationals will have to submit the below documents:
    • Passport with a minimum validity of six months;
    • Passport-sized photograph;
    • Visa request form;
    • Government form;
    • Migratory movement document detailing all entries to and exits from Ecuador (obtained in Ecuador);
    • Sponsorship letter from the legal representative; and
    • Affidavit certifying sufficient financial support while in Ecuador.
  • Stay information. The short-term visa is valid for up to 180 continuous or cumulative days in one year from the date the visa is issued. The short-term visa allows multiple entries to Ecuador and is not subject to restrictions on out-of-country stays.

 

Impact

Affected foreign nationals are now subject to an additional administrative burden as they will need to submit additional documentation to apply for a new visa type to conduct business or technical activities.

Background

The Ecuadorian authorities enacted a new immigration law in 2017 which did not regulate short-term trips for business, commercial or technical activities. Tourist visas were the only viable option for these kinds of visits or assignments. The new regulations have been implemented to fill this gap.

Looking ahead

With the implementation of short-term visa, Fragomen expects the government to track foreign nationals’ activities and presence in Ecuador more strictly. On the other hand, the process and time frame established to obtain this visa is also indicative of the government's continued effort to simplify and expedite immigration processes to attract foreign investment to the country.



Fragomen does not expect major changes to Ecuadorian immigration laws in the near future, though Ecuadorian authorities tend to implement minor visa rule changes. Fragomen will report on relevant updates.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to lar@fragomen.com.