Overstaying your visa in Ecuador

3 months, non-renewable.

That’s how long you get on a tourist visa when you enter Ecuador with only your American/Canadian/European passport.

And then we’re told we can only be in Ecuador for 90 days per year as a tourist.

Bull sh*t.


Truth is, once in Ecuador towards the end of your initial 90 day stay, you can extend your time for 3-6 months with a 12-9 Turismo-Comercio (Tourism-Comerce) Visa paying $230 at any of the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (Ministry of Foreign Relations) Offices throughout Ecuador.

How to get 6 instead of 3 months?

From what I’ve seen, it helps a lot to show more money (at least $5000) on the print out of your bank account they ask for when applying. Also, specifically ask for a 6 month extension in the solicitation letter they ask you to write.

Now, what really happens if you OVERSTAY your visa?

Well, I’m not proud of it, but I overstayed my visa last year, in 2010, by 9 months.

When I left I paid the same $250 fine I would have paid if I left one day past my visa expiration. I was also told I could not re-enter Ecuador for 9 months without getting a visa in a consulate prior to arrival.

I didn’t test it. I came back a few months ago, almost exactly 9 months after I left (I had some things to do in China).

This week, in the immigration office of Guayaquil, a city on the southern coast of Ecuador, I confirmed the rumor was true that as of this year Ecuador has abolished the fine for foreigners overstaying their visas.

No more fine.

Not even a slap on the hand.

Just show up at the airport and CHAO.

The only sanction is that you can not re-enter for 9 months without getting a visa prior to coming back.

Of course, I recommend staying legal if you can, it just makes life simpler, but the choice is yours now that you know what really happens.

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