Ecuador’s New Professional Visa Requirement: ISCED Certification

Written by Sara Chaca, Attorney – Abogada, January 6th, 2023

Expats, have as of late, been asking me in droves about the new requirement for the International Standard Classification of Education (“ISCED”) Certificate, in regards to Ecuador’s Professional Visa form of 2 year Temporary Residency (convertible to Permanent Residency or renewable as yet again a 2 year Temporary Residency). That’s surely because, now it’s absolutely required, in order to be able to register one’s foreign University Degree with the Secretariat of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (“SENESCYT”), which is the organization that approves/certifies all foreigners’ University Degrees in Ecuador.

As such, I will do my very best in my remarks within this piece, so as to dispel any issues, qualms or problems that are arising with Expats’ foreign Universities, per obtaining the now always required ISCED document (Certificate) that’s part and parcel hereof this article.

That is to say, whether a foreigner’s University is on the Approved list for SENESCYT or not, one must obtain a further Certificate that’s known internationally amongst ALL internationally accredited Universities worldwide as an “ISCED Certificate”, which needs to explain the fullest certification details of your University Degree in respect to the relevant international standards. This ISCED Certificate also needs to be Notarized by the Registrar’s office of the foreigner’s University. Thereafter, the foreigner needs to request either an Apostille (generally applicable in the case of a University located in the USA, Europe or Latin/South America) or alternatively a Double Legalization (generally applicable in the case of a University located in Canada, China, most of Asia, Africa and the Middle East) of the ISCED Certificate.

ISCED Certification of a foreigner’s University Degree does NOT alter, replace, supersede or otherwise withdraw the now many year old requirements of ADDITIONALLY providing in Apostilled or Double Legalized form, their University Degree’s Diploma (this can always be reordered if/when lost), University Transcripts (including from any University they may have previously transferred credits from) and University Mode of Study Letter (this confirms the way in which one performed their studies and whether they were in any way or even if only done online).

Regardless of whether you might plan to move to Ecuador on a Professional Visa form of Temporary Residency, or just simply wish to have the option of relocating to/working in Ecuador for the future, it’s also necessary to comply with the above requirements for purposes of University Degree registration with SENESCYT (including with respect to the new ISCED Certification being necessary for all foreigner’s University Degrees being registered).

And so, the very best advice I can provide you is to always speak with an Ecuadorian Immigration Attorney as soon as you have the idea to register your University Degree in Ecuador, per which I always gladly provide a complimentary consultation by video call via WhatsApp or Zoom, or of course in person for those who wish to come meet at my office.

Ecuador provides foreigners with many types of opportunities to live and/or work in the country, thus it’s up to each individual as per which one as well as route they will seize upon. For assistance contact me, I am an English speaking Ecuadorian Attorney (principal office is located in Cuenca but services all of Ecuador). I should get back to you in less than 24 hours (usually much faster) – plus for every Expat, I'll provide a complimentary consultation regarding immigration to Ecuador specific to your circumstances.

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