Since the 28th of January 2017 President Rafael Correa has officially approved the new extension of the Ecuadorian immigration law. The extension is called: “LEY ORGÁNICA DE MOVILIDAD HUMANA” and the governmental workers have now 120 days to put this new extension of the law in function.
According to the following official article from the Ecuadorian Government:"Ley Orgánica de Movilidad Humana"
each visa application between now and then will be treated in the most convenient way of the person who applies for this visa.
Unfortunately, after communicating with a lawyer in Quito, an immigration worker at the border with Peru and an immigration worker in Loja (who had a copy of this law extension in front of her), we assume that the people who will have to work with this new extension of the immigration law, are not yet well informed…
For example in article 56 on page 12 of this official document, they write that each tourist who enters Ecuador has the right to stay for maximum 90 days in Ecuador as a tourist. These 90 days count during a period of one year, or 365 days, starting from the moment that the tourist enters in Ecuador. Be careful, this means that it isn’t a calendar year from the 1st of January until the 31st of December, but a year’s period.
In the law it is also written that it is possible to ask one more time for an extension of this tourist visa for another 90 days during this period of a year. However this will come with an additional cost and it has not yet been decided how much this will be.
The current price for a 90 days tourist visa is 400 US$ + 65 US$ on administration fees. According to immigration the new fee will be much lower, but they don’t know how much and when this will be decided.
In the document about the extension of the immigration law is also written that you can extend your tourist visa for up to maximum one year, which is a bit of a contradiction of the previous paragraph… How you can obtain for this visa isn’t clear yet, but it will also come with an additional cost. On top you will have to show the immigration that you possess a certain amount of money to cover your costs in Ecuador. At the moment this is equal to the minimum salary of one month (365 US$), for each month that you would like to stay in Ecuador. You can only apply ones every 5 years for this tourist visa extension.
Article 66.7 talks about a special tourist visa, which allows tourist that are already for 180 days in Ecuador, to stay for another 180 days. Most likely this is the same visa they talk about in the previous paragraph and most likely it’s the same as they have now in Ecuador. The current 12 IX visa provides tourists with a fixed 180 days extra, starting from the moment the visa got approved. This visa now has a cost of 400 US$ + 65 US$ on administration fees. New will be that you can only apply ones every 5 years for this visa. Up until today it was possible to apply each year for this visa.
Until further notice the new extension of the immigration law that looked so promising in January, so far has been adjusted to a lot of text with few conclusions. At least in the part that’s important for regular tourists. So far it also seems that the free 180 days tourist permit (what used to be normal before 2007) has been cancelled again.
Not written in this article, but interesting. A legal option for those who overstayed their visa in Ecuador and left to Peru, but still need to fly back home from Ecuador or even travel from Peru through Ecuador to Colombia, they can obtain for a so called “transit visa”. With this visa you can receive a couple of days to allow you to travel to the airport. To obtain for this visa you will have to show your flight ticket.
We will keep you posted on any new updates.