How to Extend Your Tourist Visa and Stay Longer in Ecuador

From the day we arrived in Ecuador we knew we’d need longer than 90 days. Though small compared to its neighbouring latin American countries, Ecuador has everything from adrenaline-filled Andean Adventures, to quaint fishing villages dotting the coast, to lush tropical rainforest, Amazonian rivers, and mysterious Pacific Islands offering wildlife experiences most have never even dreamed about. For slow travellers like us, 90 days was never going to do. Most people (and even immigration consultants) advised overstaying the 90 days and simply paying a fine when we leave, if customs so chose to incur one upon us.

We were okay with that. But when we got the opportunity to move to the Galapagos Islands for several months and wouldn’t be leaving until AFTER our primary visas had expired, we knew we had to find a way to extend our stay legally as Galapageño border control is pretty tight.

Sunset in Canoa Ecuador

We were staying in Canoa when our decision came about so we were dealing with the immigration office in Manta as opposed to bigger cities like Quito or Guayaquil. I’m going to lay out exactly what we did to obtain an extended 6-month visa (on top of our initial 90 days), known as the 12-IX 180-day non-immigrant visa.

For anyone wishing to obtain residency as a retiree or investor, it is first required to get the 12-IX visa in order to apply for those.

In all the research I did looking into this, I found a lot of conflicting information and people saying different offices require different papers and so on and so forth. This may have been true before but the specific requirements are laid out on the official government website, and in my experience that is exactly what was required—though the actual process was frustrating as hell and didn’t always make sense.

First of all, let’s debunk a few myths about Ecuador and visas:

  • You CANNOT simply do a visa run as you would in Asia or other developing countries. If you want to stay in Ecuador legally you MUST get an extended visa, otherwise you are only allowed in the country for 90 days per year. If you leave, you won’t be allowed back in until one year after you first entered.
  • You do NOT need a lawyer to apply for visas. They will cost you a lot of money and the result will be the same.
  • You can apply for the visa in your home country or once you are here, it’s up to you.

I really love Ecuador and think it has a lot to offer so I want people to know that there is an option to extend your stay for six additional months. It’s actually quite easy if you know what you’re doing and avoid a few of the mistakes I made. That’s why I created this 10-step guide to getting a 12-IX visa in Ecuador and staying longer, here goes:

Garrapatero Beach, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Tempting, isn’t it? Read on…


Step 1: Get a file folder

You can buy this from a supermarket/tienda for about $0.25—just a typical card-stock, regular, old-joe folder. The ones in country have metal binding in them, you want that. You need to present all your papers in this folder, they will punch the holes and bind it for you.


Step 2: Fill out the visa application form

You can find the visa application for on their website, here. Just print it out and fill ‘er in. I went in with the wrong one and they gave me the right one on site to fill out.


Step 3: Write a letter stating your intentions (in Spanish)

Don’t fret if you don’t speak Spanish, I used Google Translate and they didn’t care about my obvious lack of Spanish skills. The letter is short, simple and to the point. It must contain your name, passport number, visa you are applying for and amount of days you will be staying in the country.

Here is exactly what I wrote in my letter (also put your home address in the top right corner as you would in an official letter):


Señor Ministro de Relaciónes Exteriores,

Yo, [your name] de [your country] con número de pasaporte [passport number], gustaría solicitar para la visa de turista no imigrante de 12-IX por ciento ochenta días para que me puedo visitar el resto del país. He viajado por toda la costa, pero quiero visitar las montañas, las ciudades y las Islas Galápagos durante los próximos meses.

Un cordial saludo,


[Contact phone number]


Step 4: Photocopy your passport

You need TWO colour photocopies of A) your passport picture page and B) the page containing the stamp from the day you entered Ecuador.


