Move to Ecuador for Its Wealth of Charms

Ecuador is a truly unique country, and although it has only recently shown up on many people’s radars, moving to Ecuador should be a definite consideration if you are thinking about moving overseas. In Ecuador, you can find inexpensive but high-quality real estate and a good quality of life.

In Ecuador you can have a driver, a cook, or a maid for a fraction of the cost you’d pay back home. You can eat a gourmet meal in world-class restaurants of every cuisine at prices unheard of in Los Angeles, New York City, or London. Or you can cook for yourself using market-fresh fruits and vegetables only seen in specialty shops in North America.

Moving to Ecuador also keeps you relatively close to friends and family back home. Daily flights connect Ecuador to major hubs throughout the hemisphere, and the flight to Miami is less than four hours. Cell phones and internet cafés are everywhere in Ecuador, and high-speed home internet hookups are quite common.

Also consider the fact that Ecuador has one of the lowest serious crime rates in Latin America and a higher standard of living than most Central American and surrounding Andean nations. The reasons to consider Ecuador tend to grow on you.

Who Is Moving to Ecuador?

Foreigners are drawn to moving to Ecuador for a variety of reasons. If you move to Ecuador, you will find an expat community of entrepreneurs, travelers, advisors, foreign officials, diplomats, businessmen of all stripes, and, of course, retirees looking to stretch their money and experience a different way of life.

Generally speaking, the expats who have moved to Ecuador are those who tend to blend into the society rather than live together in non-integrated, expat-oriented communities.

Nonetheless, a bit of time in any town of significant size in Ecuador is all it takes to find the haunts and watering holes of the non-natives. The expat community is probably equally mixed between people who are conducting some sort of business and those who have retired in Ecuador. And though many are near or at retirement age, many younger folks and families are making the move to Ecuador, too.

How to Move to Ecuador

There are a number of ways to become an Ecuadorian resident, and the process is fairly straightforward. You submit your immigrant-status visa application at the Ecuadorian consulate nearest your former residence, but it is approved through the Ministry of Foreign Relations, so expect the approval process to take four to eight weeks. Visa applications for your dependents, however, can be processed directly by the consulate once your application has been approved.

There are many different options for obtaining a residence visa, but the most common types of visas are the 9-I Pensioner’s visa and the 9-II Investor’s visa.

To qualify for a pensioner’s visa you must show that you receive an income of at least $800 per month from a qualifying source such as Social Security or a pension. You’ll need an additional $100 per month for each dependent who also wishes to receive a visa.

You can also choose to receive a visa by investing in the country. The most common ways of doing so are by depositing money into a bank CD or by purchasing property. The assessed value of the property or funds in a CD must equal $25,000 for the primary applicant plus $500 for each dependent.

For more information on types of visas and how to secure one visit: Ecuador Visa and Residence Information.