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ECUADOR – New Immigration Regulations Published

On 10 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.

Key Points

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.

Action Items

  • Foreign nationals who are resident in or intending to travel to Ecuador should contact an immigration provider to check the implementation of the new immigration rules.

This alert was prepared with information provided by Suquilanda Law Firm and Paz Horowitz.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.