Step 5: Print a copy of your online bank statement containing at least $2000 (in Spanish)

If you’re bank is American, you may be lucky enough to have a Spanish translation option within your online banking. If you’re not (like me), here’s how I translated my bank account:

  • Download the Google Translator extension for Firefox
  • You will see a red T at the top right of your browser, click the arrow to select preferences
  • In preferences, change the translation language to Spanish
  • Open up your online bank statement in your browser
  • Highlight a small section of text and click the red T to translate the text into Spanish
  • Don’t highlight the entire page as it will mess up the formatting of your bank statement, you must do it in small sections as to not disrupt the layout.
  • Repeat section by section until the page is translated (it’s tedious but cheaper than a translator!)
  • Print the page to PDF to save it on your desktop (file —> print —> print to PDF)
  • Don’t worry about small discrepancies, as long as the majority is translated you’ll be fine


Step 6: Get a plane ticket home (or somewhere else)

You need to have proof that you’re going to leave the country before the 180 days is up. I find this a little bit strange—what if you buy a plane ticket for 5 months from now and you’re application doesn’t get approved?—but that’s the rules, so get a plane ticket or find a way around it.

There are a few options here. A) buy a plane ticket, B) fake one, or C) make a reservation (but don’t actually pay for the ticket). I chose “C”. There’s an option on some airlines to book a ticket without paying, it’s usually only valid for 24 hours so I would do this the day before you apply. You can also go see a travel agent and have them reserve you a ticket that you’re going to pay for later. There’s no travel agents in Canoa so I did it online. If you don’t want to be shady, buy the ticket. I simply don’t know where I’ll be headed after Ecuador so didn’t want to book anything.

I didn’t translate my itinerary into Spanish and it wasn’t a problem, though you never know, one day it could be. If you have the time/energy I’d suggest doing so, or book your ticket on the Spanish version of the site to avoid the hassle.


Step 7: Smile and say “cheese”

You need ONE passport photo, which they will glue to your application form. They will take another picture of you when you go in to apply and fill out another application to put it on which all seems a little bizarre and unnecessary (it’s literally the exact same form but filled out on the computer) but hey, it’s Ecuador.

I got Rory to take a photo of  me with our camera, cropped and resized it to 600 x 600 pixels, then brought it to a photo printing shop in Manta (a block from the visa office) and told them I needed passport-sized photos for a visa application. It cost me a few dollars for 6 of them and was ready in a few minutes.


Step 8: Apply in person at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores

You MUST apply in person, you can’t mail your papers in—we tried, they denied us—so make a trip to the closest city. You pay $30 for the application, go make a photocopy of your application they filled out on the computer (I don’t know why they don’t have a photocopy machine), then go enjoy all the splendour that your application city has to offer.

If you do not speak Spanish there is one English-speaking staff member available by the name of Juan Carlos, ask to speak with him. He does not work on these visa applications but can translate and explain anything you don’t understand. Or at least try to tell you what’s going on.

Manta Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office location (where we applied):
Mezanines 1 y Avenida 2 (see map)
Hours: 8:30am- 4:00pm, M-F
Phone: (05) 262-8629


Step 9: Wait 3+ days for your visa to be approved

The visa takes at least three days to process. We met one guy who said he got his the same day, but I’m thinking I may have misheard him because we pleaded for faster results (even offering a propina) but no dice—it takes three days. Or in our case, ten.

This is where the dysfunctional system comes into play. They gave us a phone number with our application number on it and told us to call them in three days to see if it had been approved. We did, they said they hadn’t gotten to it yet (this was a Friday). We called on the Monday, they said it had been approved (yippee!) but that we couldn’t come until Wednesday to pick it up (booooo!). We showed up Wednesday at 10am (as they told us to), and were told after an hour and a half of waiting that it wasn’t ready yet, come back the next day. We went back the next day, no dice. Their coordinator needed to sign the papers and she was currently working in another office 2 hours away. Why they couldn’t tell us this before, I don’t know. She came back that afternoon and they told us to come back at 4pm and they would for sure be ready. We went back at 4pm to find that their office closes at this time (DOH!). We were ready to call it quits at this point, there is no reasoning with them, you just have to wait. We went back on Friday, waited an hour and half again and then finally sat as more papers were filled out, we paid $4 for God knows what, and then another $200 for the visa, they stuck a big green sticker in our passports and we were on our merry way.


