While I believe many of the world’s best investment opportunities lie in emerging markets in Asia and even Africa, you can’t deny the appeal of Central America as a place to live, especially for Americans who want someplace close to home.
You also can’t deny that Central and South American countries have been among the most assertive in rolling out the red carpet for foreigners seeking second residency status and even second passports.
Having a second passport is an important diversification tool that gives you more options, including possible tax reduction, new investment options, and a safe haven to go to in times of crisis.
If you are new to the idea of dual citizenship, consider starting with our overview of citizenship by investment and how to get it.
To learn more about how we can help you with your second citizenship, travel, and international investment requirements, contact us today. We’re ready to help you maximize your wealth by going where you’re treated best.
How to Apply for a Nicaraguan Residency
Getting a second residency in Nicaragua is a straightforward process and one that almost any foreigner from a wealthy country can take advantage of.
There are a few options to get permanent residence in Nicaragua.
The first is to invest US$30,000 in the country through a Nicaraguan “Sociedad Anónima” corporation in which you control a majority interest.
If you have an existing company overseas that wants to do business in Nicaragua, you can avoid some of the red tape by setting up a local “branch” owned by your existing company.
While it would seem easy to purchase a home for more than $30,000, say in the beach town of San Juan del Sur, and call it a day, it isn’t really the easiest option.
Making $600 a month, or $750 a month for a couple, is the minimum monthly income required to qualify for rentista or pensionado status.
Pensionados are supposed to be 45 years of age or older, but the restriction can be waived in some cases.
Rentistas can be any age and need a minimum income of $750 from investments and $150 for each dependent. This option can be a bit more difficult as you will need to prove the stability of investment income.
Other than that, your main requirements are passing a basic medical test for a health certificate and providing a clean police record.
Plus, US citizens should not need to provide the painful-to-obtain FBI “Rap Sheet”; a local police report will do in many cases.
Below are the documents needed:
- Completed Application Form/Letter
- Birth certificate
- Health certificate
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Criminal record certificate
- Copies of company incorporation (if applicable)
- Investment registration certificate (if applicable)
Costs and Technicalities
If you’re missing a document or two or having trouble getting the proper certification required, the authorities in Nicaragua will likely take care of it for an above-board, minimal fee.
For example, stamp charges on some immigration documents for the immigration office are literally less than $1.
Overall, the total cost to get a cedula in Nicaragua — and the second residency that comes with it — is less than $1,000 if you’re from a Western country.
You have to renew the residence for five years and qualify to apply for citizenship after seven years.
Getting a second citizenship in Nicaragua technically requires some Spanish and Nicaraguan history knowledge.
Speaking of technicalities, foreigners with a second residence in Nicaragua are supposed to live here six months out of the year once they receive their “cedula” identification card.
However, different parts of Nicaraguan immigration law can be open to interpretation according to the local authorities. If you can present a compelling reason to be outside the country, you should be just fine.
It’s important to note that a foreign retiree “cannot work in any industrial or commercial activity or hold a job paid in local currency.”
The beaches of San Juan del Sur, the colonial city of Granada, and the open agricultural areas to the north are not bad places to live. On top of that, the cost of living in Nicaragua is cheap.
However, Nicaragua is close enough to North America to consider it as a second residency for your “escape hatch.” When things get bad enough, an American could drive there.
Grow Your Wealth and Secure Your Freedom
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Maybe Nicaragua is not for you? There are a lot of other residence and citizenship programs you can get through investment or even your heritage that can accommodate your needs, but you may end up paying more than Nicaragua.
But it really isn’t all about how much a program “costs.” It’s about matching your needs and personal or corporate goals to a holistic strategy incorporating residence or citizenship.
So beware of the companies that try to sell you one size fits all passports and residence options that aren’t really beneficial to you.
At Nomad Capitalist, we create holistic strategies and have helped 1,500+ high-net individuals go where they’re treated best by creating a holistic strategy to match their needs using our unique, tried, and true method.
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