90 Day Tourist Visa and Passport Stamp.

A timely reminder to make sure you are legal.

A few people in San Juan del Sur have recently had to spend big bucks (at 50 cordobas per day fine) to legalize their position.

We are talking about folks with 1 year to 4 years here without a 90 day visa stamp.

Given what the USA would do to Nicaraguans in the same position, I think Nicaragua was very generous to some of them, but out of 5 that got busted, we have one confirmed in the Immigration detention center in Managua and another suspected to be also in custody.

So, if you don't get an easy time on your next "visa run", blame a few of these people for kicking the ass out of it.

For some, the fines were more than the cost of getting a residency. Some of the above actually qualify for one.

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I'm always amazed that people do this

Curious, were they busted in San Juan del Sur or when trying to leave Nicaragua for a trip elsewhere?

Rebecca Brown


Some related to Aduana (Customs) making inquiries into sail boat legalization.

They had the date they came into harbor and did a cross reference with Migracion on the person.

Word soon went out and others went to Migracion (Managua and the border), paid up and got stamped.


The thing is that it's so easy to come here legally that only real arrogance ("The Third World is our backyard") would be why anyone would think they could pull this. Compared to simply going for years without even updating a tourist visa makes perpetual tourism look honest.

Rebecca Brown

One of the things I listened to...

Was the advice about keeping up the tourist stamps.

It is part of the submission for residency, showing that you did that.

We all find or own level but our actions will affect others.

Por otra parte...for legislation to work effectively, it needs to be enforced fairly and equitably.

Tis' true that Nicaraga needs the money, but as they showed with the Puracal case, they will put up with bad publicity (even if they generated it and for an inexplicable reason).

Columbia deals with perpetual tourists by letting you stay for 6 months and then making you leave for 6 months.

Ecuador as well

If the idea of a tourist visa is really tourism, it seems that the Colombia/Ecuador policy is the best. The allowed in-country time could be adjusted but requiring a substantial out of country time is a clean way to prevent perpetual tourism.

The 72 hour rule is not a good way for a couple of reasons:

  • It regularly gets ignored. It is a lot easier to let three days slip onto a few hours but harder to let six months slip into a few hours.
  • The short time also encourages the "my passport traveled" approach -- to Panama for Costa Rica and, before the CA-4 agreement, to Honduras for Nicaragua. Having your passport take a one or even three day trip is pretty easy but being in country with no Passport for months is not a good thing.

And this wouldn't be a problem for winter visitors

For people who do split their time almost equally with a slightly longer time in Nicaragua, current residency rules work just fine and even allow for longer stays elsewhere to handle business issues (for people who own rental properties abroad, say). For people who are spending less than six months escaping northern winters, they wouldn't have any problems with a six months in, six months out rule for tourists. Everyone else either plans to be somewhere else for six months or gets residency.

Rebecca Brown

Problem Is, Once

they get the taste this will be an ongoing revenue stream (with all the implications that implies).

I admire the NIcas for enforcing their immigration laws; I wish the US would do the same.

Key West, your post is arguing with itself...

Are you a Gemini?

If they wanted a revenue stream they would have kicked them all out, held a judicial sale (sail) of the boats and other property and made more money.

Nicaragua could have gotten the taste at any time....its the gringos that have been here doing the cooking!!

Compare with CR, the very lenient way Nicaragua enforces the 90 day visa.

Did you read this bit "1 year to 4 years here without a 90 day visa stamp"...that is thumbing ones nose, No?

In CR, these folks would be kicked out and not allowed back for 3 times the amount of time they were in the country without a stamp.


Is enforcement of the 90 day visa there new? While the 90 day visa has existed there for ages there was no penalty for an overstay. I was talking to one person who lived there, had a business there and a child there. She said that on one of her trips to the US, the people at the airport said "You have 11 overtime stays in just this passport. You really should get residency."

Yes, they make you stay out for 72 hours.

And the new law, albeit late getting implemented due to various amnesties (mainly for Nicaraguans) is very clear on penalties.

Overstaying Visa: The law of Costa Rica states that “persons who overstay the time allowed on their visa may have to pay $100 and cannot return for three times as many days as they exceeded the time allotted.”

Having a CR child will giver her/him a wider berth but not immunity.

Good Point On

selling the boats. My understanding is, Nicaragua has a pretty good policy towards keeping a boat in country.

On the enforcement, Nicaragua has probably seen what has happened in the US with illegal immigration and doesn't want any part of it.