Step 10: Celebrate with a cerveza!

Sha-wing! You now have 180 additional days of Ecuadorian adventures ahead of you. Get out of the city and enjoy the beach, climb a mountain, learn Spanish, eat some guinea pig, or paddle down the Amazon. Ecuador is an amazing country with so much to offer, embrace it!


6-month 12-IX visa for Ecuador Yesssss! 


A few extra tips and additions:

  • Try to apply with at least 2 weeks left on your 90-day visa to ensure you get it on time.
  • Your 90-day visa must still be valid at the point of applying.
  • Your passport must be valid for at least 6-months from date of application.
  • Your 12-IX visa will be valid from the day they issue it, not from when your 90-days runs out.
  • Having stayed in Manta for 10 days instead of the planned 3, I would say: don’t stay in Manta. Drop off your application and go stay in Crucita, Bahia or Canoa until your visa is ready then make the journey back to pick it up. Ten days is a long time to spend in Manta, especially if you get sick like I did.
  • The taxi drivers in Manta don’t know where anything is—always bring the address of the visa office, where you’re going or where you’re staying (even then they sometimes don’t know where to go).
  • A lot of the information you will find on the internet is out-dated. They used to have a different system for visa application but changed it (and their website) in order to employ more people.
  • If you’re married, you’re spouse can apply as a dependent for an additional $50. We’re not and had to pay the fees twice.


Have you applied for this visa recently? Did it take more than 3 days? Less? Let me know in the comments if you’ve had any different experiences or horror stories! 

Your Thoughts?

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  1. satu

    said on: 29/07/14

    so they accepted your bankstatement with no problems? We have heard from Quito, that they will ask your original and stamped bank certificate from your homecountry and it can’t be older than a week, so impossible to obtain while in Ecuador… so the only option is to open an ecuadorian bank account. But this is a good news if your online bank statement was accepted!

    1. Shaz

      said on: 30/07/14

      Hi Satu, they didn’t question my bank statement whatsoever, they just made sure my name was on it. It was older than a week because I had previously gone to apply but couldn’t stay for three days and went back 3 weeks later with the same papers. I spoke with another traveler who also printed his statement online, but he also applied in Manta, so I’m not sure if it will cause a problem in Quito. I would like to think it won’t, I’d give it a shot!

    2. Michael

      said on: 22/01/15

      First a thank you to Shaz for her good work!

      Applied for a 120 day extended visa in Manta on 01/22/15. I used a local lawyer as I had other work I wanted done in Manta. Cost $170. Did find lawyers in Quito and Cuecaq for $100. Was told it would be ready on friday.

      The process seems pretty straight forward now based on my experience and other people I have spoken to that have been through the process. I expect that the horror stories are from a time of adjustment to a major overhaul of the system.

      In Manta a return ticket is no longer required. I did not translate my bank statement. $400 per month is required. For a bank statement I just cut and pasted a current balance and cut and pasted the personal info from my last bank statement. I also added a current date on the top.

      Another way to do it is to take our $20.00 and make a copy of your card and the receipt blacking out all but the last 4 numbers.

      The attorney said the office is not as busy on Wed and Friday.

      People seem to be confused as to when you can have a new visa issued. It is 12 months from the date of the original visa you received when you entered the country minus the length of time your original visa was originally issued for.

      So if your original visa was for 30 days you can reenter in 11 months. If your original visa was for 90 days than you can reenter in 9 months. How long you stayed or if you received and extension has no effect on when you can get a new original visa.

      If you let your visa run out you have to leave the country and can not apply for a extension. I have not run into anyone who has had a problem leaving the country on an expired visa.

  2. satu

    said on: 29/07/14

    and thank you for this post!!!!

