Retirement Visa

Becoming a Legal Resident of NicaraguaYou don’t have to be a resident in Nicaragua to purchase property here or to start a business. Many people elect not to get a residency permit (cedula) but there are some limitations to remaining in the status of a tourist. Tourists are not technically allowed to open a bank account or buy a cell phone number. You have more rights as a permanent resident than a tourist. If you plan to reside for an extended period of time in Nicaragua it is a good idea to apply for residency.Once you are a resident of Nicaragua, you need an exit visa to leave the country but it is not difficult to get and most of us simply get it at the airport when we leave. Foreign residents can also get a permission slip from the government that allows them to leave and enter as much as they like during a one year period.New Residency Rules (October 2009)We recently received good news in that the residency rules have been greatly improved for foreigners wanting to become residents. The following is the interpretation of these new rules by Paul Tiffer who is an attorney at law and a public notary in Managua:In August there was published in LA GACETA, Number 151, the Law 694 named: “LEY DE PROMOCION DE INGRESO DE RESIDENTES PENSIONADOS Y RESIDENTES RENTISTAS” approved by the National Assembly (Nicaraguan Congress), last June 18th. With this law, The Nicaraguan Government is changing the previous Law #628 from 1974. The new law has several advantages over the last one, such as more details about the procedure to get Residency in the two standard ways: Retirement or with Private income. There are more definitions and it is going to be useful for both you and the government, INTUR - Instituto Nicaragüense de Turismo or the Tourism Nicaraguan Tourism Institute, which is the government’s department in charge of applying this Law.In my opinion it is the result of many years of application of the previous law which had several gaps and we Lawyers, Retirees and INTUR had to figure out what to do with those gaps. Now we have a comprehensive Law and it will not be subject to personal interpretations, most of it at least. The new Law has some of the same benefits as the old one, but they are improved, and it includes some new ones. This commentary is to explain the most important part, the gist of the law, and not to describe the structure or explain one by one the 27 articles of the Law.The objective of this Law is the promotion of the opportunity to come to Nicaragua to live for a long period of time as a Resident (five years). To people who bring an minimum income, it gives a special fiscal treatment with tax exemptions.To take advantage of this law and get the benefits, people who are going to apply must prove a monthly income of one thousand American dollars ($ 1,000.00) for Retirees and seven hundred fifty American dollars ( $ 750.00) for people with private incomes; i.e. benefits or incomes from investments, certificate of deposits for five years, bonus, revenues, stocks, rents, retirement plans, etc. Dependents can be parents of the applicant, spouse (husband or wife), children under 21 years old; or any other relative in the four grades who are dependents of the applicant. The applicant must have an income of one hundred fifty American dollars ($150.00) for each dependent.Nicaraguans who have been living more than ten years abroad and have an income coming from abroad, according to the Law, can get the benefits of this Law.The Benefits are:*Get a Stable Residency for five years.*Pay no taxes on any out-of-country earnings*Exemption from payment of the one way ticket out of the county for the applicant/resident.*A tax exemption for a vehicle C.I.F. (Cost, Insurance and Freight), for twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000.00); if the price of the vehicle is over twenty five thousand dollars ($ 25,000.00) the Resident will pay taxes on the difference. This vehicle can be changed with tax exemption every four years. Vehicles can be imported from the country where the applicant comes from or buy it in Nicaragua in both cases will be a tax exemption.*A tax exemption of twenty thousand dollars ($ 20,000.00) for household goods. There is a comprehensive list of articles that can be considered household goods. i.e.: “household goods are the new or used goods that help or allow living comfortably in a house.”*A tax exemption of fifty thousand dollars ($ 50,000.00) of the VAT (value added tax) of construction materials to build a house to live in.*Tax exemption of the VAT in rental cars of the Resident, for his personal use in Nicaragua.*Applicants can present a naturalization certificate instead of the birth certificateRequirements:People who want to apply and get these benefits must submit the following documents:*Application form*Income certification - certificate of income from your bank or pension plan *Birth Certificate or naturalization certificate*Two photographs*Health Certificate - certificate of letter from your doctor stating that you are in good physical health, are free from communicable diseases and are mentally sound.*Photocopy of the passport*Marriage License*Police Record Certificate - letter from your local police department stating that you have never been convicted of any crime*List of the household goods being imported and vehicle’s documentationAll of the  documentation must be Apostilled (given Consular Legalization) and Authenticated in the country where the documents come from the Nicaraguan Consulate in the country of origin. The documents may also need to be translated to Spanish and both language copies may need to be notarized. Your nearest Nicaragua consulate will advise.Obligations:*Live in Nicaragua at least six months per yearIt can be continuous or discontinuous. However, with INTUR’s authorization there can be exemptions, i.e. heath reasons or having investments in real estate over seventy five thousand dollars($ 75,000.00) in Nicaragua.*Submit every year to INTUR, documentation to prove that his/her income comes to Nicaragua.*The renewal every five years of the Residency according to the Residency LawProhibitions:The Resident can’t work in Nicaragua with government money but could do private investments in a business and prove investments in real estate over seventy five thousand dollars ( $ 75,000.00) in Nicaragua in accordance with the Ministry of Economy and Development’s approval. People like scientists or professors in Universities or Research Institutes will be able to work in Nicaragua.People who build a house for personal or private use, with tax exemptions in construction materials, can’t transfer the house for ten years or they must pay the taxes on those materials.The age to apply:The minimum age to apply for both Retiree and Private Income applicants is forty five years old, however the same Law in article 23 exempts people who are previously retired for medical reasons or with private income clearly proven. That means, to apply as Resident with Private Income there are no limitations.The previous residency law’s effect on Residents:People who got residency before this law went into effect will be covered even if their incomes are lower than that required by the new law; the law doesn't have a retroactive effect, so the people who actually are resident don’t have to prove or raise their incomes and will get the same benefit as new residents.