For a "3rd world backwater" (not my words)--- they seem to be keeping on top of things.

My "implications" comment is driven by my experience with the traffic police, admittedly not a representative face of the Nicaraguan government. I've been treated with fairness and help in all my other dealings.

My reluctance to obtain residency is driven by a couple of things: Although I own 20 Mz (and am looking for more), until recently there was some equivocation in my commitment to Nicaragua. Nicaragua finally seems to be moving in a good direction, and the US seems to be less interested in a confrontational attitude towards the country.

It's still 90 + Renew for 90 for a fee, then leave the country for 72 hours, right? Seems reasonable, even generous.

Sticking to the 90 day tourist issue, or trying to...

Arriving on a sail boat you get 90 days....the boat gets 30...same as a car or truck.

Aduana suddenly announced that they wanted all boats over 30 days nationalized or sail out and come back. (same as cars or trucks).

It is the law, but they were not enforcing it before.

So why 30 for the boat, car or truck and 90 for the person....? Simple:

The law of Migracion gives everyone 30 days (see the white ticket you get at the border). Some countries get 90 days by special order. (USA, Canada, etc).

But..they didn't change any Aduana rules on the vehicles (or boats) ergo they stayed at 30 days.

It would need a simple fix to marry the two up and stamp your passport with the hull number of the boat or VIN number of the vehicle and a 90 day stamp if you qualify for that. i.e. Transport and person gets treated the same.

You know anyone who can bring this up in the right places?

Seems like a reasonable change. A number of people are only down here for the northern winters -- and getting residency and nationalizing the boat or car doesn't make sense for people who move down in November and leave in April. Transport would need to also be able to do a renewal in those cases.

The people living here in the winters probably are people who build new houses, not a group that Nicaragua would want to see find nice tropical beaches elsewhere.

I always suspect that at least some people who don't get residency have something to hide in terms of prior convictions or are fleeing court judgments. Possibly the one or two who were taken into custody were in that group.

Rebecca Brown

"I always suspect that at

"I always suspect that at least some people who don't get residency have something to hide in terms of prior convictions or are fleeing court judgments. Possibly the one or two who were taken into custody were in that group."

Rebecca, I don't suppose it ever occurred to you that not everyone qualifies for pensionado residency?

David brown mt...please re read her comment

She said "at least some people" and she was dead right.

"not everyone qualifies for pensionado residency?"...and I don't qualify for a Jumbo jet license or to practice law. Most Nicaraguans that have to put up with us don't even qualify to visit the places we come from. So whats your point?

Did you know that anyone with $2,500 in arrears on child support payments can apply (for a $25 fee) to the State Department to have their spouses passport revoked under the Passport Denial Program.

I remember the guy here that went home under that law. He was summoned to the US Embassy and sent home.

Also check this link out:


"Suspected" is good enough to ruin your vacation or get away plan!!

More disinformation

The page you linked to is for passport renewals, and states the following: " Denial or revocation of a passport does not prevent the use of outstanding valid passports."

Rebecca is always implying that people who visit the country repeatedly on tourist visas are breaking the law, which simply isn't true.

I said that some people (guy here, others elsewhere)

...who've dodged getting getting legal residency are people who committed crimes elsewhere or who are fleeing possible judgment (John McAfee in Belize) and at least some of them commit further crimes here (gringo rapist in Granada who had prior convictions in the US, the guy here, the serial killer in Panama, possibly John McAfee).

Some of them are cranks of various kinds who aren't going to cooperate with some third world government and jump through its hoops. To me, this is a sign of not really fitting in Nicaragua, but that's my opinion, not a fact.

It is a fact that some people who didn't get residency various Central American countries including this one were criminals who couldn't have passed a police report or Interpol check.

That's what I was talking about as criminal behavior, not the issue of whether perpetual tourism is legal under Nicaraguan law or not.

Rebecca Brown

Amen To That

"Rebecca is always implying that people who visit the country repeatedly on tourist visas are breaking the law, which simply isn't true."

Until they change the law dipping in and out every 90 or 180 days is not illegal. Maybe not the intended purpose of the law according to many, but who is doing the interpretation? Rebecca and her FSLN circle in Jinotega ??

Lots of good reasons for not applying for residency; maybe someone works in the US and is only in Nica part of the year. Like my nurse wife.

