Ecuador’s Digital Nomad Visa vs. Rentista Visa

Jan 5, 2023

Very many foreigners have contacted me recently, so as to inquire about Ecuador’s new Digital Nomad Visa, in direct comparison/contrast to Ecuador’s now (several year) older Rentista Visa, which itself remains quite the enigma, in still being among the least accessed/accessible Visa qualification type by Expats.  

Presumably, with the new release of Ecuador’s Digital Nomad Visa, light shall be brought to darkness and Expats the world over will embrace its ease of application for those who don’t fit the standard cookie-cutter Visa options of the past for Investors, Retirees and University matriculates.    

And so now, in this article, I will do my very best as Ecuadorian Immigration Attorney, to make clear the options that exist for those who either work online, remotely and/or via atypical venue(s), such that they too can now qualify for Residency in our beautiful country of Ecuador.

That said, kindly note as follows for the most pertinent information, as it regards the Digital Nomad Visa:

  1. One must be receiving a NET income of at least $1350+ per month by virtue of the SINGLE source of a Work Contract, Freelance Activities, Equity Trading or quite similar to one of the immediate above qualifications (per which ordinary printed bank statements will be required to evidence that such income), for the prior 6 months before formally applying for Temporary Residency (that being a 2 year Residency Visa which is convertible to Permanent Resident or instead renewable as a further 2 year Temporary Residency).
  2. One must provide their Background Check(s) from any country(ies) where they have been a Citizen, Resident and/or Tourist for more than 90 days total in the 5 years immediately prior to applying for their Digital Nomad Visa form of Temporary Residency, besides evidencing their proof of current Marital Status, plus each of those documents necessarily being with their respective Apostille/Legalization (as the case may be by country), and the same for any bloodline family member Dependents also applying for Temporary Residency along with them. 
  3. One may be outside of Ecuador for an UNLIMITED amount of time as a Temporary Resident, though if they are outside of Ecuador for more than 90 days total in their first 2 years as a Temporary Resident, then they won’t be able to convert to Permanent Residency and will instead need to renew their Temporary Residency Visa for a further 2 years, unless/until they comply with the immediate above referenced 90 day rule.

In the same way now, please further note as follows for the most pertinent information, as it regards the Rentista Visa:

  1. One must be receiving a NET income of at least $1350+ per month by virtue of the SINGLE source of a Real Estate Rental Contract, Non-guaranteed Corporate Income/Pension, Settlement Agreement (i.e. Alimony Payments or Business Sale) or quite similar to one of the immediate above qualifications (again per which ordinary printed bank statements will be required to evidence that such income), for the prior 6 months before formally applying for Temporary Residency (that again being a 2 year Residency Visa which is convertible to Permanent Resident or instead renewable as a further 2 year Temporary Residency).
  2. One must provide their Background Check(s) from any country(ies) where they have been a Citizen, Resident and/or Tourist for more than 90 days total in the 5 years immediately prior to applying for their Rentista Visa form of Temporary Residency, besides evidencing their proof of current Marital Status, plus each of those documents necessarily being with their respective Apostille/Legalization (as the case may be by country), and the same for any direct family member Dependents also applying for Temporary Residency along with them. 
  3. One may be outside of Ecuador for an UNLIMITED amount of time as a Temporary Resident, though if they are outside of Ecuador for more than 90 days total in their first 2 years as a Temporary Resident, then they won’t be able to convert to Permanent Residency and will instead need to renew their Temporary Residency Visa for a further 2 years, unless/until they comply with the immediate above referenced 90 day rule.

Certainly, there are times when and where it’s not so clear cut as per if or how one and/or their family members can qualify for either the new Ecuadorian Digital Nomad Visa, or rather the longer in existence (but often even less understood) Rentista Visa of Ecuador.  

Surely though, the very best suggestion is to always from the very beginning of any plan to move to Ecuador, consult with an Ecuadorian Immigration Attorney (whether in person meeting or via WhatsApp/Zoom video call), so as to determine which option may be best for you (as well as any family members), as oftentimes, Expats assume that they can qualify for one type of visa when either they don’t, or rather they qualify for another type of visa entirely – this can be a tricky wicket, thus it’s best to bring in a professional early on so as to preempt any possible confusion or other considerations.

Always I’m glad to help Expats solve/resolve their visa qualification matters, and this can be done months or even years in advance of their plans to relocate to Ecuador, so don’t wait a moment longer than you need to, as in my much experience in serving Expats, it’s wisest for one to get to the heart of the matter before the matter itself can get to one’s heart.


Sara Chaca (Attorney - Abogada) is a seasoned Ecuadorian Lawyer, who principally serves Expats in making their moves to Ecuador for Visa and Legal matter purposes, as her Expat clients begin their new lives here in her beautiful country. Sara resides in Cuenca with her family, and when not working, she enjoys spending time with her family in Cuenca’s majestic Cajas Mountains, including the many local parks & fairs of Cuenca, plus visiting the coast as well as many gem towns of Ecuador. Sara’s personal email address is sara@ecuadorvisas.com and her law office's fully informative website is www.ecuadorvisas.com - her Ecuadorian cell phone number is 099-296-2065 and her Toll Free "800" phone number for US & Canadian callers is 1-(800)-655-1581. Sara has a less than 24 hour first response policy, in that if you email or call her, she WILL return your first email or first phone call in less than 24 hours (more typically in closer to 24 minutes!). Most importantly, all first time consultations with Expats for any type Visa or Legal matter(s) are always FREE OF CHARGE. VIEW ATTORNEY SARA CHACA'S SELF-PUBLISHED "KINDLE" BOOK ON MOVING TO ECUADOR, THAT'S AVAILABLE FOR YOUR PERUSAL ON AMAZON.COM HERE.