Not all teachers are required to have a special visa, though if you plan on staying past your 90 day tourist visa, you will need to get a Cultural Visa. This means that someone, or a school, will have to sponsor you. If you are arriving by yourself it can be difficult to find someone who will be willing to do this for you. There are language schools in places like Quito and Cuenca, however, that will take care of this with relative ease. There are also non-profits from around the world that can help you with this process. For many years it was easy to simply leave the country to Colombia or Peru for a day to renew your visa. But in the last year or so the government has been trying to make it harder for non-residents to do this, and it’s always better to make sure your paperwork is in order before leaving. You don’t want to leave the country only to find out you can’t get back in.
If you can, it’s advisable to get your work visa before arriving in the country, because sometimes they will make you go to the consulate to fill out some paperwork. Like many other Latin American nations, paperwork and red tape is inevitable, and the process can be long and painful. Any long term visa will probably have to be renewed after a year.
The cultural visa, while a window into the country for volunteers, is not limited to them. Certain institutions will arrange them for you even if you came in on a tourist visa. And if you don’t have an institution to back you up, it is possible in theory get an Ecuadorian citizen to sponsor you.This is obviously the most difficult thing to do because not only do you have to know someone well enough to do so, but they have to put themselves up with some collateral as well.
Otherwise, you could try going through the process of leaving the country every three months, though as stated before, it is becoming increasingly difficult. And that’s not just Ecuador. Many countries in South America are starting to crack down on visa runs.
Check this page on Ecuador visas on the Ecuador embassy in Washington D.C.’s website. Visa rules change so be sure to go to official government sites to get the latest information.
TEFL English teaching job listings in Ecuador
A general overview of what to expect teaching English in Ecuador
Detailed living costs for teaching English in Ecuador