Work Permit in Ecuador

Why is Work Permit Needed?

Located on South America's west coast, Ecuador boasts of its diverse landscape and a booming economy. With an increasing number of multinational corporations, Ecuador is opening more opportunities to expats looking for job opportunities.

To employ foreign nationals in a company based in Ecuador, the employer must first ensure that the expats have obtained an Ecuador work visa. Without legal documentation and a work permit, foreign nationals cannot work in the country.

An expat should choose the visa type that best fulfills his stay and work type requirements. As long as the expat follows all the specified rules in the Ecuador work permit, their stay in the country will be smooth and pleasant. 

About the Ecuador Job Market


Number of expats

>387,513 (Numbers are prone to change)

Expat Job Websites

MillionMakers, Visa Hunter, EasyExpat.com

Popular Industries for expats

Petroleum, Food Processing, Textiles, Wood Products, Chemicals, Agriculture

Types of Ecuador Work Visas Available

There are a variety of work permits available to foreign nationals who wish to travel to Ecuador for employment purposes. Typically, Ecuadorian visas are broadly divided into two categories - resident and non-resident visas. However, there are other types of visas under these categories.

An expat must choose the right type of visa depending on their work type and intended duration of stay. Foreign workers availing non-resident visas have to obtain a Work Visa, also known as the 12-VI visa. Expats traveling to the country for business or other professional purposes require this Ecuador work visa. 

There are two types of resident visas available in Ecuador:

Professional Visa or 9­-V Visa

This visa allows workers with degrees from local universities to move to the country and work in their respective professional fields. 

Technician Visa or 10­-IV Visa

This visa is usually issued to technical experts who have signed a contract with an Ecuadorian company. 

If an expat meets all visa requirements of Ecuador, they might be issued resident visas for an indefinite time.

Ecuador Work Permit Requirements

The Ecuador work visa requirements vary depending on the type of visa. However, the basic requirements for all kinds of visas are listed as follows:

  • ~A passport (with validity for a minimum of six months) 
  • ~Two recent colored passport photos
  • ~A copy of the foreign employee’s CV
  • ~A medical certificate
  • ~A duly filled visa application form
  • ~Proof of payment of the visa application fee
  • ~A police background check to prove that the applicant has no criminal record in their resident country

The requirements for the title holder's application for a Work Visa (12 VI) have been listed below:

  • ~Passport with at least six months validity 
  • ~Recent passport size photo
  • ~A written request signed by the company's legal representative addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility
  • ~RUC certificate of the sponsor
  • ~A certificate stating that the company does not retain any debts to the Ecuadorian Institute for Social Security (IESS)
  • ~A contract of employment and the document which holds the employee's enrollment to IESS (Ecuadorian Institute for Social Security), provided the applicant has an employment contract in the private sector
  • ~Appointment of the President or General Manager registered in the Commercial Register
  • ~Labor Authorization for working in the public sector 
  • ~Professional services contract duly registered in a Civil Court. 
  • ~Letter issued by the head office apostilled or legalized and the Industrial Training Agreement between the head office and the branch office in Ecuador

Many employees choose to bring their family members along with them when coming to work in Ecuador. The procedure for obtaining the dependents' visas depends on what type of visa the employee holds. Therefore, it is best to check with the Ecuadorian embassy for their particular requirements and procedures. 

For dependents of employees holding a Work Visa (12 VI), the documents needed are as follows:

  • ~Passport with a minimum validity of 6 months
  • ~Passport size photograph
  • ~Legal birth or marriage certificate 
  • ~Copy of the visa issued to the employee

Ecuador Work Permit Application Process

The steps to apply for an Ecuador work permit are as follows:

  • ~Firstly, the foreign nationals interested in finding employment in Ecuador need to contact the Ecuadorian embassy in their country of residence. 
  • ~They should confirm the list of necessary documents with the embassy and submit them in due time.
  • ~After submitting the required documents, applicants must stay in their country of residence while waiting for the decision of the Ecuadorian officials. Only after approval for their permit can they travel to Ecuador to start working. 

Timeframe for Work Permit Application 

(Data from Internationalliving)

The timeframe to complete the entire process from application to approval for an Ecuador work visa is four to eight weeks.

Ecuador Work Permit Fees 

  • ~Application form: USD 50 (non-refundable)
  • ~Visa: USD 400 
  • ~Dependants: USD 200 per person

This is How Multiplier Can Help With an Ecuador Work Permit

With a local presence in  150 countries, we are a global EOR firm with experience handling and providing hassle-free hiring of employees around the globe. Our experts ensure that your company always gets the best talent among all others.

The work permits for an Ecuador work visa are varied, and the application process for the same is a multi-step and tedious process. Our SaaS-based solution provides you with a one-stop solution to this entire process. Moreover, we will take care of the applications and permits from the beginning and keep you updated on all relevant updates.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do foreign employees need a visa to work in Ecuador?

Yes, foreign workers intending to travel to Ecuador for business or other professional purposes have to avail of a non-resident visa, more commonly known as a Work Visa or (12 VI). 

How much is the Ecuador visa fee?

The visa fee for an Ecuador work permit is USD 400 for the applicant. Additionally, there is a USD 50 fee payable for the application form.

Can a foreign employee get a permanent residency visa in Ecuador?

Yes, a foreign employee can apply for a permanent residency visa in Ecuador only after they have lived in Ecuador for at least 21 months under a temporary visa. 



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