Most nationalities get free 90 days tourist visa on arrival in Ecuador. See this page https://www.gob.ec/mremh/tramites/concesion-visa-visitante-temporal-trista-90-dias
For updated information see this page: https://expatsecuador.com/visas/ecuador-visa-requirements/
February 2022 updates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDtfUjcxMoY
To get additional 90 days extension, it costs $133.90 cash payment (and fill out a form) in person at a ministry of immigration office, the nearest to Fruit Haven is in Zamora city (the location of the office changes within the city, so have to ask at the tourist information office when going).
To obtain long term visa there are a few option, the first part is to obtain temporary residency for 2 years (see below), after the 2 years with a temporary visa the permanent residency can be obtained, valid indefinitely.
The options for getting a temporary residency are: professional with a university degree, investment visa with $42,500 of either a) certificate deposit in a bank (interest rates between 6%-7%) or b) buying land (tax valued) or c) business valued for the investment.
The other documents required that are recommended to bring with you from your country of residence are: 1) criminal record check from your country and 2) the documents required for the specific visa you are applying for (full transcript, degree, etc) 3) bank statements of at least $425/month income in the last 6 months (can be simple bank transfers going into the account with your name). These documents are useful to bring with you from your home country because they are usually harder to obtain once outside your home.
We recommend using a facilitator to help with the process because of the language and rules that often change, it will also reduce the amount of trips to the cities and government offices. (For example: https://expatsecuador.com/visas/)
For more information have a look https://thevisaproject.com/ecuador-visa/residency/ and using your choice of search engine to find more resources and a facilitator to help with the process.
Note: Fruit Haven is not able to give legal advice and is not liable for any information that is out of date on this page or any other pages on this website.