Why Are You Requesting Residency
Getting A Sponsor
As it is in most countries, getting residency in Nicaragua requires a sponsor or employer. This can be the Incorporated church that you are going down to minister with, the Nicaraguan Spouse that you married, or even yourself, if you have the resources and/or business to prove that you are taken care of. You will be technically employed by the Corporation that sponsors you.
For those traveling through our church, Ministerios De Gracia Internacional, they will use our Nicaraguan non-profit corporation as their corporate sponsor. If you are going with another church, or on your own, you will need a corporate sponsor. If you are married to a Nicaraguan, you will have to prove that you are fiscally able to sustain yourself while in Nicaragua, but you will not need a corporate sponsor. You will need to contact the Ministry of Immigration in Nicaragua for more information regarding the documentation you will need to prove your fiscal responsibility.
A corporate sponsor is essentially your employer, who will guarantee your employment and provision while in Nicaragua. You can also be employed by a non-corporation company, for which you will need to refer to the Ministry of Immigration for more information.
If you are starting a new ministry in Nicaragua, then you have a couple options. The easiest, is if you have friends in Nicaragua that have already incorporated, perhaps they will be willing to sponsor you through their organization until you can incorporate yourself. Otherwise, you will need to incorporate to get your residency. I have heard that it is possible to get residency without incorporating, but It is very difficult, if not impossible, without a large sum of money to prove your fiscal responsibility.
Essentially, the government wants to know why you are here, and who is going to provide for you during your stay. If your situation varies from that which is presented here, make sure that you contact the Ministry of Immigration for accurate information regarding your situation.
Now that you have a Corporate Sponsor (or Employer), you can now get the proper documentation:
La Gaceta Publication
Every Nicaraguan Corporation, as a part of incorporating, must publish their incorporation and approval by the National Assembly in the National Publication, La Gaceta. Now, as good practice, the corporation should have bought multiple copies for their records when they published (we bought 20 copies when we published). A copy, not an original, of this publication must accompany your application. That means you will have to ask your sponsor for a photocopy of their “La Gaceta” publication. If they do not have a copy, you will have to go to the “La Gaceta” office. Make sure that you only make photocopies and turn them in, keeping your original. Depending on how long it has been since the institution published, it may take some time to get the copy from them. Make sure that you start early!
Certificado de Inscripcion (Inscription Certificate)
The second document you will need from your Corporate Sponsor is the “Certificado de Inscripcion” (Inscription Certification in English). This document, issued by the Nicaragua Ministry of Government (Ministerio de Gobernacion), verifies that the Corporation is legally registered with the government. It is only given when the corporation was registered. If your corporate sponsor does not have a copy of this document, the Legal Representative, usually the President, must request a copy from the Ministry of Government. A copy (not an original!) must be included with each applicant’s application for residency.
Certificado de Cumplimiento (Compliance Certificate)
The third document that you will need from your corporate sponsor is called the “Certificado de Cumplimiento” (Compliance Certificate), from the Ministry of Government (Ministerio de Gobernacion). This document certifies that your Corporate Sponsor is up to date with all of their paperwork for the previous year, and does not owe taxes or other governmental liabilities. This document is renewed every July when the corporation files their documentation at the end of the fiscal year. Make sure that the copy that you are given (once again, a copy of the original) is current and in effect, not expired. The expiration date is always dated on the document. If your Corporate Sponsor does not have this document, the Legal Representative will need to file the proper paperwork to get the corporation up to date before it is issued, and you can get your residency.
Certificado de Junta Directiva (Certification of the Board of Directors)
The fourth document that you will need is called a “Certificado de Junda Directiva” (Certification of the Board of Directors). This document is a confirmation of the board of directors. To obtain this document, your Corporate Sponsor takes their board meeting minutes of their last Board of Directors Election, and has them notarized by a Lawyer and Notary Public, proving that the board, as well as the corporation is operating with the proper elected government. This document must be an ORIGINAL certification from the lawyer, not a photocopy. If you are filing with multiple members of your family, each will need an ORIGINAL copy for their application packet! The Lawyer/Notary Public that elaborates the Certification will usually do multiple copies at a lesser rate. This Document comes on Nicaraguan Legal Paper, which is larger than a US sheet of legal paper, and has pre-printed Blue borders, as well as a red serial number at the top.
Poder Generalisimo (Power of Attorney)
The fifth document that you will need from your corporate Sponsor is a photocopy of the “Poder Generalisimo” (Power of Attorney) for the Corporation. This document proves that the person signing the “Carta de Manutencion” (Letter of Sustainment, to be discussed later) has the authority to do so. It also creates a link between the Corporation and the Ministry of Immigration. The Power of Attorney document will be a photocopy, not the original. The original always stays with the owner, the person granted the power of attorney, as his proof that he or she has the power to act on behalf of the organization.
Constancia Laboral (Proof of Employment)
This next document is an official letter from your
nonprofit, on their letterhead, that will declare that you are an employee for
the nonprofit. This letter must state: your wages, job title, and the fact that you are
not under a contract, but a permanent job. For wages, you should put your estimated monthly support from your church. No matter what you put, if it is not over $400 US dollars, your application will be rejected. Even if you do not personally receive your support, you know that your presence in Nicaragua costs about that amount.
Carta de Manutencion (Letter of Sustainment)
The next document from your corporate Sponsor is a “Carta de Manutencion” (Letter of Sustainment). This is a document that is issued by an attorney, as a letter of promise by the Corporations Representative (the person who has the power of attorney) to provide for and take care of you, the applicant. This document must be done by an immigration lawyer. By immigration lawyer, I mean one of the lawyers in the shacks right across the street from immigration. This should not cost more than about $10 at the time of this writing. Most other lawyers do not know the format that the Ministry of Immigration requires, and theirs will be rejected. This Document is a promise to cover your expenses and take care of you. If you are married to a Nicaraguan, than you will also need a “Carta De Manutencion”, but it will probably be in your spouse’s name. To obtain this document, you will have to go with the legal representative of the Corporation, with the Power of Attorney, as well as their Cedula de Identidad (their ID card), and your passport. The lawyers in front of Immigration can
usually have the document completed, notarized, and photocopied in about thirty minutes, while you wait. But don’t wait to the last minute to get it done, because if there are any snags, it could keep you from applying for residency.
A Note About Children
The requirements for children do not vary much from the requirements for adults requesting residency in Nicaragua. There are, on the other hand, a few differences... Your children will not be employed by the Corporation that you are ministering with, so they will not have a letter dictating how much money that they make. They will however, have a "Carta de Manutencion" from the parents, indicating that they will be supported by their parents. Make sure that if you are traveling with minors, that you contact the Ministry of Immigration before you travel to see what the visa requirements for them are in your situation.
Leave Plenty of Time
All of the above documents come from your corporate sponsor. As you start the process of getting your residency, talk to your sponsor, and see if they have ever done residency before. If so, then it should be pretty easy for them to obtain current copies of all of the documents you need. If not, or if their corporation is not in order, then it could take some time for them to compile the proper documents, so start early!
Now that you have your Corporate Sponsor’s Documents in order, there are others that you must get for yourself!
Use the links to the right, or use the navigation buttons below.