Entry requirements

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Ecuador set and enforce entry rules. For further information 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.

As of October 2021, international cruise ship operations are authorised at the following ports: Esmeraldas, Manta, Guayaquil and Puerto Bolivar. However, there are strict guidelines and measures to comply with to obtain the relevant permissions from the competent Ecuadorean authorities.

Testing / screening on arrival

Upon arrival in Ecuador, all passengers will be required to complete a Health Declaration Form with their itinerary and local contact details. You must also present a negative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) qualitative test for COVID-19, taken up to 72 hours prior to your arrival in the country. This is a mandatory requirement, which airlines are responsible for enforcing in order to allow passengers to board.

Travellers who have had their full COVID-19 vaccination (i.e. both doses for those vaccinations which consist of two doses), received at least 14 days prior the flight date, can present their vaccination card, or its equivalent, instead of the above negative RT-PCR. However, the use of “Immunity Certificates or Vaccination Certificates/Cards” from foreign passengers will be subject to constant review. See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 status’

Passengers in transit are not subject to the submission of the above COVID-19 test or vaccination card.

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.

Only airline crew members, children under 2 years old and passengers on transit to other countries are exempt from the RT-PCR test or the COVID-19 vaccination certificate requirement.

If, on arrival, a passenger presents COVID-19 related symptoms, they will be evaluated by an MSP health care worker, prior to their entry to the immigration area, and, if necessary, an Antigen rapid test will be arranged. If the result us positive, COVID-19 protocols will be activated and the passenger will be instructed to self isolate.

All passengers arriving from India, even if they have only transited those countries, must present a negative RT-PCR test, taken up to 72 hours prior to boarding their flight, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not. These passengers must self isolate for 10 days either in a private home or in a hotel, at their own expense. The Ministry of Public Health (MSP) is responsible for following up this requirement.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

Ecuador will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

Quarantine requirements

Passengers who test positive in the antigen test taken at the airport will need to self-isolate for 10 days, from the date of the test. Self-isolation for non-residents can be carried out in any hotel, at their own expense. The full address of where the passenger will self-isolate should be included in the Health Status Declaration Form.

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 Public 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 Public 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

Tourist activities are allowed in the Galapagos Islands. Commercial flights connecting the Islands resumed on 3 August 2020. The local authorities created a ‘safe travel corridor’ for travel to the Galapagos Islands.

All travellers over 2 years old wishing to enter the Islands must present a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19, taken up to 72 hours prior to the date of the flight to the Galapagos Islands, or a full COVID-19 vaccination certificate (i.e. both doses for those vaccinations which consist of two doses, or its equivalent), received at least 14 days prior the flight date. However, the use of “Immunity Certificates or Vaccination Certificates/Cards” from foreign passengers will be subject to constant review. See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 status’

Any passengers presenting COVID-19 related symptoms will be denied entry to the Islands, and a Ministry of Public Health team will activate the relevant protocols.

National and foreign tourists must also present evidence of a return flight, as well as the Galapagos Transit Control Card, to be filled out online at least 24 hours before the flight. There is no longer a requirement for a safe passage document (‘salvoconducto’). Travel health insurance is mandatory for foreign tourists.

Visa extensions

Foreign visitors whose visa expired between 19 March 2020 and 21 January 2021 had until 19 February 2021 to either leave the country, without paying a fine, or apply for a temporary visa, by lodging a formal application. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility (MFA) implemented an online appointment system (“sistema agendamiento citas”) and immigration control officials 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 / citasvisas@cancilleriga.gob.ec. Get the relevant emails for other MFA’s Coordinaciones Zonales here.

The maximum extension period to remain in Ecuador without a formal visa is 180 days. For any general enquiries contact: servicios.migratorios@ministeriodegobierno.gob.ec. To apply for a visa extension (known as “prórroga”) online see here

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 within a 12 month period.

The maximum extension period to remain in Ecuador without a formal visa is 180 days. For any general enquiries contact: servicios.migratorios@ministeriodegobierno.gob.ec. To apply for a further 90 days extension (known as “prórroga”), there is also an online process.

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 (MFA) before the 90 or 180 days expires. For further details, check the MFA’s website.

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 1 year 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.

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.