One caveat: Chismes will get you in greater trouble in Nicaragua than actually breaking the law. So if Rebecca makes the statement that most male expats in Nicaragua are pedophiles, and some significant number of the rest are fleeing criminal prosecution in the US, then the Nicaraguans will repeat this and it will eventually become established fact. She is free and easy with her accusations, to the detriment of us all. I'm still looking for my first pedophile.

I did meet some guys living in TJ to avoid child support orders when I was down there getting my truck painted. They were also there for the cheap living: San Diego has some sky high housing prices. It's a pretty easy commute, take the trolley to the border, walk across, grab a cab. The two guys I chatted with on the trolley had early starting jobs, allowing them to re-enter the US before the line got too long. It's a 30 second interface with the customs agent if you're not carrying anything.

I'd rather see some level of solidarity among US ex-pats in Nicaragua, than this petty and untrue back-stabbing. It might buy points among your FSLN friends who want to hear the worse about the US, but if the rubber ever hits the road you might want some Usano friends. There's a word for people who do this sort of thing, and it's not pretty. We may be politically diverse, but we still have our country, it's proud history, and its cultural heritage in common. I for one am not ashamed of the US, and never will be. We could take a lesson from the Nicaraguans in this respect.

I've never said that

Basically, some people don't apply for residency because they're cranks who would never jump through some third world government's hoops.

If people are in Nicaragua for six months a year, they're free to live elsewhere the other six months and still retain residency.

One of the reasons is not all.

Basically, I picked Jinotega because it's got few enough expats that I needed to make Nicaraguan friends, and it's got enough expats that I don't have to be buddies with all of them.

There's a word for people who try to tell wannabe writers that paying to be published will lead to Big Things and it's even less pretty in my world. And for some people who don't really have audiences beyond their families and friends, paying is what they might have to do, but telling them that commercial publishing is a closed shop that requires special connections is just utterly wrong.

When I lived in NYC, I didn't hang around Southerners, regardless of their politics. I was there to hang around other kinds of people. When I lived in California, one of my friends was that rare creature, a fifth generation Californian. In rural Virginia, a mix of hippie and born-there friends. Here, some expats, and more bilingual Nicaraguans, and some people who are patient with my Spanish.

Fact -- some people who don't get residency in Central American countries have criminal records or are judging court settlements or are cranks or crazies. Never said all of them, but certainly some. That's a fact, not an opinion.

Getting residency if a person lives here six months or more a year and qualifies under the various categories simply isn't that big a deal. Hire a lawyer, do it yourself. You're not committing for five years but up to five years.

I understand why people who only live in Nicaragua in the winter months might not bother to get residency and they leave probably in less than six months. They're really perpetual tourists.

Both the friends who are like officially FSLN have traveled in the US.

I have USAnos friends -- most of them are in the US.

And when we talk about the huge pride of the Nicaraguans in Nicaragua, not all of them. One of my young friends is actually quite desperate to get out and see the USA. I've run into kids in the mercado who can't believe I left the US for Nicaragua, and I've talked to people who were born in Nicaragua who were now living in Miami and visiting who were completely dismissive of the country. Don't stereotype.

I'm proud of my fellow Americans for the recent presidential election and amused the woeful wailings of the people who were sure they were going to be able to derail finally the progress we'd been making. And my brother is now an elected official on the Carbarrus Soil and Water Conservation Board in North Carolina even though he reads the New York Review of Books. Unless there's a recount. And I'm particularly proud of Maryland for producing one of the finest Usenet trolls ever (Jeff Boyd, aka 2Belo) and the recent vote to legalize gay marriage which makes it the only state south of the Mason Dixon line I could consider ever going back to.

And I'm amused that a number of Northerners would like the South to just go secede and stay seceded this time since those state have more of the people who don't pay taxes and are a net drain on the rest of the country. Some of us have hope for North Carolina and figure that keeping Atlanta as something like West Berlin as a refuge for those fleeing the hellholes that those states would devolve into would be nice. Virginia we can obviously keep, and Florida can be non-continguous US territory like Alaska, maybe give the panhandle to Alabama and Mississippi.

I even thought about setting off fireworks when the final US election results came in, but a friend in NJ suggested this might annoy my neighbors. But, but, they get to annoy me when their guys win.

And Occupy is still alive.

Rebecca Brown

And for some it just doesn't work

Have read quite a lot of pages about obtaining residency and tourist visa here on NL. - experiences from members here and Paul Tiffer.

For some it just doesn't fit to apply for a residency permit and have to stay on the tourist path.

