Moving to Nicaragua is a big decision and one that should be planned out ahead of time. This means that you should take time to visit the country before you hop on a plane and relocate everything. Spending a little time, at least a couple weeks or longer, to get to know the local area you plan to reside as well as the people who live within, the shops you will frequent and the many places you can have adventures in is a good idea if possible.
If you’re relocating for work or during a family emergency, you may not have much time to prepare for the move, but it’s best to do as much research as possible before jumping into the move itself. No matter your reason for moving, it won’t take long for you to see that Nicaragua is a vibrant country with friendly people and many exciting things to do for all ages and lifestyles.
Finding a Home – First Step of Moving To Nicaragua
Whether your move is going to be permanent or you’re only coming over for a month or so, you’re going to need suitable housing to live in. It isn’t difficult to find a basic family home for under $1000 monthly, or less. This includes many homes on some of the beautiful beaches of Nicaragua as well as homes inland or in the jungle areas. Be sure to speak to a local realtor when you are searching for a house to rent, or when you want to purchase a home.
If you plan of moving to Nicaragua for a longer time, or maybe you are thinking of retire in Nicaragua, ther it’s wise to consider of buying a property. Prices are very affordable and are increasing rapidly. You can build your dream house near the beach for less the 100k or decide to buy a colonial house in the beatiful Granada. If you are planning to invest in Nicaragua then we suggest to read our latest article about the Nicaragua Real Estate market.
What You Must Do before Moving to Nicaragua
Depending on how long your stay is going to be, you may have a need to import a hefty amount of household goods when you come over. To do this, you’re going to need to provide some important paperwork to Customs agents. These include:
- Vehicle title and registration
- Vehicle insurance proof
- Declaration of items brought with you
- Health certificates
- Birth certificates
You can contact the Ministry of Government and file an application for residency if you want to stay in Nicaragua long-term. This will take some time and should be taken care of no less than six months before you want to move.
Moving Your Belongings and Vehicle to Nicaragua
To move your property, including a vehicle if you plan to drive your own car once you move, you’re going to have to hire a professional international moving company who can handle a big moving to Nicaragua. It is possible to drive your car from the United States all the way down to Nicaragua, but due to robberies and kidnappings that have occurred between Mexico and Nicaragua, it is highly advisable to not attempt to do so for safety reasons. Never fear though! Nicaragua is considered a safe country and once you arrive, you should find no issues with safety that you would not find in the U.S. or any other civilized country.
When you are moving to Nicaragua you can ship things a couple of ways. The first, and most recommended would be to hire a shipping company and rent a shipping container that you can pack your household property inside of along with your vehicle. This way, everything is sealed inside and safe from vandals and damage, and it can all be imported at the same time. The biggest downside to shipping everything in one container is that Customs will need to inspect the container and will need to take each item to verify that is on the packing slip. This can be time consuming and if you think you will need your car quickly, it may be best to ship it separately.
You can also ship your car on a RORO ship where it will be parked and secured on a ship deck and transported. The vehicle will be exposed to the elements on a RORO ship and you will need to ship personal property separately as it cannot be loaded inside the car.
Some personal property including a laptop and other small accessories can be brought with you when you fly to Nicaragua. Shipping with FedEx, USPS and other mail services can be used for personal property, but you need to expect to pay hefty fees for delivery when you use one of these services.
Taxes and Duties
Taxes and duties must be paid to import property, including a car. These can range anywhere between 0% and more than 150% depending on the overall value. However, most imports incur around a 15% tax fee and the fee must be paid in advance of the shipment or it will not be able to ship.
Preparing a Car
Before your move, it needs to be ready for transport. You will need to take care of the following:
- Wash the car
- Clear out all personal content from inside the car
- Check fluids and ensure all are full (except the fuel)
- Fuel level needs to be around ¼ tank only
- Take detailed photos of the car so you can note the pre-shipping condition
Validate the shipping insurance and make sure there is enough coverage to properly cover the car in case of an accident. (Source: A-1 Auto Transport)
You will not be allowed to bring alcohol, weapons or ammunition, military (militia) clothing, walkie talkies, flammable liquids and other substances considered dangerous. You can contact the Embassy of Nicaragua for a complete list of items not allowed.
Ready to Move To Nicaragua?