Residency and Immigration
In Ecuador you can become a resident but not a citizen. This is basically because to acquire you Ecuadorian citizenship, you have to symbolically renounce your citizenship and passport of your country, and even though it is only symbolically it is a hard thing to do for most people. But with legal residency you can easily live in the country without any problems. The only thing you must do to maintain your residency is not leave the country for more than 6 months, or else you will lose the visa.
The main suggestion is to do all of the required paperwork through a good lawyer because it ends up being quicker, more efficient, secure and cheap. The paperwork is done in the Ministry of Exterior Relations in Ecuador. You can also do the paperwork directly with them with a list of lawyers they recommend but it could cost more in the end. The paperwork includes such things as: a legal request that the lawyer will help you obtain. The cost of the procedure varies between $500 - $700 but is worth every cent.
The resident visas need to be approved by the Immigration Department after the presentation of the corresponding documents which will take between 1-2 months.
There are several categories of visas, you should first consult with the corresponding Consulate:
10-I Retired persons that receive a pension from their countries of origin (minimum of $8,000 a year)
10-II Real Estate Investors and security that wish to invest in Ecuador
An equivalent of a minimum of 350 basic minimum monthly salaries, plus 100 minimum salaries for each dependent, or a sum specified by the Official Consul (in US consulate, at least $15,000)
10-III Investors that want to export agricultural products or minerals
Facilitating the amount equivalent to at least 600 minimum basic monthly salaries for Ecuador or a quantity specified by the Official Consul (in US consulate, at least $25,000)
10-IV Companies with local foreign agents that have unlimited power to represent the company in Ecuador
Provided that 80% of the personnel in the company are Ecuadorian.
10-V Technicians or experts that are under contract with a company established in Ecuador.
10-VI Professionals with a university degree recognized by a national university that wish to exercise their profession in Ecuador.
If the profession of the applicant does not exist in Ecuador, the degree should be locally certified. They should also fulfill the specified requirements for specific practice.
10-VII Individuals that are economically dependent on a spouse or a direct family member (family by blood)
In the case of any doubt or extra document that could be necessary, you should contact directly your Embassy. We recommend that you also visit our section on Useful Recommendations, Heath and Safety.