Do you have plans to apply for an Ecuador visa? If that is the case, you need to be aware of certain changes in the process.
Starting December 2014, a new requirement had been put into effect for all those who wish to apply for a residency visa in this country. According to the new rule, if you come from a country with a federal government (e.g. United States), you need to provide two types of criminal background checks. One should come from the State where you used to live and the other should come from the National government.
If your home country is part of the Hague Treaty, you need to have the two reports authenticated or apostilled. This means the two documents are allowed to be used for official purposes in countries that participated in the Hague Convention of 1961.
In case your home country is not part of this treaty, all you have to do is to have the documents legalized by any Ecuadorian Consulate.
If you want to apply for an Ecuador visa, specifically a residency one, you need to know that there are a lot of visa types. You need to know which one is more applicable based on your intentions for staying in this country.
What are the benefits of holding a residency visa in Ecuador
But before that, you may want to find out the benefits of having a residency visa in this country. There are 4 important advantages if you hold this visa.
First of all, you will get a lot of rights that is similar to that of the locals. You get the same benefits in a government-funded hospital. If the locals are allowed free medical care, you can expect to get the same benefits. That should help make your budget even smaller in this country that is already known for being a low cost one.
If you are a retired individual, you can also get access to a lot of senior discounts. This is the second benefit that you will get. A retired expat can get a couple of tax exceptions by holding an Ecuador visa. If you are over 65, you can get up to 12% sales tax exemption. This is for most of the purchases you will make in Ecuador. This will be tax that you need to recover from the SRI or the Ecuadorian IRS.
The third benefit that you will reap from a residency visa is being able to complete tramites or processes easily. For instance, you can easily open an account anywhere in Ecuador. Non residents are not permitted to open a bank account here. But since you are a legal resident thanks to your Ecuador visa, this is something that you can avail. One of the requirements of opening an account in any bank in Ecuador is a cedula – something that you can acquire thanks to your visa. You can open both savings and checking account. This can come in very handy when making important financial transactions.
Lastly, you will benefit from being a resident in Ecuador because you will be allowed to stay here indefinitely. Of course, there are rules that will require you to go to your home country every now and then but the documentations involved will not be as tedious as it will be for non-residents.
Any type of Ecuador visa can really come in handy but no more so than a residency visa.
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