    1. Shaz

      said on: 30/07/14

      You’re very welcome, best of luck on your application!

  3. Patience Milam

    said on: 06/08/14

    Thank you so much for this current information. I have been enjoying the beaches at Canoa for about 8 weeks now, and am ready to apply for my Visa extension and explore more in Ecuador. Will let you know how long it takes!
    From a Vancouver Islander!

    1. Shaz

      said on: 06/08/14

      No problem, Patience. Good luck and let us know about your experience! :)

  4. Rahul

    said on: 23/09/14

    Hi Shaz thank you soooo much for the info. Do you know how to apply if the 90 day visa is no longer valid? I overstayed my visa by 1 day. Im doing a motorcyle tour through South America and would lie to come back to Ecuador. I went to the Ecuadorian consulate in Caracas and they weren’t too helpful and recommended I hire an attorney in Ecuador. Any thoughts would be great.
    Thanks for the post and any help!

    1. Shaz

      said on: 11/10/14

      Hey Rahul, no problem :). I’m not sure how it works if you’re visa is expired, as far as I know it needs to be valid. I think you can apply for it out of country though, maybe in Peru or something? I feel like an attorney in Ecuador would be a lot of hassle and money for not a lot of return…

  5. Cory

    said on: 27/09/14

    Hi Shaz! My girlfriend and I will be leaving America to travel Ecuador in search for land to purchase. We are excited and thankful that we found your site as we definitely will be there longer than 90 days. One question: Did you apply within 30 days or your arrival into Ecuador?

    I ask because it states at the bottom of the application form that it must be submitted within 30 days; however, it sounds like you did not since your step advised applying 2 weeks prior to your 90 days expiring.

    Thank you so much again for this post. We have been reading your blog religiously since finding it.

    1. Shaz

      said on: 11/10/14

      Hey Cory, that’s awesome about your search for land, I wish you the best of luck! Where are you planning on buying? I have some friends who just purchased a 40 hectare farm near Canoa.

      I think that application form is used for several different types of visa applications. If you’re allowed to be in the country for 90 days, which I believe most people are, then I wouldn’t apply until that 90 days is almost up. The new visa will begin once you are approved, so waiting it out gives you more time in the long run!

      I’m glad you’re finding it useful, I still have so much more to post in the coming weeks! Let me know if you have any Ecuador questions, I’d be glad to help :). Happy hunting!

  6. paul

    said on: 06/10/14

    My girlfriend and I have just been into the Manta office to get our extension sorted. We used your check list to the letter (inc the letter!) and everything was spot on! Thank you for posting this information, super helpful.

    If you are ever back in Manta (we are teaching at the uni) we’ll buy you a beer!

    Paul & Erin

    1. Cory

      said on: 07/10/14

      Paul & Erin,
      This is great news. My girlfriend and I are landing tonight in Quito and plan on extending. Did you do it within 30 days of landing or not?
      Cory & Jill

      1. Shaz

        said on: 11/10/14

        Hey Cory, I just had a look at the form and *think* I know what it refers to from my research. If you apply for a visa out of country, you need to go to a visa office to register the visa within 30 days of arrival. It’s not applicable in this case as you have a 90-day tourist visa.
        Shaz recently posted…Quito Captured My Heart, Part 1My Profile

    2. Shaz

      said on: 11/10/14

      Hey Paul, that’s so good to hear, I’m glad you got through it hassle-free :). I don’t think I’ll be back in Manta for some time, but you never know! Happy travels.

  7. Tom

    said on: 27/10/14

    Hi thanks a lot for this , just some questions can you leave Ecuador and renter with 180 day visa??? Where do you apply in quito for the visa I can’t find address?? If I leave in 90 days can I apply for 180 days in my home country it does it Have to be done in Ecuador ??? Many thanks

    1. Shaz

      said on: 28/10/14

      Hi Tom, I believe you can leave and re-enter Ecuador (it says so on my visa) but the 180 days won’t be put on pause while you are out of the country, it runs for 6 continuous months. Yes, you can apply for it in your home country at an Ecuadorian embassy, though the requirements may be different than what I have listed here. This is the address of the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores I found on their website: Carrión E1-76 y Av. 10 de Agosto, Código Postal: 170517 / Quito – Ecuador, Teléfono: 593-2 299-3200. Happy travels!

