The country’s new digital nomad visa also called the Rentista visa, will provide digital nomads with outside income to live and work in Ecuador. This new visa will allow digital nomads to spend up to two years in Ecuador. Although the application process is lengthier than other digital nomad visas, it is well worth the extra work in many cases.
Low-income requirements: Ecuador has the lowest income requirements in the region, as the income requirements are slightly below Brazil’s requirement of $1,500 USD/month. The income requirements are a 3x multiple of the country’s minimum wage ($400 USD), so this could increase slightly in the future. For now, digital nomads only need to prove they make $1,275 USD/month to qualify for the digital nomad visa.
Bringing Family: Unlike some digital nomad visa programs, this program allows you to bring family members with you. This option can be appealing because of the cost of living, but some challenges include finding an international school. The South American region is also very appealing for medical tourism, and there are plenty of high-quality and low-cost options in regional countries.
The Ecuador digital nomad visa is the best in South America
Like most digital nomad programs, you must prove that you earn a stable income outside Ecuador. You used to be able to become a resident of Ecuador by having a monthly income of $400 USD, but this has since increased in line with other digital nomad visa programs (2-3x monthly minimum wage).
In order to apply, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Criminal background check: You will need a clean criminal background completed within the past six months.
- Stable monthly salary: The current requirement is 3x Ecuador’s minimum wage. You need to provide an additional $250 USD for each dependent.
- Proof of income: Documents from the past 6 months showing your income, including bank statements, tax returns, etc.
- Dependent info: Supporting information for your dependents ( birth certificates, etc.)
- Health Insurance: You must have valid health insurance that covers you in Ecuador.
Look for updates: The government posts updates on its website, but much of the information is in Spanish, and things can change quickly.
Fees: It costs around $50 USD to apply, and you must pay an additional $400 USD once accepted. You may also have to pay extra money for apostille services and translation services unless anything changes with the application process. You will also need to consider the cost of travelling to an embassy or consulate to prepare your application.
Related content: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency
You can live in Quito with your digital nomad visa and bring family members with you
SOME COUNTRIES CAN’T APPLY
Ecuador currently has a list of nearly 30 countries that are unable to apply for this digital nomad visa.
Countries that are unable to apply:
- North Korea
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Sri Lanka
Related content: Anguilla Digital Nomad Visa
Quilotoa Lagoon is one of the natural beauties you can visit while in Ecuador
We have covered a lot of digital nomad visas, including digital nomad visa programs in South America, and Ecuador looks like a wonderful setup. Ecuador's digital nomad visa program is superior to other programs in South America in several ways.
Longer Length: You can stay in Ecuador for two years on this digital nomad visa, while most regional visas only offer you the option to stay for 6-12 months. Moreover, there are plenty of options to become a permanent resident if you decide that Ecuador is a solid long-term fit for you.
Lower-income Requirements: You only need to prove that you make $1,275 USD/month to qualify. The income requirements are based on the country’s minimum wage ( 3x monthly minimum wage), so it is unlikely to increase significantly moving forward.
However, this digital nomad visa may not be the best fit for everyone, especially considering the application process is complex.
Longer application: It can take around 3 months for you to receive approval, and you may have to translate documents into Spanish. You can monitor developments to see if the government simplifies the process, but for the time being, you should be committed to spending months applying. If this is a deal breaker for you, there are plenty of easier options in South America. Brazil is one example of a country that allows digital nomads to qualify based on savings or a relatively lower monthly income.
Related content: Brazil Digital Nomad Visa
Salinas Beach, Ecuador
Currently, this will be one of the longest digital nomad visas, as programs like Costa Rica, Brazil, and Belize require digital nomads to reapply if they want to stay longer than two years. Furthermore, this program also has very generous residency and citizenship options. If you value residency and citizenship and have a strong interest in South America, Ecuador is one of the best options. If you love the idea of living in South America but only want to stay for 6-18 months and move elsewhere, this digital nomad visa program is likely not the best bet because of the relatively lengthier application process.