Standard Visas for Business & Tourism Will Be Valid for 10 Years
Quito, March 26, 2021—The period of validity for new U.S. tourist and business visas (categories B1 and B2) issued to Ecuadorian applicants will increase from five years to 10 years, effective April 8th. U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Michael J. Fitzpatrick made the announcement today when meeting with Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs Manuel Antonio Mejía Dalmau. This achievement, which will benefit hundreds of thousands of Ecuadorian travelers each year, is a direct benefit of the fluid and productive relationship enjoyed by the United States and Ecuador under the Administration of President Lenín Moreno.
In announcing the new validity, Ambassador Fitzpatrick said, “More than two years ago, Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry made clear that securing longer U.S. visa validity for Ecuadorian citizens was a priority for this government. It is thanks to the systematic commitment and collaboration of the Government of Ecuador to implement security and migratory reforms that this achievement was possible. The people of the United States and Ecuador have a long and proud history of interconnectivity and exchange, both personal and commercial; doubling the validity length of U.S. visas for Ecuadorian citizens is one of the most tangible ways of deepening and strengthening those people-to-people relations.”
Since the first U.S.-Ecuador Bilateral Consular and Migration Dialogue held in Quito in September 2018, Ecuador has stressed the goal to extend U.S. visa validity for B1/B2 travelers from five to 10 years. In implementing the issuance of biometrically-enhanced electronic passports (e-passports) in 2020, and by strengthening its own immigration, data sharing, and border security policies, Ecuador met the requirements necessary to achieve 10–year visa validity for its citizens, thus making today’s announcement a reality. This is yet another example of how cooperation between our two governments benefits the peoples of both countries.
The new 10-year validity applies to all new visas in these categories issued after April 8th. It is not retroactive for previously issued visas. The application fee for the longer-validity visas remains $160, effectively cutting in half the application costs for those who would have paid that fee twice in order to cover the same ten-year period.
Out of concern for the safety of both our applicants and our staff, and in keeping with local best practices to prevent COVID transmission, the Embassy in Quito and Consulate General in Guayaquil are not yet open for routine visa services. We continue to accept, however, mail-in visa renewal applications from individuals who qualify for the interview waiver program. To qualify, the visa must not have expired more than 48 months ago, be the same visa class (for example, renewing a B1/B2 from an expired B1/B2), and the previous visa must have been issued for the full validity. The U.S. Mission to Ecuador cannot yet provide a definite date for the return to full public operations, however we are looking forward to gradually resuming operations as soon as conditions permit.
For more information on applying for visas, please visit our webpage at ec.usembassy.gov/es/ or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Some common visa questions will be answered during our Facebook “Reporte Especial” on Monday, March 29 at 3:30 p.m. We’ll see you then!