      1. tom

        said on: 28/10/14

        thanks for the reply and information , greatly appreciated, so if i return to the uk after my 90 days has finished for christmas , i can apply for 12-IX 180-day non-immigrant visa when im back in uk???

        1. Shaz

          said on: 01/11/14

          Yep, you got it.

  8. Mary June

    said on: 11/12/14

    My went to Ecuador close to 2 years ago and now coming back transit to the U.S and then to Jordan. She never extended her visa so we are wondering if they will let her out without a problem..

    1. Shaz

      said on: 28/12/14

      It shouldn’t be a problem, especially if it’s for transit.

  9. Sean

    said on: 24/12/14

    Hi Shaz,

    I have a situation. I just arrived in Ecuador yesterday to spend christmas and new year with friends. I didn`t realise that because I had been here for 87 days earlier this year that I was only now allowed 3 days more. I’m only 5 days short of the New Year frustratingly but I plan to be here for 10 days in total. I also want to travel around for these 10 days. I don’t know if it is worth applying for a visa for 5-8 days. So…

    1. Do you know how bad the fines are if I overstay by 7 days?

    2. Could I apply for the mini-extension in Quito (that’s where I am now) and then go travelling and recollect my passport a week later, just before I leave?

    Any thoughts/ideas greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

    1. Shaz

      said on: 28/12/14

      Hey Sean, I have friends who have overstayed their visas and not been fined or had issue. I only applied for one because I was going to the Galapagos where it would be checked. You could apply for a mini extension in Quito, but I don’t think that would be necessary for only a few days. Happy New Year!

  10. Elizabeth JC

    said on: 12/01/15

    Wow. You are the best. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I will share this on my page. I’m in Quito now (just got here 6 days ago) and am sure I’ll need more than 90 days. I’ll apply here in Quito this week.

    I’m planning on being here in Quito for 2 more weeks. Do you know what happens if you don’t pick up your visa extension for a month or two? We are leaving for about 2 months then coming right back here. I don’t want to come back to Quito just to get the extension if I still have 70 days on my 90 visa.

    Again. Thank you so much.

    1. Elizabeth JC

      said on: 12/01/15

      Of course, I plan to pick up the extension if I’m still here in Quito, I just don’t want to wait around if it’s not ready when we’re ready to leave Quito in 2 weeks.

  11. Chase

    said on: 23/01/15

    Thanks for this info Shaz, very helpful and I’m so thankful to find all of this in one place! As you said, a lot of the information on the web is outdated and conflicting. We are planning on staying in Ecuador for several months, no real end date in mind, so this was very helpful! Thanks again!

  12. Scott

    said on: 24/01/15

    Hi there,

    I had a question for you about when you showed proof of leaving the country via booking (but not paying) for a ticket. What airline did you use. I am panning a similar scheme when I cross the border from Colombia. Thanks!

  13. Kevin

    said on: 09/02/15

    if I have a valid 6 month visa, am I able to return to Ecuador when it expires (within the same year?) for example: I received my extended visa on Oct 1 and it expires 6 months after that date. I will be returning to EC in a few weeks and then again and so on. When it expires, can I simply leave before it actually expires and return on a normal 90 day tourist visa or am I done for the year and not allowed entry?

    1. Kristen

      said on: 30/08/15

      Kevin, I have gotten the 6 month visa twice and there shouldn’t be a problem going back and getting 90 more days if you arrive 1 YEAR after your first arrival date and NOT your visa issue date. I would assume you arrived a month or two before you got your 6 month extension last year so you should be fine, just check the date of your first arrival in your passport. If you look to re-apply for a visa for this year you should have no problem.

