Ecuador: New Visa Residence Requirements for New and Current Expats

Posted on April 1, 2016 • Filed under: Ecuador

APRIL 1, 2016


According to press announcements there is a new requirement for all applicants for residency as well as current expats since 2008.

Under new legislation drafted and passed by the National Assembly there is a new reading requirement which also includes a written test for all those wanting residency or expats already living in Ecuador. After careful evaluation a team of Ecuadorians have selected two books that the erudite group feels will most likely improve the understanding of Ecuador’s culture for future and current expats.

The idea for this new regulation was a result of a petition by a number of Ecuadorians who complained that expats were not doing a good job of assimilating into the culture and lacked little knowledge of the workings of Ecuador and or the language. Some of the Ecuadorians complained about the number of expats wearing shorts and Hawaiian shirts in Cuenca with a Panama hat.

The illustrious exploratory team was headed by Don Nadie, Doña Nadie, Sr.Juan Pérez, Sr. Fulano, Sr. Sutano, Sr. Mengano and Sr. Juan Piguave.  The group believes that one of the best ways for future and current expats to have a better understanding of the many cultural challenges they face is by reading. They reviewed over ten books about living or retiring in Ecuador. While they believe all the books offered value to a reader, they concluded that there were two books that should not be missed. Those are: “100 Points to Consider Before Moving or Retiring in Ecuador” and “Spanish Slang Ecuador”.

They were particularly impressed in the 100 Points book with the focus of how Ecuadorians think and behave in particular situations. They believe that the “Culture Cues” section was particularly helpful in understanding some of the etiquette practices of Ecuador. Furthermore they stressed in an interview with a local newspaper that the descriptions of “viveza criolla” and “palanca” are very important for any outsider to understand. Also, the information about bargaining and renting or buying a home as invaluable.

This new requirement according to sources goes into effect as of April 1, 2016. Those applying for a new visa to live in Ecuador will be required to take a multiple choice test prior to issuance of a visa. Current expats living in Ecuador will have until April 1, 2017, to read both books. Exams will be conducted at a “bar” in the major cities of Ecuador to be decided at a later date. Each test taker must drink one glass of “Aguardiente Astillero” or one bottle of “Pilsner” beer before the exam. For those who don’t consume alcoholic beverages they will be required to past a “Spanish Slang” test taken from “Spanish Slang Ecuador. If a current expat does not want to read the books or take the test they will be required to explain the rule about how much time a resident visa holder is allowed out of the country backward and forward.

Those expats who have lived in Ecuador prior to 2008 are absolved from reading the books or taking the exam. The exploratory team felt any expat who has lived in Ecuador for that long should be absolved from suffering through another bureaucratic, red tape requirement and have earned the honor of being a resident of the “Jewel of the Andes” – Ecuador.

Since this article will cause much confusion and debate among future and current expats in Ecuador, the editor of decided just to call it an April Fools’ joke and that one should really have a good sense of humor to live in such a wonderful country. While this is a jest, the team of Don Nadie, Doña Nadie, Sr.Juan Pérez, Sr. Fulano, Sr. Sutano, Sr. Mengano and Sr. Juan Piguave  highly recommend that both books be read.




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