One of the demands for the residency permit is that you stay at least six months per year in Nicaragua with some exceptions that are listed. According to that legislation I would never qualify for residency as long as I stick with my present occupation (chief officer on a vessel with 1:1 rotation) since time outside the country would be more than 6 months.

Others just can't be bothered with the paperwork.

I'm not saying that you're wrong (far from it actually) but there are some exceptions.


"Others just can't be bothered with the paperwork".

Yep...that's what started my blog entry off....

Some is not all, or even an implied majority.

I get the impression that a frequent enough reason for not applying for residency is "I shouldn't have to follow the rules in a third world country with a corrupt government." So far, the people I've dealt with have been honest and professional (Intur, Migracion, Aduana, Correos, and the Alcaldia's office when I went to get a bicycle plate).

Your situation would be unchanged if the rules changed to six months in country, six months out for extended tourists. The guys who spend the winters here would also be unaffected. The people who live here, who marry Nicaraguans, who have businesses, who can't renew drivers licenses where they used to live because they've been away so long their issuing states or provinces want a new photograph, those people should be getting their residency regularized. In my opinion.

Rebecca Brown

Its one year, not six months...

for a 5 year residency, so you should be OK.


ACT No. 761, Adopted on March 31, 2011

Published in The Gazette Nos. 125 and 126 on 6 and 7 July 2011

Article 38 Section 7.

The 6 month rule is for those with a temporary residence.

The 6 month rule is for those with a temporary residency

But isn't the first residency always one for a year? And, with good behaviour, the following residencies are for 5 years each?

Pensionados, investors, and rentiers get five years

....on first applicationt. Pensionados and rentiers (people living off invested income) have to be 45 or older but there may be exceptions to that rule.

Rebecca Brown


There is only the option of a 5 year on the Permanent residency.

Temporary are still 1, 2 or 3 depending on the application. Remember, they are tied into a reason for working/volunteering here and are more of a work permit with restrictive rules.

The permanent is only called that because its not a temporary!

KWP...My post was a simple warning and timely reminder...

As a result of recent activity in SJdS.

It was meant to try and stop anymore heading to the detention centre.

I should have know that it wouldn't stay on the subject of 90 day visas.

IMO, you will be a resident, not a tourist. Unless you plan on not having a license or vehicle registration in your name, you will be giving the coffee away and not writing off the cost of running the farm.

But I'm not Migracion and you might enjoy a good run too before they ask you to get one.


It links to a heading:

Passport Information for Criminal Law Enforcement Officers

Yes it does say "Denial or revocation of a passport does not prevent the use of outstanding valid passports."

It simply means that you may be able to travel outside of the US until it expires...and then you will no get another one.

So what happens if you are X months over and the Migracion hammer comes down? You have Migracion wanting to take your money at 50cords a day but have no passport to stamp. A few inquiries with the State Dept. reveal that you can't be given one either.

You seem to have all the answers and disagree with everyone else...so what would you do?

Yeah, BUT US Passports

are issued for 12 years, and the Passport Card (still not valid for travel to Nica) is good for ten years.


How long does it take to get a Nica passport?

A few weeks

if you are a Nicaraguan.

Why are you fighting this one?

Go up to Managua and try and get the guy out of detention, a passport, a 90 day stamp and enough money to get Aduana off his back!!.

I have no idea what you are

I have no idea what you are talking about. US Customs can't deny re-entry to the USA because of an expired passport. I'm just saying you can use a tourist visa until they tell you you can't and even then you could probably just try again another time and get back in. Your own blog post above shows that Migracion is OK with these guys overstaying visas for YEARS. I haven't advocated that anyone overstay a visa, I just said tourist visa renewals are legal. Show me the law that states the maximum number of tourist visas allowed.

No you don't seem to.

I am talking about if you do not have a valid passport and cannot get a new one.

The Embassy cannot give a new passport (revokation rules) so they (USA and Nicaragua) can only send the person home.

Your comments:

"I'm just saying you can use a tourist visa until they tell you you can't"... Correct

"Show me the law that states the maximum number of tourist visas allowed"...So why didn't I tell Migracion that when they said no more?

Answer: You already said I can do it until they said no more. "They" did say No More.

P.S. It would be in the regulations, procedures manual or Ministerial Orders, not the law.

I second the P.S.

All to many usanos (including myself at least of years past) seem to find satisfaction in saying "but the law says ...". What the law says vs. how it works, no matter where you are, can be different but, in Nicaragua, expect it to almost always be different and regularly changing.

