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All About the Nicaragua Visa
If you are interested in visiting this Central American country, you’ll need to know all the essential information about how to obtain a visa for Nicaragua. To help you with your planning, Byevisa has prepared this article with everything you need to know about this topic.
Fortunately, citizens of 92 countries and territories are exempt from applying for an entry pass for this country. This includes visitors from the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union. These visitors may stay in the country for up to 90 days.
Likewise, visitors from 73 other countries must apply for a Visa on Arrival (VoA) to enter Nicaragua. This includes travellers from India, Indonesia and the Philippines. As its name indicates, this document is requested at the country’s border and is valid for 30-day visits.
If you are not coming from a country that is either visa-exempt or eligible for a VoA, you must apply for a traditional visa at the nearest Nicaraguan embassy or consulate. Unfortunately, at this moment in time, this nation does not have an Electronic Visa (eVisa).
Please note, all international visitors to this Central American nation need to pay a 10 USD fee for a Tourist Card upon arrival. Only citizens of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are exempt from this requirement.
In addition, the Nicaraguan government recommends that non-tourist visitors to the country pre-register on the Nicaraguan Ministry of Immigration website 7 days prior to their visit in order to expedite their entry.
So, if you want to obtain a visa to Nicaragua, read on!
- 1 What Are the Differences Between a Waiver, a VoA, and a Traditional Visa to Nicaragua?
- 2 Nicaragua Visa Requirements and Eligibility
- 3 Process of Applying for a Visa for Nicaragua
- 4 Form and Documents Required to Obtain a Visa for Nicaragua
- 5 How to Verify the Status of the Visa for Nicaragua
- 6 Cost of a Visa to Nicaragua
- 7 More Questions and Information About the Nicaraguan Visa
What Are the Differences Between a Waiver, a VoA, and a Traditional Visa to Nicaragua?
Fortunately, a waiver means that we do not need to ask for a permit to enter the country, neither at the embassy nor at the border upon arrival. We will only need a passport valid for 6 months and some supporting documents. If this is your situation, it clearly makes your visit to Nicaragua easier!
By comparison, a VoA is applied for upon arrival at the country’s border, typically after disembarking from our flight. In this case, we request our travel document from the border agents and it is granted on the spot. This is also a convenient way to apply for a visa, as it saves us the time and effort of going to an embassy beforehand.
Finally, a traditional visa to Nicaragua is obtained at the nearest embassy or consulate. There, they will give us the forms to fill out and explain what supporting documents are necessary before granting us our travel document.
Nicaragua Visa Requirements and Eligibility
As explained above, the procedure to follow to enter Nicaragua depends on:
- If we come from a jurisdiction that is exempt, such as the USA, UK, or EU.
- If we need a VoA, such as visitors from India and the Philippines among others.
- If we must apply for our visa at the Nicaraguan embassy or consulate.
Below, we list the countries that are eligible for each type of procedure.
Importantly, all visitors to Nicaragua must have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry.
1. Countries that are exempt from applying for a visa to Nicaragua
This is the list of countries whose citizens do not need a Nicaraguan entry permit to enter the country for visits of up to 90 days:
All EU countries
Antigua and Barbuda
United Arab Emirates
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Even if you are exempt from applying for a visa to Nicaragua, you must have the following supporting documents to enter the country:
- A passport with at least 6 months validity from the date of entry.
- An onward or return ticket.
- Proof of funds to support yourself during your visit.
- A yellow fever vaccination certificate (if you are arriving from a country with a risk of yellow fever).
- You must carry a valid form of identification with you at all times.
2. Countries that require a VoA
On the other hand, here are the countries whose citizens can obtain a Nicaragua VoA valid for 30 days. These countries are:
Central African Republic
Papua New Guinea
Notably, there is also an entry document to Nicaragua known as a ‘substitute visa’.
This states that citizens of the following countries can also get a VoA, provided they have a visa from the European Union (Schengen Area), Canada or the United States, and pay a fee of 50 USD on arrival:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
* Holders of passports issued in the country.
