ECUADOR

i. Name of country

ECUADOR

ii. Region

Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru

iii. Population

17,093,159 (July 2021 est.)

iv. General Introduction

Ecuador is a South American country that provides a variety of temporary and migration programs to people who want to relocate and settle in American countries. There are only a few countries in the world where you can migrate and work for any country simply by relocating there. The applicant in Ecuador is not required to work for Ecuador. It is regarded as one of the best countries in the world in which to retire. According to The World Economic Forum's global studies, Ecuador ranks as one of the fastest developing countries in Latin America, and the US dollar currency facilitates a welcoming environment for many foreigners to work and settle in Ecuador.

To redress Ecuador's difficult economic situation, the government is working towards entering into new international trade agreements and has introduced additional legislation granting various tax incentives for investment. The government has undertaken efforts to join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). It has been included as an associated state in 2019 and will hopefully become a member state in 2021.

v. Wifi Speed

In August 2020, Ecuador's fixed broadband internet outperformed mobile in terms of download and upload speeds. While the fixed broadband internet download speed in the South American country averaged 26.83 Mbps, the average speed for mobile was 22.31 Mbps.

vi. Electrical outlet

Ecuador uses 110 volt, 60 cycle electricity, same as the US. Plugs are typically the 2 pronged flat type so US travelers will not typically need a converter or adapter.

vii. Per Capita GDP

$10,300 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)
$11,400 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)
$11,600 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

viii. Climate

tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands

ix. Residence-by-Investment

There are several programs available to apply for permanent or temporary residence in Ecuador, which are listed below. For all of the programs listed below, applicants should be aware that they can only leave the country for 90 days per year for the first two years in order to maintain their residency status.

Investment

Real Estate Investor Visa (9-II)
In order to help Ecuador's economy, anyone who invests a certain amount from another country may be eligible for Permanent Residence.

To qualify under this category, the applicant must purchase a property in Ecuador for at least 25,000 USD and register that property in their name, as well as invest 500 USD more per dependent.

Visa for Industrial Investors (9-III)

- This category is for industries such as agriculture, international trade investors, and livestock investors who want to export and trade in Ecuador.

- The applicant should make an investment in a business or an individual-owned enterprise or company. They are not permitted to invest in any unnamed company.

- The applicant must submit a commerce license from the Commercial Registrar in that city.

- A minimum investment of 30,000 USD is required.

Processing Time

Processing time is 1-3 months.

Key Benefits

Citizenship Benefits

- Visa-free or Visa on arrival to 81 countries, including China, Russia, South Korea
- Visa-free access to China
- Visa-free access to Russia
- Low cost citizenship
- The right to live and work in Ecuador at all times, and all the rights associated with membership of the Mercosur
- Access to educational and healthcare benefits

Permanent Residency Benefits

- The right to live and work in Ecuador without any time limit
- Be eligible for citizenship in a short period of time
- Travel visa-free across Mercosur

Temporary Residency Benefits

- Warm climate,
- Be eligible for permanent residency in a short period of time,
- Low cost of living,
- Fast and easy process,
- Low cost program,
- Peaceful, democratic and politically stable country
- Access to healthcare and education system

Requirements

Temporary Residency Requirements:
- Valid passport, travel document or identity recognized through International Instruments.
- Certificate of criminal record of the country of origin or in which he / she has resided during the last five years, prior to his / her arrival in Ecuadorian territory.
- Proof of sufficient means of subsistence in Ecuador.
- Join the public social security system or purchase a private health insurance.
- Payment of the Fee set by the Migration Authorities.
- Certificate of Migration

Citizenship requirements:
- Continuous and legal residence of at least three years in Ecuador.
- Be an adult / consent of minor’s parents or legal guardians.
- Birth certificate or supplementary test duly legalized and translated into Spanish.
- Copy of the identity document or copy of the valid passport, duly legalized.
- Knowledge of the patriotic symbols of Ecuador
- Attend an interview, explaining the reasons for the will to acquire Ecuadorian nationality.
- Proof of sufficient economic means for subsist in the country.

xi. Natural Resources

petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower

xii. Ethnic Groups

Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and White) 71.9%, Montubio 7.4%, Amerindian 7%, White 6.1%, Afroecuadorian 4.3%, Mulatto 1.9%, Black 1%, other 0.4% (2010 est.)

