Getting Nicaraguan Residency (without leaving the comfort of Managua)

nica residency

First off all remember that I am not a lawyer or authority, I do not give legal advice and everything here is based on my personal experiences and investigations. For legal advice you should talk to a lawyer.

I did it.

And I did it all by myself.

Last year when I was confronted with the paper from immigration listing all the required documents I let go a defeatist sigh and thought about trying to get an American green card for my wife instead. In fact I have a friend who did just that: after six months of battling immigration to get her cedula she gave up and made a trip to the US Embassy with her husband. Two weeks later they were on a flight to Arkansas, his green card in hand.

No, I assured myself that with her house and car and our kids here in Managua (and the fact we are living on a gallo pinto budget), it was worth it to tough it out and get the Nica residency. One step at a time.




I am not sure if you have seen the Requisitos para Solicitud de Residencia, but it is a list of 34 requirements printed out on legal paper. To make it even more daunting it is nearly impossible to understand the immigration officer behind the sound-proof glass when they read off which of the requirements are actually required for your specific situation. That being said, it provides an amusing view when all the foreigners have to double over to listen through the half-moon opening at the counter level. I just pretended nobody is looking at my butt when it was my turn.

Nicaraguan Requirements for Soliciting Residency

Click to get a better look

There are basically two parts to the residency process. Part 1 is getting all of the required documents. It is time consuming, tedious and frustrating. Part 2 is turning your documents in to the immigration office and waiting for their reply. It is time consuming, frustrating and if you are lucky, expensive. That is because if you are approved then you have to pay about $225 for the next five years of residency. After the months of work, waiting and wishing, I’ll take it.

I will go into the separate parts in later posts but in the meantime, do any readers think there is a market for an NCX guide to getting Nicaraguan residency? Step-by-step instruction, photos, interviews with lawyers, foreign residents and complete explications of what is needed and how to get it. So far here is what I have got:

The Police Record

The Health Certificate

Let me know in the comments below.

The Guide to

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guide to nicaraguan residency