  14. Joe

    said on: 16/02/15

    Thanks for the article! I’m planning on a 90-day visit to Ecuador/Peru early in 2016. Do I have to do anything special to get the regular 90-day visa in advance?

  15. jamie

    said on: 17/02/15

    Hi there, i was just wondering if the amount in the bank account can be less than $2000. I got a 6 month student visa with only $1000. Also, since I am thinking about moving to Colombia after my visa runs out, and I will travel last minute by bus, do you think it would be valid to write that in the letter to explain the lack of return ticket?
    Thanks for this post! Super helpful.

  16. tracy

    said on: 18/02/15

    Hi there…thank you so much for all the great detailed information on this site, it’s greatly appreciated. One question as i just want to verify the price of the visa extension – how much is it? You said it’s $30 for the visa application, is the entire cost of the visa? Because i have read that it costs way more, like $250? The cost of $30 seems too good to be true. Also, do you know if there is an office in Cuenca for the visa application? Thank so kindly for your effort. All the best 😉

  17. Linda

    said on: 20/02/15

    I live on our boat in Bahia de Caraquez and needed to apply for a visa extension (Visa 12-IX non-immigrante 6 month extension). As in many countires we have visited, requirements are a moving target and change constantly (sometimes also with the person you happen to get in the office). Best to check the Ecuador website as you suggested. The Government agency name has changed as has some of the requirements. It is now the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana and you are required to get a Movimiento Migratorio from the Manta Police Station before you go to Immigration. We used a printed receipt from an Ecuador bank which showed the balance in our US bank account (in spanish).

  18. Harold

    said on: 15/03/15

    Thanks for the info but after traveling all over Asia I’m sure it would be easier just to pay the fine. I’m sure they won’t have a problem with that plus the official currency is US dollars. btw how easy is it to find atm machines?

    1. Shaz

      said on: 24/03/15

      Yea, as I mentioned, I wouldn’t bother getting an extended visa unless you need to go to the Galapagos (as I did), or you need to leave Ecuador and return… you can’t just hop over the border and hop back in like you can in Asia, US currency doesn’t really make a difference in that case, they won’t let you back in if you’re 90 days has passed. ATM machines are plentiful in places like Manta, but once you start going up the coast are sparse. Bahia de Caracquez amd San Vicente has ATMs, but Canoa doesn’t. Mompiche is two hours from the closest ATM, so I’d stock up if you’re headed up North.

  19. Gordon Sinclair

    said on: 23/03/15

    Hello and Ty for posting your long list of obtaining a visa.
    I’m currently in Popayne Colombia on motorcycle from Canada
    Hoping to store my motorbike for 5.5 months
    A current report on overland Ecuador said visas extensions are no longer permitted jan 2015.
    So your report is giving me hope.
    Please and thank you in advance for your suggestions.

    Kind Regards Gord

    1. Shaz

      said on: 24/03/15

      Goodluck Gordon, they seem to change their policy all the time, so it’s hard to know. I got my visa before January, so it’s possible it might have changed. Though some of the commenters above seem to have gotten it without issue.

      1. Randy

        said on: 11/04/15

        Thanks for a very helpful website! I am a student from the states doing research in Esmeraldas & the time is approaching to renew my visa. Most of my ex-pat friends in Quito advise me to let the visa expire & deal with what comes when I leave the pais. However, I may be here up to a year and wish to travel in Colombia & Bolivia while in Ecuador, which the 180-day visa would allow me to do. I wonder if a student visa might be more effective, and less costly. Any thoughts on this would be helpful. And to Harold – it is an easy bus trip from Mompiche to Atacames where there are plenty of ATMs – I just used one (Banco Pinchincha) ayer with no problems – but beware, I have heard stories where some cards are not accepted and $$ must be wired through Western Union (I think it depends on the bank where card was issued).

