Assessing travel and visa obligations in Ecuador

When traveling to Ecuador, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if you require work authorization. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.

Traveling for business

What types of activities may I engage in as a business visitor?

As a business visitor to Ecuador, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:

  • Attend business meetings
  • Buy goods for sale outside the country
  • Attend trade shows or seminar conventions
  • Receive or facilitate technical and classroom training

While business visitors are not currently required to obtain an additional permit for business activities, it is recommended that you consult with your immigration counsel prior to travel for an individual risk assessment.


If I qualify as a business visitor, do I need a visa for Ecuador?

Nationals of most countries, including European Union member states and the United States, are eligible for a visa waiver and are not required to obtain a visa to enter and conduct business activities in Ecuador. However, visa-waivered nationals are required to obtain a T-3 Stamp at the port of entry upon arrival.

If your nationality is not eligible for a visa waiver, you must obtain a Tourism Visa from an Ecuadorian Embassy or Consulate prior to travel. Please obtain an individual assessment before traveling to determine your eligibility for a visa waiver.

Working in Ecuador

What types of activities require work authorization?

The activities below, whether paid or unpaid, generally constitute work under Ecuadorian law. This list is not exhaustive, and many other professional activities are considered work in Ecuador, even if conducted for a short duration.

  • Performing audits
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Hands-on technical work


If I am traveling to Ecuador for work, what type of work authorization do I need?

The requirements for work authorization depend on your qualifications, on the nature and duration of your work and on whether your employer has an entity in Ecuador. The most common types of work authorization for Ecuador are:

  • Acts of Commerce Visa (short-term work authorization for those engaging in business, technical and specific professional activities)
  • Temporary Residency Visa – Worker (long-term work authorization for direct hires or assignees)
  • Temporary Residency Visa – Professional, Technician or Master Craftsman (long-term work authorization for highly skilled foreign professionals)
  • Temporary Residency Visa – Mercosur (long-term work authorization for nationals of Mercosur countries)


Is it possible to be exempted from work authorization requirements?

Ecuador does not offer work authorization exemptions.

What else should I know?

Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.


Copyright ©2024 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Government immigration agencies often change their policies and practices without notice; please consult an immigration professional for up-to-date information. This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. BAL maintains comprehensive immigration information and processing specifics for our clients.