Applying for Residency in Nicaragua
Applying for and getting a residency visa with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Immigration can be a very difficult task even to the most experienced missionary. This page is an attempt to get you through the red tape, difficult to understand requirements, and get you your residency as fast as possible. The Ministry of Immigration in Nicaragua sometimes changes their requirements from time to time, so you will have to refer to their documentation (or lack thereof) in order to find out the most current requirements. Usually, what will change is the price of the Deposit of Guarantee, which will cover later.
A special piece of advice- It is usually not worth hiring a lawyer or immigration “specialist” to try to get your residency for you. I have had many friends in the past spend many thousands of dollars trying to get their residency, only to find out that they need to pay more money for an unforeseen document. Usually this is just an excuse to get more money out of you. It is better to learn the ropes yourself, get to know the wonderful employees at the Ministry of Immigration, and get your residency. Besides, when it comes time to renew in a year, you will know exactly what to do!
Before we get started with the details of what documents you will need, or how much money it will cost, a word of caution… While the bureaucracy of the Ministry of Immigration may be difficult and frustrating, the people who work there are just everyday citizens trying to make a living. How you treat them, and the level of respect and courtesy that you give to them will determine how easy it is to become a resident! A few things to keep in mind as you work with the Ministry of Immigration:
- Be Humble! When you ask questions, don’t act like you deserve residency, or like you know more than they do. Listen, say thank you, and apologize for your ignorance. Nicaraguans already have issues with dealing with foreigners. Other countries treat them poorly, and there are many propagandist ideals flowing through the government about foreigners, especially “gringos, the enemies of humanity”, as the communist government calls Americans. So be humble, be nice, and get your residency.
- Show your appreciation. While it may be easy to say thank you for getting what you want, say thank you for your time even when you don’t get what you came for! Did they deny your application? Say thank you for your time, and ask what needed to be fixed. Apologize for wasting their time, and tell them that you will try to do better in the future. Don’t show frustration or disappointment, but shine with the Light of Christ. Be loving, patient, and calm. Remember, you will have to deal with these same people when you come back to reapply, pick your ID card, or get deported!
- Be prepared. Even if you are told that you will not need one of the documents listed on this site, remember that the person that told you that may not be there when you turn the documents in, or when the documents are reviewed after you turn them in. therefore, have everything ready, turn everything in, and be prepared for a phone call that they need more information. Never turn in your originals, and always keep a copy of what you turned into the Ministry of Immigration.
Are you ready to get started on your residency? Great! Use the links to the right, or click the next button at the bottom of this page.