The South American nation of Ecuador presents an alluring opportunity for investors in pursuit of second residency. It seamlessly combines natural beauty, economic potential, and exciting prospects, notably within a diverse real estate market. Nevertheless, investors must carefully weigh potential challenges, including stringent requirements such as fluency in Spanish and the substantial physical presence mandated in the country for a significant number of days.

Ecuador Citizenship Investment

Ecuador does not have a formal citizenship by investment programme. Nevertheless, avenues leading to citizenship via naturalisation exist through the Independent Means Visa and the Investor Visa.

Ecuador Residency Investment

Ecuador provides two avenues for obtaining permanent residency. The Independent Means Visa necessitates an income three times the Ecuadorian minimum wage, leading to permanent residency in two years and citizenship in four. However, it imposes a rigorous physical presence requirement of 275 days annually, which may deter high net worth investors.

Conversely, Ecuador’s Investor Visa leads to permanent residency in three years and citizenship in four, with a minimum investment of US$46,000. This option allows investors to diversify across asset classes, including real estate and entails no restrictions on physical presence abroad. Yet, to prioritize permanent residency or citizenship, a minimum of 185 days yearly in Ecuador is mandatory, along with proficiency in Spanish and knowledge of Ecuadorian civics. Simpler investor visa programmes exist with a direct route to citizenship and no minimum stay requirement, such as Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment programme

Ecuador Passport Strength and Ranking

Ranked at 97th in La Vida’s comprehensive Global Passport Ranking, Ecuador boasts a reasonably powerful passport. With visa-free access to 108 countries, it covers 37.9% of global travel and 47.6% of worldwide wealth measured by GDP. However, in comparison to its Latin American counterparts, Ecuador’s passport offerings are relatively limited. A second passport in Grenada would provide investors with a greater global reach, with access to 153 countries and territories worldwide, which represents 58.4% of the world’s wealth measured by GDP.


See below a selection of countries offering residency and citizenship investment programmes.