The most common type of visa obtained by most investors in order to travel and do business in Ecuador is a temporary residence investor visa, which shall be referred to as an investment visa for the sake of simplicity. An individual investor, their legal representatives, or an administrator dispatched to operate on behalf of a corporation can obtain this visa, which is provided to foreign citizens who want to invest in Ecuador, whether through the purchase of real estate or through productive and commercial activities.
You must invest $40,000 in an Ecuadorian CO-OP Certificate of Deposit (CD) for at least two years, the period of your Ecuador Temporary Resident Visa, to qualify for the Ecuador Investor Visa. There are no longer any travel restrictions for this visa under the new laws: During the first two years of your visa, you are allowed to leave Ecuador as many times as you desire.
If you’re coming from the United States, where banks no longer pay real interest, the CD interest rates will astound you. The interest rate on a two-year CD in Ecuador is now at 8.5 percent per year as of this writing!
You can leave the interest in the account to compound, but you are legally able to remove the interest income from your CD without having your visa invalidated. However, be cautious when completing papers with the COOP because they will default the application to restrict withdrawal of earned interest until the CD expires. Because bank deposits are only insured up to $32,000, at least $8,000 of your investment is unprotected. To make up the shortfall, you are not authorized to split the investment into various accounts or banks. The total investment must be made in a single account.
Minimum investment criteria are one of the Ecuador investment visa requirements you must meet. As a result, you must be able to produce at least one of the following types of proof:
- A title, policy, or certificate of deposit with a minimum period of seven hundred and thirty days and a minimum amount of $40,000 issued by a credit institution approved by Ecuador’s banking authorities (all figures in USD).
- A deed of ownership for a property in Ecuador with a minimum value of $80,000 that is registered in any of the country’s Property Registry offices.
- Shares in a corporation based in Ecuador having a minimum value of $10,000.
- Copy of a public deed of an investment contract in force with the Ecuadorian government.
- A copy of an in force delegated management deed signed with central or decentralized autonomous government bodies.
- Passport must be valid – It’s a good idea to renew your passport if it’s about to expire within the two-year time that your Ecuador investment visa is valid.
- Checking your background – Background checks will be required from the relevant government agency where you work, as well as any countries where you have lived in recent years. When processing your application, this check must be less than six months old.
- Fees for visas – Your investor’s visa will include a non-refundable administrative fee (about $50) as well as a higher fee (around $400) once it has been accepted.