Published
Retirement Visa
Location: Nicaragua
Language: English
Description: 

Becoming a Legal Resident of Nicaragua


You don’t have to be a resident in Nicaragua to purchase property here or to start a business. Many people elect not to get a residency permit (cedula) but there are some limitations to remaining in the status of a tourist. Tourists are not technically allowed to open a bank account or buy a cell phone number. You have more rights as a permanent resident than a tourist. If you plan to reside for an extended period of time in Nicaragua it is a good idea to apply for residency.

Once you are a resident of Nicaragua, you need an exit visa to leave the country but it is not difficult to get and most of us simply get it at the airport when we leave. Foreign residents can also get a permission slip from the government that allows them to leave and enter as much as they like during a one year period.

New Residency Rules (October 2009)

We recently received good news in that the residency rules have been greatly improved for foreigners wanting to become residents. The following is the interpretation of these new rules by Paul Tiffer who is an attorney at law and a public notary in Managua:

In August there was published in LA GACETA, Number 151, the Law 694 named: “LEY DE PROMOCION DE INGRESO DE RESIDENTES PENSIONADOS Y RESIDENTES RENTISTAS” approved by the National Assembly (Nicaraguan Congress), last June 18th. With this law, The Nicaraguan Government is changing the previous Law #628 from 1974. The new law has several advantages over the last one, such as more details about the procedure to get Residency in the two standard ways: Retirement or with Private income. There are more definitions and it is going to be useful for both you and the government, INTUR - Instituto Nicaragüense de Turismo or the Tourism Nicaraguan Tourism Institute, which is the government’s department in charge of applying this Law.

In my opinion it is the result of many years of application of the previous law which had several gaps and we Lawyers, Retirees and INTUR had to figure out what to do with those gaps. Now we have a comprehensive Law and it will not be subject to personal interpretations, most of it at least. The new Law has some of the same benefits as the old one, but they are improved, and it includes some new ones. This commentary is to explain the most important part, the gist of the law, and not to describe the structure or explain one by one the 27 articles of the Law.

