Renewing Our Visas in Managua, Nicaragua

Living in Nicaragua is wonderful. However, one inconvenient thing about living here is that every 90 days Quinn and I have to renew our visas because we are not residents of Nicaragua. After living in Laguna de Apoyo for a few months we unfortunately lost track of time and realized we had been here four days over our 90 day limit and knew there was going to be a penalty. We had to get our passports stamped ASAP so this time, rather than going down to Costa Rica again (a 3 hour trip form Masaya), we decided to head to Managua (only 20 mis away) to get this taken care of at the mall called Metro Centro.

Life Out of the Box Renewing Visas in Managua, Nicaragua

After two quick bus rides from Masaya, we arrived at the front of the mall. We walked right in and found the immigration center in the middle of the shopping center.  The line was out the door, but we figured it was going to be faster than it was last time when we waiting in line at the boarder.

Life Out of the Box Renewing Visas in Managua, Nicaragua

After waiting in line for 20 minutes, we finally got inside. The security guard asked if we had copies of our passport photo page, entrance stamp sheet and if we had filled out the immigration office form. We of course didn’t have any of those things, so we purchased the form (only C$5) and went next door to the office supply store to make copies of our passports (each copy only C$1). We jumped back in line and quickly filled out our paperwork.

When we got to the government officer we were informed that it was C$500 ($21) for each additional 30 days we wanted to stay here with a maximum of 90 days. We also had to pay a penalty fee of C$50 ($2.10) for each day that we were over our previous 90 days, so our penalty was C$200 ($8.40) for the four days. We eventually got everything stamped and approved and then jumped on the micro-bus the head back to Masaya.

Life Out of the Box Renewing Visas in Managua, Nicaragua

Life Out of the Box Renewing Visas in Managua, Nicaragua

We were back in Masaya by 2pm. It was much faster, but slightly more expensive than going down to visit Costa Rica for three days. However, if you calculate what we would have spent in those 3 days visiting Costa Rica (hostel, food, transportation), the trip across the boarder would have probably been more expensive. We really recommend that anyone who is considering living abroad for over a month should do as much research as possible on the visa laws and what is involved in getting them renewed or extended. In Nicaragua its pretty straight forward and relatively easy.

Life Out of the Box Renewing Visas in Managua, Nicaragua

Now that we were in Masaya we had to find a place for us to live for the next few months and really get the ball rolling on what we are most passionate about: our business, LOOTB.

The article in photos:

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27 responses to “Renewing Our Visas in Managua, Nicaragua

  1. I had to do the same thing while living in Argentina. That is probably a source of income for the country and is no more complicated (and probably a lot easier) than the United States visa process. It’s one of the cost we pay for living in a world full of borders! ;)

  2. Great information about traveling/living abroad for extended periods. I would love to see occasional information on traveling where you are and/or are going for someone who has to use a wheelchair. My husband and I would love to travel outside of the country more, but unfortunately, the rest of the world is not usually as accessible as the US. It takes a lot of pre-planning for us to travel and it’s great when we can get information directly from someone who’s on the road to places we’d like to go.

    • Yeah for sure. There are some towns (like the town we are living in right now Masaya) that are very dificult to travel around in a wheel chair. But in some parts of Nicaragua like San Juan Del Sur there are more accommodating paths and roads. I will keep an eye out for you. Thanks for the comment.

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  5. This really is the 2nd post, of your website I actually
    went through. However , I enjoy this specific 1, “Renewing Our
    Visas in Managua, Nicaragua | Life Out of the
    Box” the very best. Regards -Sharon

  6. Cheers for the info; anyone done this in the last month or so? Is it still up to date? I’m in Guatemala about to pass through El Salvador and Nicaragua to Costa Rica on bicycle, my visa expires soon (Nicaragua falls under the same visa). Looks like there’s only a one day wait for the visa in El Salvador ($25) too but Guatemala is 8 days ($15). But just hoping to be sure before committing since there’s no cycling backwards for me!
    Cheers

  7. You can renew your Nicaraguan visa at either Peñas Blancas or Los Chiles. You do not have to spend three days in Costa Rica, as was the case years ago. You can turn around and come right back the same day.

  8. My wife and I have lived in Jinotega for almost three years now on 90 day tourist visas. The only issue we have run into is that after getting a 90 day extension from the immigration office here in town, we have to leave the country and re-enter before we can get another extension. For example, if I enter Nicaragua from the US I will be given a 90 day visa. When that expires I can get a 90 extension from imigration. However, once that extension expires I cannot get another one, I have to leave the country. So from the date of entry into Nicaragua, I can use tourist visas for 180 days before I have to leave the country and then re-enter.

  9. Also, in general imigration is cracking down on foreigners trying to live in Nicaragua on tourist visas. Everytime I try to get a new extension I get hassled about it more and more and am asked to provide more documentation and letters of reference from Nicaraguans that I work with. My wife and I have an 8 month old son who was born here in Jinotega and we will be applying for residency very soon.

    • Where are you getting these hassles, in Managua or at a border? I was refused entry to Costa Rica but since have traveled Nicaragua to Mexico and back with not a word said. Thanks; this info will help me decide what to do. Due to pension issues I am reluctant to apply for residence.

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