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Immigration Laws
April 12, 2022

Nicaraguan Immigration

U.S. citizens coming for short visits to Nicaragua as a tourist generally do not need Nicaraguan visas.  However, if you plan to live in Nicaragua, you will need to obtain a residency permit.  The best source of information on Nicaraguan immigration laws are Nicaraguan Immigration offices.  We strongly suggest that you contact Nicaraguan Immigration and/or a Nicaraguan attorney should you have specific questions regarding Nicaraguan immigration laws and procedures.

The information below provides a brief outline of Nicaraguan immigration procedures. Nicaraguan immigration laws may change without notice.

Identity Documents

Nicaraguan law requires foreigners to carry at all times a valid identity document that proves their immigration status, such as a passport or a Nicaraguan residence card.  Authorities may request to see it and detain travelers without identity documents.  If you take a domestic flight to Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast, you must show your passport or residency card to an immigration officer.  If your U.S. passport is lost or stolen while in Nicaragua, please contact the U.S. Embassy as soon as possible to replace it.  You will need to get a new entry stamp from Nicaraguan Immigration at the airport or their Managua office before you can depart.

Requesting an Extension of Stay

At the port of entry, Nicaraguan immigration officials determine how long foreign tourists may stay in Nicaragua. Those entering without a visa are generally permitted to stay up to ninety (90) days. Foreign tourists requesting an extension of stay should apply at the main offices of Nicaraguan Immigration.

Generally speaking, the following is required:

  • Form requesting an extension of stay (available at the Immigration office)
  • Your Passport (valid for at least an additional six months)
  • Your Nicaraguan entry/exit Stamp given to you by Immigration when you entered Nicaragua
  • Payment of fee $ 25.00 per additional month, maximum of 90 additional days.

Nicaraguan Immigration imposes a fine on foreigners who exceed their length of stay without proper authorization.  This fine amounts to $3 per day of illegal stay, as of September 2021, and the foreigner cannot leave the country until the fine is paid.  This fine is waived if the U.S. citizen is also a dual Nicaraguan national and exits the country on their Nicaraguan passport.

If you are a foreign tourist, your Nicaraguan entry/exit stamp or form authorizing an extension-of-stay must be presented to Nicaraguan Immigration prior to departing Nicaragua.

If you cannot present either of these documents, you will need to go to the Nicaraguan immigration office to seek a replacement.

Income Verification Letter

If you need proof that you are receiving Social Security, Veterans Administration, other U.S. federal or any private pension benefits, you can request a benefits verification letter (certification). This letter is sometimes called a “budget letter,” a “benefits letter,” a “proof of income letter,” or a “proof of award letter”. This document is usually required to process your Nicaraguan residency.

To request an income verification (certification) letter you need to make Notarial Services appointment by clicking here.  

On the day of your notary appointment you will need to present:

  • Valid U.S. passport
  • Documentation from Social Security, Veterans Administration, and/or private pension from the current year indicating the amount you receive or bank statements from the last three months showing the monthly amount you receive
  • $50.00 USD notary fee (you may pay in cash dollars, córdobas, or credit card)

 Nicaraguan Residency Requirements

  1. Complete form requesting residency (available at Nicaraguan Immigration offices)
  2. Photocopy of the bio data page and most recent Nicaraguan entry stamp. Passport must be valid for more than six months.
  3. Two passport size photos, white background, without glasses and/or hats, and ears must be visible.
  4. Birth certificate with an apostille. An “apostille” is a certificate issued by a designated authority in a country where a treaty called the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents applies.  For more information about apostilles, please click here.
  5. Criminal record issued by the authorities in your country of origin or where you have resided in the past three years, with an apostille.  Minors under the age of 18 are exempt from this requirement.
  6. Health record extended by a certified authority in your country of origin with an apostille.
  7. Once the authorization resolution for residence has been approved the citizen must make a “Guarantee Deposit” equivalent to the value of an airline ticket to the country of origin or of previous residence.
  8. Any supporting documents requested by Nicaraguan Immigration in the interview process, in order to support the residency application.

*All the requirements should be presented before the Immigration Office in the language of the country of origin, translated to Spanish when necessary.

*Please note that Nicaraguan Immigration has specific requirements for these documents.  You should contact them before you begin this process in order to understand the exact requirements. The Nicaraguan government generally requires that documents coming from the United States have an apostille. An “apostille” is a certificate issued by a designated authority in a country where a treaty called the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents applies. For more information about apostilles, please click here.

For more information on requirements and fees for establishing Nicaraguan residency, contact Nicaraguan Immigration, your nearest Nicaraguan Consulate and/or a Nicaraguan attorney.

Entry/Exit visa requirements for visitors to CA-4 countries

CA-4 the Central America 4 Border Control Agreement between Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala establishes free movement for its citizens across their borders. Visitors that enter one of the four countries can also travel to these countries without requiring an additional visa.  However, visitors will only be allowed to remain 90 days total in these countries and will need to request a extension of stay at any Immigration Office in the 4 countries if they plan to stay over  90 days.

Entry/Exit Rules for Children

Nicaraguan and Non-Nicaraguan children are subject to Nicaragua’s entry and exit regulations for children if they remain in Nicaragua or have resided in Nicaragua for more than 90 days.

U.S. citizen children (including dual national children U.S.-Nicaraguan) may enter Nicaragua using their U.S. passport without requiring permission from a non-accompanying parent if they stay in the country fewer than 90 days and entered the country as visitors.  Nicaragua’s exit regulations for Nicaraguan children and residents, including dual national (U.S.-Nicaraguan) are very strict. For more information regarding these regulations, please read our section on dual nationality.

Nicaraguan Immigration Fees
Foreign Services
Service Fees
Residency forms $3.00
Re-validation forms $2.00
Process for temporary annual residency card $200.00
Process for permanent residency card
(5 years)
Replacement of damaged/lost card $50.00
Visa for Foreigners
Ordinary visa $10.00
Extension of stay (30 days) $25.00
Transit Visa $25.00
Migratory Movement $5.74
Irregular stay of non-resident (day) $3.00
Irregular stay of resident (day) $2.00
Loss of residency card $10.00
Irregular entry/exit $150.00
Failure to report change of address or provide false information $30.00