Sunday, April 14

What are the Residency Program Options for Nicaragua?

Nicaragua is another prime destination for retirees. The country has a generally affordable cost of living. This is the 2nd most popular country in Latin America where retirees normally seek residency. There is no high pressure in life, unlike most western countries. The laidback lifestyle as well as welcoming climate conditions have made it a top choice.

Compared to other top countries that expatriates love in Central America, Nicaragua is versatile and constantly changing. It’s suitable for those who want to reduce their general cost of living while still enjoying a good quality of life. Here are some of the core things that an expat retiree needs to know when seeking residency in Nicaragua.

Residency and Retirement Programs in Nicaragua

Nicaragua has three types of residency and retirement program options for expats. The country’s retirement laws resemble that of Costa Rica. They also have a pensionado residency that has been attracting thousands of expatriates.

To qualify for pensionado, you need to be at least 45 years. But if you are married to someone under this age limit, they can still come with you. The program requires that you furnish the authorities with a source of income and this could be from a private investment, pension, or social security checks. An applicant should be able to earn at least $600 per month.

Other residency categories include Investor that’s available to foreigners who want to invest in any kind of business. They need to however have at least $30,000 in their Nicaraguan bank account. Lastly, there is the rentista residency that needs the applicant to at least have a monthly income of $750.


  • As for 2020, here are the documents needed for the application of residency
  • A birth certificate copy
  • A copy of your passport
  • A certificate of good conduct from the police
  • A recent medical report certificate
  • 4 passport pictures
  • A list of household items you plan to import
  • A valid bank statement

The Residency Application Process

The application process is quite straightforward. All your documents will be collected, and a background check conducted. Thereafter, you will fill an application form that usually processed within two weeks. The fee is around $200 for retirees. Note that the cedula or “green card” has two be renewed every five years.

Those who choose the investor residency program need to pay around $215 while the rentista needs to pay around $200. In case you can’t handle the application process by yourself, then you need to seek the services of a lawyer.

However, finding a good lawyer isn’t an easy fit. You need to pay between $700 and $1200 to get premium services. The best thing about having a lawyer is that you will no longer need to make multiple trips to the immigration department. Besides that, you will exempt yourself from paying the costs of notarizing documents and translation charges.

How Long Does it Take to Get Residence Visa in Nicaragua?

Generally, it takes up to 90 days after the application has been submitted. But the applicant needs to remain in this country for at least 30 days. This is to allow for the immigration authorities to carry out follow-ups in order to validate the information they consider domicile.