  20. Trisha

    said on: 11/04/15

    Hi Shaz,
    We have applied for our 12-IX yesterday and in Cuenca’s office:
    1) We needed to have our Ecuadorian address, not American, on the form/petition not on the bank statement
    2) I was able to fill the form in on my laptop on the government’s website and print it. We didn’t have to do the re-fill it in and go get a copy steps in their office.
    3) They did not take another photo of us and the clerk cut/pasted the photos we supplied onto the printed form for us.
    4) They did accept you copy/Google Translate/paste bank statement
    5) We needed a Movimiento Migratorio from the Police de Migracion. It is a form that shows your migration in and out of Ecuador for the last 30 days. However, as we did not have it the clerk, who spoke perfect English, said she would get that added our application. If you download their instructions for getting the Visa 12:IX it is #6 in what you need now.
    We don’t have the Visa in hand yet but the application process was easy using Shaz’s instructions. The clerk even went to the extra help of postponing our next meeting for 3 weeks because our 90 day Visa doesn’t expire for almost 60 days but our plans make it necessary for us to get the longer Visa in May not June.
    Interestingly we didn’t pay anything yesterday to file the application. The clerk made it very clear we will need $200 Visa fee, $30 application fee and $4 for something I can’t translate when we come to pick up the application. She even said she would call if there were issues with the process. Doing it ourselves without the lawyer saved us $166 each.
    However, as I said we don’t have the Visa in hand yet….

    1. Trisha

      said on: 20/04/15

      A footnote to my first entry of 11/4/15.
      Today is 20/4/15
      The clerk just called and reports she was unable to obtain the Movimiento Migratorio form for us. She has requested we go to Policia de Migracion here in Cuenca, get the form and bring it to her so she can get our 180 day Visa.
      So you DO need to go there and get the form before you turn in all your paperwork for the 180 day Visa.

      1. Trisha

        said on: 21/04/15

        In Cuenca the Policia de Migracion are located at:
        Dir. Edvardo Munoz y Gran Colombia

        You need your current passport, your local address and the $5.00 fee in cash. It doesn’t take long depending on how many people are ahead of you.

        It is now required you have the Movimiento Migratorio form from the Policia de Migracion to get a 12-IX Visa if you are applying to upgrade your t-3 90 day Visa to the 180 day 12-IX Visa.

  21. BarefootScott

    said on: 21/04/15

    Aloha Shaz
    Hoping all’s Tickerty Boo with you?
    Thanks for thy post – incredibly handy and provided almost all the information i needed to extend me visa by another 6 months 😀

    The only additional information i needed (for Cuenca March 2015 anyway) was to visit the ‘Immigration Police Office (manned by civivlians) on Eduardo Munoz (towards the top of Gran Colombia and Avienda Las Americas – on the right hand side – looks like a normal residential street) and pay $5 for a check on movements (or similar). Eay to obtain and my minimal Spanish was enough as they expect that that’s what Gringo’s are there for ;). Get this first as otherwise thee will get sent there by the Offive of Immigration anyway.
    Thanks again – especially for the letter!
    Barefoot Scott

  22. June

    said on: 22/04/15

    Hello Shaz,
    thank you for your super precise list on how to process the 12IX visa. I am working on getting my professional 9V visa so I can stay in the galapagos and work for a company. It seems much easier that way. I have been offered a job but it is so complicated to get the work visa through the Galapagos I am going the professional visa route. I went to Guayquil and thankfully had just 50 mins before a clerk saw me. Apparently my name was not on the bank statement so I had to get my name on it and go across the road and print another page out. I will find out Friday if I am successful ! fingers crossed all is well. Thanks again.

  23. JKing

    said on: 15/07/15

    Thank you very much for this info! Getting ready to apply for an extension as we are getting ready to start building a home on the coast! Just as a side note you have left yourself wide open to identity theft by leaving all of the info in your passport on the Internet. I would strongly urge you to remove or blur that image…Cheers!

