Nicaraguan Immigration Requirements
Believe it or not, thousands of foreign residents change their place of residence to Nicaragua every year. These people come from around the world. It can often become a bureaucratic nightmare but it is worth going through the immigration process in the long run. Do not try to get through by extending your tourist visa because unless you establish residency you will not be able to open a bank account or turn on services at your home such as electricity and phone. It is important that you make your residency official.
Extension of stay
If your plans are to have an extended stay in Nicaragua then you will need to apply for permanent residency. You must do this if you plan to stay longer than 90 days. Go to the Immigration Office and request the extension of stay form. At this time you will also need your passport, Nicaraguan entry/exit stamp, plus the fees which are $12 for one month and $40 for three months (as of 2009).
You must have a Nicaraguan entry/exit stamp that has to be given to Nicaraguan Immigration. If you do not have this, then you can get one from the Immigration Office. Residency in Nicaragua falls into one of two classifications, temporary and permanent; however under each of these are many subcategories. Regardless of which you are applying for it is best to have everything in order when you arrive at the Immigration Office. In addition to the extension of stay form, your passport and Nicaraguan entry/exit stamp you will need copies of your entire passport, 2 passport photos, criminal background certification, birth certificate, health certificate and fees which can fluctuate.
It is very important that you are specific when gathering your documents as there are no substitutions or exceptions made. When residents are going to Nicaragua from the United States, the government will want all forms authenticated. Authentication confirms the legitimacy of the signature that is on the documents rather than the document itself. On rare occasions the Nicaraguan government will take documents that have been notarized at the U.S. Embassy.
If you are applying for permanent residency then you should fall into one of the following subcategories: resident with family in Nicaragua, resident that is retired, a resident that is leasing property, an investor or an immigrant resident. For those seeking temporary residency they would have to fall into one of the following categories: work based residents, journalists, students, religious resident or residents with family already living in Nicaragua to qualify for that status.
Nicaraguan Immigration is very strict about those who stay longer than they are supposed to without the proper authorization. As of 2009 the fine is just over one dollar per day. The fees must all be paid in full prior to the leaving the country. In regards to children, children that are not Nicaraguan citizens do not have to meet the entry and exit regulations. Children that are U.S. citizens can travel to and from Nicaragua without a parent accompanying them.