An example that appears here semi-regularly is about driver's licenses. The law clearly states that you can drive on your non-Nicaraguan driver's license until it expires. But, many people have been told they have 7 days, 30 days or whatever to get a Nicaragua license. When you get stopped, knowing the law is a good thing but telling the cop you know the law may not be.

I'm not saying I know all the law on this but....

by way of a little light relief....

I did find this rule:

"Airlines operating in Nicaragua are required to give two seats on each flight for the deportation of people who are illegally in the country. These quotas will be available to the Directorate General of Immigration for deportation of foreigners".

So next time we want to go to Houston I am going to try handcuffing Maria to me and asking for the two seats!!

There are other categories

They include paramour of a Nicaraguan citizen, having a job here where you're more qualified than the Nicaraguans around (special skills will get you into the US, too), and year to year with adequate income (rentier, but over 45), and investor (if pensionado is low rent here, that one is even lower -- $30K at ten percent would be quite less than the minimum pensionado requirements). Paramour of a Nicaraguan citizen is year by year (and the terms are very amusing -- you both have to say it's a long term relationship right now, but neither of you are forced to stay in it).

The Nicaraguan consulate in DC implied that there is something like year to year residency for people who don't qualify for any of the five year categories. If you've been here five years on year to year, you can get longer term residency. This may be what Suzanne Wopperer has or she may be in as investor (I know she was year to year for a number of years, then granted permanent -- i.e. five year -- residency.

Possibly other year by year categories -- ask Migracion about those.

Frankly, for most middle class North American men and probably most middle class North American women, coming up with $30K for a business isn't a remarkable amount of money. I had that much from selling my house before I bought my car when I lived in DC. People are getting away with building almost private houses with a couple of rooms to rent and calling that a hotel from what I've heard.

You also could claim to be an economic refugee or someone in danger of being persecuted. Be curious to see someone try it given the wailing of the Romney supporters about losing the Presidential election and some Senate seats, and the up-coming horrors they're expecting.

Why move somewhere if you don't fit in any of the legal categories for residency? For people who are desperate to find better paying work, better opportunities, I get it, but Nicaragua isn't the place to find better paying work except working for foreign NGOs, and if you were doing that, you would qualify for residency. If you want to buy land and build spec houses, that's already going to take at least $30K in capital. Building a hotel and staffing it before the money comes in, probably about the same unless you're building a backpacker's lodge or campground.

Rebecca Brown

Thanks for the building the

Thanks for the building the strawman and knocking him down, as usual. A lawyer I use in Sebaco says he could get me investor residency with just the papers on my cows. I travel back to the USA often enough that I don't have to do visa renewals, so it's just not worth the hassle to get investor residency at this point. And just so you know, it's perfectly legal to do border runs on a tourist visa. If they want to enforce the 72 hours out of the country that's their business.

If its perfectly legal...

then why did they ask me to get my residency?

Answer: Because you need to get it when you cease to be a tourist.

Tourists don't buy cows, coffee farms, have employees or lease houses for a year or more.

Once they know you do that, they can make you get your residency.

Try telling Migracion "it's perfectly legal to do border runs on a tourist visa" at that point!!

Same as the confusion on having an S.A. Foreigners can own shares in a Nica S.A. That is under the law governing S.A.'s.

It does not necessarily mean that you can "work" in your S.A.

Owning shares as a foreigner and working as a non resident are two separate issues.

Yes, but

Yes, there are other categories. There are even some ideas you suggest here that are possible. But, this summary is about the same as the US IRS code summarized in a pocket-sized book.

To take just one misconception from what you have stated, there is a big difference between "coming up with $30K" and getting investor residency.

I don't intend to write a book on getting Nicaraguan residency here but I did want to point out:

  1. The laws and regulations are a lot more complicated than what you state.
  2. The laws and regulations can be very different from how it really works.

I don't want to discourage anyone from looking at creative ways to get residency but I do want to point out that "asking immigration" is unlikely to be your best path. (Last month I spent about 10 minutes talking to a Nicaraguan citizen about getting residency for her soon to be husband and she said I told her a lot more than she learned by a trip to immigration.) Talk to someone who has done the work, recently.

There is a bit more about this concept on A42.com in the How? section. It is not Nicaragua-specific (the Nicaragua-specific pages in the Where? section are mostly copies of NL information as I get time to review things with Paul, make updates and put up pages) but they may help you start thinking about alternatives and how to work with them.