  24. Beverly

    said on: 25/08/15

    I am in Cuenca and there is an immigration office here with English speaking employees. My experience is that I had to have $324 x 6 in a local bank account for the entirety of the 12-IX visa. Also, I did not have to provide a return plane ticket to the US. It may be because I told them I am interested in obtaining my residency visa afterwards.

  25. Janet

    said on: 29/10/15

    Thank you for your post it has helped me out immensely I have recently resigned from my profession and since my husband works in Ecuador it is necessary for me to stay in the country over the 90 days allowed.
    Upon my departure in Ecuador I was told that I would not be able to reenter the country because I had overstayed my 90 days so it is necessary for me to apply for a visa and I think the smart thing for me to do is to get a tourist visa extension thank you for the information it was very helpful !

  26. lorraine

    said on: 03/11/15

    Can you tell me if I can apply for residency in Ecuador if I get my 6month extension there

    1. James

      said on: 25/07/16

      Thanks for the information! It has been very useful. I just received my 12-ix visa but the price has now changed to $450!

      1. Shaz

        said on: 19/08/16

        Hi James, glad to hear it worked out! Thanks for the info I’ve updated the article to reflect that. Hope you enjoy Ecuador!

  27. Jeremy

    said on: 21/01/16

    Thanks for your helpful information.
    A week ago I did a visa run back to Peru (I was in and out of Ecuador in less than 30 minutes, by land: Tumbes/Huaquilles border crossing). Ecuador gave me the 90 day visa, 30 minutes later I was back in Peru.
    I’m now planning to return to Ecuador for a lot longer than 30 minutes. Will I have any issue getting another 90 day visa? Will they give me an 89 day visa?
    I only used 1 day of the last 90 day visa they gave me.
    Sorry for the massive explanation but can you answer that?

  28. Ady

    said on: 04/02/16

    Hello. i plan to do volunteering in Ecuador which will be shortcut to stay in Ecuador forever . I am from Croatia and I wanna start over in South America. I would like to know can I apply for 180days visa before arrival in Ecuador, or I need another visa for volunteering? :)

  29. Hiren

    said on: 04/02/16

    i want to apply come ecuador with my family.
    please reply me on my e mail

  30. Alison

    said on: 16/03/16

    Regarding this point : Your 12-IX visa will be valid from the day they issue it, not from when your 90-days runs out. Does it means that from the point the issued the visa, I will have 180 days to stay in Ecuador?
    Thank you for your reply!

  31. Sean

    said on: 26/04/16

    New rule as of a few weeks ago: you cannot apply for a visa extension, from within Ecuador, if you have less than 30 days left on your visa. I had 27 left, so the lady said I have to go to Peru in order to apply for the same visa extension, which she agreed makes no sense.

    Not going to count on that actually working, so instead I’ll just cancel the rest of my plans here and stay in Peru. Adios Ecuador.

  32. Scott

    said on: 28/04/16

    Awesome, and easy to follow. I will give it a try. One question:

    Step 6. Will a bus ticket suffice? For example, a $50.00 bus ticket from Guayaquil to Tumbes?

    What was the name of the airline that let you book without paying?

  33. Jibin

    said on: 27/06/16

    Hi am from India and I went to Quito airport but they denied entry and gave me a paper in that it mentioned reason for not entry as Exclusion. Then I went to Indian Ecuadorian Embassy and collect all papers n again went to Ecuador but the Immigration officers told me that I need to cancel my exclusion then only they can give tourist visa. Now am traveling back to India. How much time it will take to cancel my Exclusion? Is there will be any travel ban? Can I apply to cancel my exclusion in Indian Ecuadorian Embassy?? Kindly revert on

  34. Bridget

    said on: 29/06/16

    Ahh yes! this was an amazing description. I was searching to see if i could extend my visa while in Ecuador. The process is similar to applying for a 180 day visa in the United States—(which is same-day by the way). Thanks for the answers!