3. Nationalities that need a visa from the embassy
Finally, if your country is not listed above, you must apply for your travel pass at the Nicaraguan embassy or consulate.
In this case, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- A valid passport with at least 6 months validity.
- A completed and signed application form.
- 2 passport-size photographs.
- A valid visa to return to the country of origin, if you are applying for the substitute visa.
- 3 recent pay stubs showing that we have funds for our stay in the country.
- An official letter of invitation from friends or relatives, or a hotel reservation.
- A copy of your round-trip tickets.
If you are applying for a business travel pass you will need to have:
- All the documents described above for the tourist entry pass.
- In addition, a letter of invitation from the host company in Nicaragua.
- A letter from the company you represent in your country, stating the purpose and duration of the trip.
Both travel documents are valid for up to 90 days.
Process of Applying for a Visa for Nicaragua
The procedure for applying for our visa to Nicaragua depends on whether we are (1) exempt, (2) eligible for a Visa on Arrival (VoA), (3) or require an embassy permit. As noted above, visitors from the USA, UK, EU and India fall into groups 1 or 2.
If you are exempt, you only need the supporting documents described above, and you can visit the country for up to 90 days!
If you are eligible for the 30-day VoA, you will need to apply for it upon arrival at the border.
Citizens of other countries can apply for their visa at the nearest embassy.
In addition, almost all international visitors to the Central American country are required to pay a 10 USD fee upon arrival for a Tourist Card (see our ‘Cost of a Visa to Nicaragua’ section below to learn more).
About the entry application for non-tourist travellers
As we indicated at the top of the page, the Nicaraguan government recommends that all non-tourist international visitors to this Central American country pre-register on the Ministry of Immigration website here.
Once you have filled out the form on this page, send it to one of the following email addresses: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The government recommends that you do this 7 days before entering the country, in order to avoid crowds at the border and facilitate your entry.
Form and Documents Required to Obtain a Visa for Nicaragua
If you come from a country that is neither exempt nor eligible for a Visa on Arrival, then you need to fill out the embassy form as part of your application. This form will be offered to you by the cultural authorities, either on paper or through an editable link that you will have to print and submit to the embassy.
It is advisable to submit our application for an entry pass to Nicaragua at least 2 months in advance of our trip.
In this form, we will be asked to indicate basic information such as:
- Name and surname
- Postal address
- The type of travel document to Nicaragua for which we are applying.
Depending on what type of visa to Nicaragua you are applying for, you may be asked for more specific requirements.
All application forms must be submitted either typed or handwritten in handwriting as neatly as possible and signed.
How to Verify the Status of the Visa for Nicaragua
If we are going to apply for an embassy travel permit to Nicaragua, it is advisable to apply at least 2 months in advance of our trip, as Nicaraguan consular authorities and embassies can sometimes be slow.
The best way to verify the status of our application to Nicaragua is to speak to the consular authorities where we have applied for our visa to Nicaragua.
Cost of a Visa to Nicaragua
We will be asked to purchase a Tourist Card, which costs 10 USD and can be purchased at the airports when entering the country.
This card allows entry for up to 90 days into the 4-member countries of the Central American Border Control Agreement (CA-4) – Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala – without going through border formalities.
The card can be purchased at the border of any of the member countries, and only citizens of member countries are exempt from purchasing the card.
In addition, we may be asked to pay a fee of 42 USD when we leave the country.
However, this fee is usually included in the price we pay for the return airline ticket, so it is worth checking this fact when we purchase the ticket.
More Questions and Information About the Nicaraguan Visa
If you still have doubts about the process of applying for an entry document to Nicaragua, we recommend that you read the FAQ section that we have prepared below.
If we are already in the country and want to extend the validity of the travel permit, we will have to go to the migration offices of the Ministry of the Interior.
All African countries, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
For children under 5 years of age, a certificate of vaccination for rubella, MMR, DPT, and polio is mandatory.
By comparison, the period for granting a visa to Nicaragua from the embassy depends wholly on the diplomatic mission of each country.
If we do not carry out this procedure, we can face fines of up to 50 NIO (Nicaragua cordobas, around 1.40 USD) per day while we are in an irregular situation.