• Proposed Visa Categories Would Create New Processes and Delay Processing
  • January 30, 2017
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • A proposed new law that would become effective in four months would create two new residence visa categories - the temporary residence visa and permanent residence visa. The two new visas would replace the existing work and residence visa system. Visa approvals for new and pending visa applications are likely to be delayed due to regulatory changes.

    Foreign nationals with a work visa will not be affected until their visa expires, at which time, a new visa would be issued according to the new regulation.

    Visa Details

    The temporary residence visa will be valid for two years and renewable once. It will offer 12 subcategories, including one for foreign workers under local payroll, another for those under foreign payroll, and another for investors, among other categories.

    Foreign nationals under a temporary residence visa will be eligible for a permanent visa after two years if they meet certain requirements.

    Multiple Entry Rules

    The new residence visa categories will allow multiple entries, with certain limitations as follows:
    • Temporary residence visa holders will be only be allowed to remain outside of Ecuador for up to 90 days, whereas currently there are no restrictions.
    • Permanent residence visa holders will be able to remain outside of Ecuador for up to 180 days per year within the first two years under the visa. After the second year of permanent residence visa status, foreign nationals will be able to remain outside Ecuador for up to five years. Currently, permanent residence visa holders can remain outside of Ecuador for up to 90 days per year within the first two years. After the second year, foreign nationals may remain outside Ecuador for up to 18 months.
    Those who remain outside of Ecuador for longer than the allowable period will be subject to a fine or visa cancellation.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Foreign nationals should expect process and requirement changes for their visa applications if the law is approved, and should contact their immigration professional to discuss the impact of the expected delays.

    Temporary residence visa holders will be required to restrict their stays outside of Ecuador to 90 days, while permanent visa holders should benefit from a longer allowable timeframe outside of Ecuador.