xiii. Languages

Spanish (Castilian) 93% (official), Quechua 4.1%, other indigenous 0.7%, foreign 2.2%; note - (Quechua and Shuar are official languages of intercultural relations; other indigenous languages are in official use by indigenous peoples in the areas they inhabit) (2010 est.)

xiv. Religion

Roman Catholic 74%, Evangelical 10.4%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 6.4% (includes Church of Jesus Christ, Buddhist, Jewish, Spiritualist, Muslim, Hindu, indigenous, African American, Pentecostal), atheist 7.9%, agnostic 0.1% (2012 est.)

note: data represent persons at least 16 years of age from five Ecuadoran cities

xv. Median Age

total: 28.8 years
male: 28 years
female: 29.6 years (2020 est.)

xvi. Urbanization

urban population: 64.4% of total population (2021)
rate of urbanization: 1.62% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

xvii. Physician density

2.04 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

xviii. Government type

presidential republic

xix. Unemployment Rate

5.71% (2019 est.)
5.26% (2018 est.)

x. Taxes

Headline Personal Income Tax Rate (highest marginal tax rate)
- 35%

  • Income tax for Ecuadorian tax residents is levied at progressive rates, ranging from 5% to 35%. The tax-free allowance for the 2021 financial year is USD11,212.
  • Non-resident individuals who receive Ecuador-source income are subject to a 25% withholding tax, which is applied by the Ecuadorian entity making the payment abroad.
  • All employees must be registered with the Social Security Institute from the first day of work. The employer must pay a monthly amount equivalent to 11.15% of the employee's salary to the Social Security Institute as an employer contribution. The employee must pay 9.45% as a personal contribution.
  • Ecuador taxes foreign individuals working in Ecuador on their Ecuador-source income, which is defined as any profit or benefit derived from activities executed in Ecuador, regardless of where the income is received or paid. However, since 2015, an individual's tax residency in Ecuador is established in accordance with different criteria, which consider not only the individual's presence in Ecuador, but also the individual's economic and personal interests and activities.
  • If a foreign national becomes an Ecuadorian tax resident under these criteria, income generated abroad may be taxed in Ecuador, unless income tax was paid abroad. Income received by an Ecuadorian resident from a tax haven or a low-tax jurisdiction will be taxed in Ecuador.
  • Payments made to non-residents working occasionally in Ecuador, when not charged to an Ecuadorian company or branch of a foreign entity, do not give rise to income tax in Ecuador.
  • If Ecuadorian nationals working abroad become tax residents of a third country, they are considered to be non-residents for Ecuadorian tax purposes and are subject to income tax exclusively on their Ecuador-source income. Tax on their Ecuador-source income is then withheld at source.
  • If an Ecuadorian national working abroad is considered to be an Ecuadorian resident under the tax residency criteria, they are taxed on their Ecuador-source income and also on any profit or benefit obtained abroad that was not subject to income tax abroad.

Headline Corporate Income Tax Rate (excluding dividend taxes)
- 25%

  • To be a tax resident an individual must have a habitual domicile in Ecuador, or have spent more than half the year in Ecuador. Individuals can be exempted if they have a habitual domicile outside the country and can prove that they do not intend to reside in Ecuador.
  • Tax residents are subject to Personal Income Tax on their worldwide income, while non-residents are taxed on their Ecuadorian-source income.
  • Tax residents’ foreign income may not be subject to tax, if it is proved that this income is already taxed abroad.
  • The personal income tax rate is progressive up to 55%. Capital gains are subject to income tax. The financial yield on long-term investments negotiated through the stock market is tax exempt. Dividends received from resident entities are subject to tax, while those from foreign sources are exempt. Interest from deposits and savings accounts is tax-exempt.
  • Inheritances and gifts are taxed at a progressive tax rate up to 35%.
  • There are several local or regional taxes: urban property, rainwater drainage, fire insurance, individual and corporate net worth, state university funds, firefighters, property transfer,
  • Regarding corporate taxation, corporate income is usually taxed at a standard rate of 25%, although lower rates may apply for certain re-invested profits. Capital Gains are included in the taxable income and dividends are tax exempt, provided that are already taxed on source.

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