The objective of this Law is the promotion of the opportunity to come to Nicaragua to live for a long period of time as a Resident (five years). To people who bring an minimum income, it gives a special fiscal treatment with tax exemptions.

To take advantage of this law and get the benefits, people who are going to apply must prove a monthly income of one thousand American dollars ($ 1,000.00) for Retirees and seven hundred fifty American dollars ( $ 750.00) for people with private incomes; i.e. benefits or incomes from investments, certificate of deposits for five years, bonus, revenues, stocks, rents, retirement plans, etc. Dependents can be parents of the applicant, spouse (husband or wife), children under 21 years old; or any other relative in the four grades who are dependents of the applicant. The applicant must have an income of one hundred fifty American dollars ($150.00) for each dependent.

Nicaraguans who have been living more than ten years abroad and have an income coming from abroad, according to the Law, can get the benefits of this Law.

The Benefits are:

*Get a Stable Residency for five years.

*Pay no taxes on any out-of-country earnings

*Exemption from payment of the one way ticket out of the county for the applicant/resident.

*A tax exemption for a vehicle C.I.F. (Cost, Insurance and Freight), for twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000.00); if the price of the vehicle is over twenty five thousand dollars ($ 25,000.00) the Resident will pay taxes on the difference. This vehicle can be changed with tax exemption every four years. Vehicles can be imported from the country where the applicant comes from or buy it in Nicaragua in both cases will be a tax exemption.

*A tax exemption of twenty thousand dollars ($ 20,000.00) for household goods. There is a comprehensive list of articles that can be considered household goods. i.e.: “household goods are the new or used goods that help or allow living comfortably in a house.”

*A tax exemption of fifty thousand dollars ($ 50,000.00) of the VAT (value added tax) of construction materials to build a house to live in.

*Tax exemption of the VAT in rental cars of the Resident, for his personal use in Nicaragua.

*Applicants can present a naturalization certificate instead of the birth certificate


Requirements:

People who want to apply and get these benefits must submit the following documents:

*Application form

*Income certification - certificate of income from your bank or pension plan *Birth Certificate or naturalization certificate

*Two photographs

*Health Certificate - certificate of letter from your doctor stating that you are in good physical health, are free from communicable diseases and are mentally sound.

*Photocopy of the passport

*Marriage License

*Police Record Certificate - letter from your local police department stating that you have never been convicted of any crime

*List of the household goods being imported and vehicle’s documentation

All of the  documentation must be Apostilled (given Consular Legalization) and Authenticated in the country where the documents come from the Nicaraguan Consulate in the country of origin. The documents may also need to be translated to Spanish and both language copies may need to be notarized. Your nearest Nicaragua consulate will advise.

Obligations:

*Live in Nicaragua at least six months per year
It can be continuous or discontinuous. However, with INTUR’s authorization there can be exemptions, i.e. heath reasons or having investments in real estate over seventy five thousand dollars
($ 75,000.00) in Nicaragua.

*Submit every year to INTUR, documentation to prove that his/her income comes to Nicaragua.

*The renewal every five years of the Residency according to the Residency Law

Prohibitions:

The Resident can’t work in Nicaragua with government money but could do private investments in a business and prove investments in real estate over seventy five thousand dollars ( $ 75,000.00) in Nicaragua in accordance with the Ministry of Economy and Development’s approval. People like scientists or professors in Universities or Research Institutes will be able to work in Nicaragua.
People who build a house for personal or private use, with tax exemptions in construction materials, can’t transfer the house for ten years or they must pay the taxes on those materials.

The age to apply:

The minimum age to apply for both Retiree and Private Income applicants is forty five years old, however the same Law in article 23 exempts people who are previously retired for medical reasons or with private income clearly proven. That means, to apply as Resident with Private Income there are no limitations.

The previous residency law’s effect on Residents:

People who got residency before this law went into effect will be covered even if their incomes are lower than that required by the new law; the law doesn't have a retroactive effect, so the people who actually are resident don’t have to prove or raise their incomes and will get the same benefit as new residents.















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