• Streamlined Work and Residence Visa Introduced for Venezuelan Nationals
  • October 15, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Ecuador has implemented the new 12-XI visa, a one-year work and residence category for Venezuelan nationals that does not require host company sponsorship, has fewer documentary requirements and is processed in just three to five business days, as opposed to three to seven weeks for the traditional work and residence visa.

    The 12-XI visa also does not require a local employment contract or enrollment in local payroll.

    To obtain the new visa, a Venezuelan national enters Ecuador under a tourist visa and applies in Ecuador for a change to 12-XI resident worker status within the 90-day tourist stay. The application must include a migratory movement document (Movimiento Migratorio) that lists the dates of arrival and departure. Ecuadorian authorities use this document to confirm that the foreign national has not overstayed his or her tourist visa.

    Other key requirements for the 12-XI visa include a minimum bank account balance of USD 3,000, a passport with a minimum remaining validity period of six months, legalized marriage certificates, and legalized birth certificates for children. Foreign nationals do not need to provide a diploma and thus can avoid the lengthy legalization process for documents issued in Venezuela.

    The 12-XI visa can be renewed for one additional year. If the foreign national wants to remain in Ecuador for a longer period, he or she must apply for another work authorization category three months before the expiration of the 12-XI visa.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    The 12-XI visa provides Venezuelans the opportunity to obtain work authorization in Ecuador without employer sponsorship, which was previously not available. The visa will also allow Venezuelans in Ecuador to relocate and start work faster than with the traditional work and residence visa, a significant benefit for those relocating to Ecuador.