On 10th August 2017, new immigration regulations to implement February’s “ley de movilidad humana” were published, and are already in force. Secondary guidelines are expected within the next few months.
The main points of the new regulations are summarized below:
- Temporary and permanent residents will be issued with an identity card, with validity in line with their visa.
- A new regularization process is introduced for foreign nationals who are currently in Ecuador illegally. Illegal immigrants can regularize their status during the 30 days following publication of the regulations (although this period may be extended by the expected secondary regulations).
- Foreign nationals in Ecuador for any purposes must now present proof of medical insurance. There is a grace period of 180 days from the publication of the regulations, during which time medical insurance will not be compulsory. Again, this grace period could be amended by the expected secondary guidelines.
- Under the new regulations, any foreign national applying for a visa must present police clearance certificates from their country of origin or country in which they have resided over the previous five years. Renewal applicants or those who have lived in Ecuador for at least 21 months are only required to present an Ecuadorian police clearance certificate. Previously, only applicants for immigrant visas were required to present police clearance certificates.
- The previously required quota of 80% Ecuadorian workers on a company’s workforce no longer applies, although there are exceptions depending on the industry in which the employer operates.
- The regulation goes some way to clarifying the list of documents required for the new processes introduced by the new law in February, but additional guidelines are expected to clarify the documentation requirements.
- The regulations introduce fines for temporary residents who are abroad more than 90 days per year during the first two years, as well as fines for permanent residents who are abroad more than 180 days per year during the first two years.
Foreign nationals who are resident in or intending to travel to Ecuador should contact their Newland Chase immigration specialist to check the implementation of the new immigration rules.
For advice and information on immigration to Ecuador in general, please email us at email@example.com.