Foreign travel advice

Ecuador

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption.

If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Ecuador

All land borders with Colombia and Peru remain closed until further notice. However, Ecuadorean nationals and foreign residents may be allowed to enter Ecuador, via Rumichaca and Huaquillas northern and southern borders. All ports remain closed.

As of 1 June 2020, international commercial flights have resumed operations to and from Ecuador. However, following the identification of a new variant of Coronavirus, we highly recommend you to contact your airline/travel company to check your travel itinerary.

Testing / screening on arrival

Upon arrival, all passengers will be required to sign a declaration form with their itinerary and local contact details. They must also present a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19, taken up to 10 days prior to their arrival in the country. This is a mandatory requirement, which airlines are responsible for enforcing in order to allow passengers to board.

You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

In countries where the PCR tests are not available, passengers must agree to take a COVID-19 test at the airport in Ecuador on arrival, at their expense. Airline crew members are exempt from the PCR test requirement.

Antigen tests (rapid test) will be randomly carried out, by the Ministry of Health (MSP), on passengers arriving in Ecuador by air, sea or land. This test will be provided by the MSP. As of 13 January 2021, the only passengers officially exempted from the random rapid tests are airline crew members and children under 14 years old.

If you test positive in the antigen test, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days. Non-residents of Ecuador will have to self-isolate in specific hotels as determined by the local authorities and at their own expense. Residents can isolate in their home.

If on arrival a passenger presents COVID-19 related symptoms, despite their antigen test result, they will be evaluated by a health care worker and if needed will be taken to the nearest health centre for a full evaluation.

Quarantine requirements

Passengers who test positive in the antigen test taken at the airport will need to self-isolate for 10 days. Self-isolation for non-residents must be carried out in specified hotels. Local residents and people qualified as “priority attention groups” such as people over 65 years old, children and pregnant women, will be allowed to self-isolate at their homes.

The Ministry of Health has published more information on coronavirus protocols that also allows for direct messaging with the Ministry (Spanish only).

If you need to find emergency accommodation to go through the mandatory self-isolation protocol, you can access options on the Ministry of Health website

The Government will monitor the situation in other countries with high risk of contagion to prevent incoming flights.

Travel to and from the Galapagos

From 1 July, tourist activities are allowed in the Galapagos Islands. Commercial flights connecting the Islands resumed on 3 August. The local authorities have created a ‘safe travel corridor’ for travel to the Galapagos Islands.

Foreigners wishing to enter the islands must present a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19, taken 96 hours prior to the date of departure to the Galapagos islands.

On arrival in Ecuador tourists may be requested to take another PCR test, at their own expense. Tourists must also present a return flight and a safe passage document (‘salvoconducto’) issued by the Ministry of Tourism to be exempt from doing 14 days of self-isolation on the islands. The tour operators or hotels are responsible for arranging this safe passage document on behalf of tourists, given that visitors are required to have previous contracted travel and accommodation arrangements. The Galapagos Transit Control Card, will need to be filled out online at least 24 hours before the flight. On arrival in Ecuador you will be required to fill in a Health Status Declaration, including a local address. Travel health insurance is mandatory for foreign tourists.

If you have any queries regarding travel back to mainland Ecuador, you can contact the Galapagos authorities via email at galapagosresponder@gmail.com

Visa extensions

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility (MFA) has authorised a further 30 day visa extension for those people whose visa expired between 19 March 2020 and 21 January 2021.This is set out in Ministerial Decree 127 of 30 December 2020, which replaces decree 035 from 21 January 2021. In order to avoid a fine for overstaying, foreign visitors have until 19 February 2021 to either leave the country or apply for a temporary visa, by lodging a formal application with the MFA (appointment system “sistema agendamiento citas” - Visas Acuerdo Ministerial 0035) .Visitors aiming to remain in Ecuador are strongly encouraged to start the process as soon as possible. The immigration control officials will have access to the MFA´s appointment platform to check applicants´ status.

The MFA is encouraging customers not to approach their offices nationwide without a confirmed appointment (including for residence visa renewals and other services). Follow the MFA’s social media account for more information: Cancilleria Ecuador. For general guidance contact: consejeria@cancilleria.gob.ec / citasvisas@cancilleriga.gob.ec. Get the relevant emails for other MFA´s Coordinaciones Zonales here.

The visitors’ extension (“prórrogas”) managed by the Immigration officials is no longer applicable, as the maximum extension period to remain in Ecuador without a formal visa is 180 days. However, for any general enquiries contact: servicios.migratorios@ministeriodegobierno.gob.ec.

Follow the MFA’s social media account for more information.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

You can visit Ecuador without a visa, but you may be asked about your reason for travel and to provide evidence of a return or onward flight/bus ticket when you arrive. On arrival in the country, you’ll normally be allowed to remain in Ecuador for up to 90 days per year.

If you’re planning to stay for longer, you should apply for a visa from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London (or from another Ecuadorean embassy overseas) before you travel. You can extend your 90 days for a further 90 days (before the first period expires) only once and by paying a fee. If you want to change your immigration status, by applying for another type of visa, you can do so at the Ecuadorean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility before the 90 or 180 days expires.

The penalty for overstaying involves a fine. As with other immigration offences, if the fine is not paid, you will not be able to return to Ecuador for 2 years and your name will remain on immigration records. If the fine is paid, you can return with an official visa issued by an Ecuadorean Embassy overseas. The relevant deportation local regulation is still under consideration.

If you wish to work or study in Ecuador, check visa requirements with the Ecuadorean Embassy in London before travelling.

As of January 2019, permanent and temporary resident visas are issued electronically. Ecuadorean visas are no longer stuck in passports. The online visa is sent by email to be printed out. The immigration authorities have access to online visa records.

If you enter Ecuador via the border with Peru or Colombia, you must insist on being given an official entry stamp at the border showing the date of your arrival. There have been cases of buses not stopping at the border, which has caused great difficulties for foreign visitors for failing to comply with immigration regulations. Travellers may need to return to the border entry point to get the required stamp and entry registration. If there is no exit stamp from the country you are coming from, in principle the Ecuadorean immigration officials cannot give you an entry stamp, thus you will be denied entry.

Although local regulations may not always be implemented, all visitors to the Galapagos Islands should provide a copy of their hotel booking. Likewise, visitors staying with local residents in the islands should have an invitation letter from their host available. The maximum stay in this region as a tourist is 60 days.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from your date of entry. This is a strict legal requirement from the Ecuadorean government. If your passport does not meet this requirement, you will be denied entry to Ecuador.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETD) are also accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Ecuador. Your emergency travel document must be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Ecuador.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website. Please check if you will be required to present a yellow fever certificate to travel to your next destination from Ecuador. See Health

Travelling with children

Under Ecuadorean law, children under the age of 18 born in Ecuador are automatically considered as Ecuadorean citizens, even if travelling on a British passport (dual nationals).

They, along with British minors who have resident status in Ecuador, will need notarised written consent from the non-accompanying parent(s) to be able to leave the country. In non-straightforward situations due to a legal dispute, the child will need a judicial written permission (Autorización de Viaje Judicial) issued by a judge (Juzgado de la Niñez y Adolescencia). If one of the parents is deceased, the other parent would need to submit the death certificate to a public notary, so that an indefinite notarial permit to travel with the child is issued. The immigration authorities are responsible for checking all the above legal documents.

British children (or British-Ecuadorean dual nationals) who have tourist status do not need these permissions.