The guy who got paramour status asked Migracion

He was posting here about it at the time. I talked to him a bit more by private email. He didn't use a lawyer since the thing was year by year. Same paperwork and the written statement that he was in a long term relationship with a Nicaraguan.

Whether it takes getting a lawyer or asking people or talking to Migracion, if people don't fit in an accepted category, they don't have a right by virtue of being born in the US to live in Nicaragua or India, or anywhere else. And it's not like they need to move here to escape brutal poverty or a dictator, or genuine religious persecution.

Yes, people who can prove that they're being persecuted somewhere else can seek asylum in Nicaragua. I think the Nicaraguans would laugh at people who wanted to flee the US because Obama is president and some crackpots think he's a socialist, but hey.

Rebecca Brown

You can do a 30 day car

You can do a 30 day car renewal, after that you have to nationalize it or leave the country for 72 hours.

So You Can Get

30 entry + a 30 renewal on the car?

That's fair.

I had some idea that you could keep a boat here longer; probably confused Nicaragua with some other country like Guatemala.

What is the process for nationalization of a boat? I was thinking of eventually getting a small sailboat and keeping it on the hard at Rama.

I don't have anything AGAINST residency, and will probably complete it next year, but I do understand how some people might be apprehensive.

I'm also put off by the idea of asking for an exit visa, sounds like something a communist country would require.

And what kind of interest rates are Nica banks paying on money held in interest bearing accounts? There is no insurance available, right?

Exit visas

I'm also put off by the idea of asking for an exit visa, sounds like something a communist country would require.

This is a common misconception. You are not asking for permission -- you are paying an administrative fee.

It's also trivial to get at the airport.

One of the guys at passport control (just before security) takes your money and gives you a receipt. There's a short form to fill out. The fee is something like C $250 or so. It's roughly going out what the tourist visa fee is coming in. When you buy a ticket as a resident, be sure to list that on the form in case the airline does adjust the exit fee (it's generally in the ticket price though the entry fee isn't). The airline probably won't, but mheh. When you come back in, you show your cedula and passport and they let you in without the usual tourist visa fee.

If you think you're going to be going more than two or three times a year, you can go to Migration and get a multi-exit visa. I don't know the details on that one, but someone else does.

Nicaragua has never forbidden exit or entry to any Nicaraguan citizen or resident, even in the 80s. One of the things people are proud of.

Rebecca Brown

Some Excellent Information

here among the robust give and take.

Thank you, everyone who contributed.

exit visa

on the consumer end, it is just a nuisance tax. On the state end, it is probably their system for seeing, or being able to see if they want to, who is actually a resident for the required 7(?) months per year. 200 cords, nica money, just after you go in the security door at the airport. It's on the right just before you get stamped at customs . It had never been a thing of more than a minute in the past, but the last time it ended up taking about 5 minutes.

One presumably Nica lady ahead appeared to be going to a church function in the States and they did not buy her paperwork. Why she was even in that line I don't know, but her and the missionary with her went back and fourth with the clerk and supervisor several times before being turned away. The next guy in line had a reddish-brown passport but did not have his cedula. He eventually boarded after much discussion.

Billy Bob - Re: Absent from country

Ley (Law) 761 CHAPTER IV

The Directorate General of Immigration may cancel or revoke the stay in the country, to a nonresident or resident who:

7) Being a permanent resident, is absent from the country for a period longer than one year, except in those cases, for reasons of health, education or family problems are properly audited.

9) As a temporary resident, was absent from the country for a period longer than six months, except in those cases, for reasons of health, education or family problems properly audited.


It seems that as a permanent (5year) resident one would fall under the one-year limit. I vaguely remember getting something to that effect the last time I left the country by a land border. At the airport everything is computerized except for the hand written receipt.

Out of curiosity I just looked at the 5 year visa stamp in my passport and it says "residente permanente". The exit visa for when I went to Guate in 2008 is marked that I can be out of the country 365 days.

This is good to know for residents even if their current plan is to be here all the time. If they had to go abroad for extended medical treatment or to care for a relative it gives them some guidelines as to what the law wants.

And, of course, the operative word in the law is "may". Anyone contemplating being out of the country for more that a year should probably consider contacting Migracion and/or start laying a paper trail to prove your health/education/family issues before your 365 days expire.

That is excellent advice.

The Paper trail....